This is the definitive guide to getting abs first edition! This is our first post dedicated to building six-pack abs with the use of science and balancing lifestyles. This is going to be massive and filled with information for questions we are often asked about building a six-pack or seeing abs and we will also be providing scientific research supported information in this article as well.
The Best Science-Based Plan To Get Six Pack Abs
If you want to learn how to get a six-pack through optimizing science combined with your lifestyle the right way… Then this could be a great article for you to read.
Most people desire six-pack abs, and it’s not hard to see why. Aside from the fact that they add definition to a lean, muscular body, six-pack abs are a symbol of the devotion and effort it took to achieve them. Unfortunately, there is an abundance of false information or bad advice available on how to achieve them.
The Truth About How To Get Abs
When looking for “how to acquire a six pack” on Google, you’ll find an abundance of misinformation:
Some people believe you need to consume specific foods and beverages while avoiding others in order to achieve optimal results.
Special fat-burning medicines may be all you need, according to some people
Others, on the other hand, advocate ab workouts as the best way to get rid of abdominal fat (which is now a common belief among many individuals).
I’ve done it myself, and I can tell you that none of the previously stated ways will work on their own to get rid of your belly fat.
In fact, even a cursory examination at the research supports my assertions.
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research conducted a study in 2011 that indicated that six weeks of direct ab exercise five days a week had no effect on the reduction of abdominal fat in overweight individuals.
To put it another way, doing only ab exercises will not result in a six-pack.
Is there anything else you can do?
The good news is that getting six-pack abs is actually extremely straightforward, as proven by scientific data.
With the following three step process I’m going to outline, you’ll have a game plan in place by the end of this post.
Step 1: Setting Up Your Nutrition
When it comes to getting rid of the excess fat that covers your six pack, the first step is to get your nutrition in line, which will help you get there.
As many of you are aware, the only method to lose weight is to establish a sufficient calorie deficit, which may be accomplished by simply consuming less food.
Theoretically, you could achieve this by engaging in more physical activity, but doing so is far more difficult and time consuming.
To put it another way, most people would find it far more difficult to burn an additional 500 calories per day by jogging for 40 minutes as compared to simply eating a bit less.
How Much Should I Eat For Six Pack Abs?
Regarding how much you should eat in terms of calories and macronutrients, I’ve created a calculator (here it is!) that will do the math for you based on your individual numbers.
Step 3 of this post is where you’ll be able to fine-tune those values, so write them down as soon as you obtain them from the calculator. If you are an Unorthodox Training member there are additional tools available to members so be sure to login to the members area to use the other tools as well.
What Should My “Six Pack Abs Diet” Consist Of?
Using this visual as a guide, here are some examples of the kinds of foods you should eat in order to meet your goals:
At least 80% of the food you consume should come from unprocessed, whole foods as shown here and then the remaining 20% can be less healthy foods to indulge in. (For example, for my pre-workout snack I will sometimes eat a Rice Krispy treat. Sometimes after workouts, I will eat gummy bears.)
Step 2: Setting Up Your Training
Second, you’ll need to design a resistance training routine or implement a training routine geared towards the results that you want.
Because of the training, paired with a calorie deficit, you’ll be able to work towards and have better opportunities of successfully achieving your health and fitness goals.
This is recommended because when combined with a calorie deficit, it’s going to enable you to:
- Maintain your muscle mass as you lose body fat
- Help better sculpt and define your midsection as you get leaner
Proving this point, a 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis looked at the effectiveness of the following conditions on changes in body composition in overweight individuals.
Ab Training For Six Pack Abs
And, contrary to what I previously stated, direct abdominal training is something I would advocate including in your workout program.
It is mostly due to the fact that compound movements and weight training activities, in general, do not adequately stimulate the abs.
As a matter of fact, according to an EMG paper published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2014, the back squat resulted in very little activation of the abs and external obliques, less than 20%, whereas the standard situp resulted in more than double the activation, at around 40%,
Given that the abdominals and obliques can be developed in the same way as any other muscle, these findings suggest that you should be training them directly with abdominal exercises in order to improve their appearance once you have removed the excess fat that has accumulated around them during pregnancy.
To train them, I propose that you do so 1-3 times a week, using a combination of weighted ab workouts and unweighted ab exercises. If you want to perform this on your rest days and/or after your main weightlifting workouts, that is OK.
When it comes to cardio, it is not always necessary from the beginning and will be mostly utilized as a tool to accelerate the fat loss process, which will be described in greater detail in the following section.
Step 3: Monitor Your Progress And Adjust Accordingly
Once steps 1 and 2 are in place, the last thing you need to do is keep an eye on your progress and make changes as needed to make sure you’re going in the right direction.
You can start by weighing yourself every morning and keeping track of how your weight changes over time to make sure it’s going down.
The number of pounds you should try to lose has been found to vary from one study to another.
To get the best of both worlds, you should try to lose about 0.7 percent of your body weight per week.
So you want to go for that and change things if you don’t hit the target.
In this example, a person who weighs 170 pounds would try to lose about 1lb a week.
So what many people do is keep track of how much they weigh in the morning and take the average of it over time. It’s a good sign if you’re getting close to your goal weight loss per week:
In this case, however, you should either:
Slightly cutting back on calorie intake (e.g. reduce daily calorie intake by 100 calories)
As an example, you could add a little bit of cardio (e.g. adding one 20 minute cardio session per week)
Most of the time, a little extra push is all that’s needed to speed up fat loss.
If you are losing too much weight too quickly, which isn’t always a good thing, you would do the opposite.
You’re going to have to cut back on calories and do a little more cardio as you get fitter, but the key is to do it slowly.
Keep in mind that weight is only one way to measure progress. It’s also important to look at how your strength is doing in the gym, how your body looks in the mirror, and other things to get the most accurate picture of your progress.
When Will I See My Six Pack?
If you keep doing the previous steps until you have about 12 percent body fat or less, you should be able to see your abs.
The level of leanness you’ll need to reach in order to see a well-defined six pack can be seen in the picture below.
Keep in mind that you’ll lose fat from other places, like your face and arms, before your stomach because the fat cells there are more stubborn.
So the best thing to do is to be patient and trust the process to work out.
As hard as it may be for you to get a six-pack, I can tell you that with a lot of hard work and following the three-step plan I used, you will get there.
The Best Science-Based Oblique Workout For V-Cut Abs
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they train their core is not paying attention to the obliques and not realizing how important they are to having a well-developed midsection.
These muscles can make it look like you have less of a waistline because of the way they are positioned and how their fibers move. They can also make more cuts in your middle. If they’re well-developed and you have a low enough body fat percentage, of course, you can do this.
That means you should start adding a well-planned oblique workout to your training. But before we can train and grow them the best way, we need to know what they do and how they look.
But, of course, if you’re not just looking to build your obliques, then our membership program would be a good fit for you. You can follow these steps to build a well-balanced body, one step at a time.
Function And Anatomy of The Obliques
The obliques run down the sides of the abdominals and are composed of two muscles:
- External obliques
- Internal obliques (located directly under the external obliques)
But these two muscles have very similar functions. For simplicity’s sake, you can just think of the internal and external obliques as one single muscle.
And the main functions of the obliques muscle include:
- Spinal flexion as you do in a sit-up.
- Lateral flexion, or in other words just a side bend.
- The rotation of your torso.
But the obliques also actually have 2 lesser-known functions that most people overlook.
- It assists in the posterior pelvic tilt and tucking the ribs down and in.
- And it also assists in drawing in your abdomen by bringing the belly button in towards the spine.
You can get even more activation of your obliques when you use these two extra functions of the obliques during your oblique workout.
We can then train and grow the obliques in the most effective way by doing two things in an oblique workout: Choosing exercises that do all the things the obliques do, and also work in line with the diagonal orientation of their fibers.
Best Oblique Exercises To Include In An Oblique Workout
1) Woodchoppers with a high to low cable
The high to low cable woodchoppers are an excellent oblique ab exercise to begin your oblique ab workout. It’s an excellent solution because it allows us to apply weighted resistance directly in line with the diagonal path of the oblique fibers.
I recommend include at least one weighted movement into your oblique training. This is because, as I’ve stated in previous videos, the abs and obliques are muscles just like any other. And, in order to form and develop them optimally, they can and should be overloaded with weight over time.
How to Do High to Low Cable Woodchoppers
Now, in order to correctly carry out this exercise:
Set up a cable to a height above your shoulders.
Take a sideways stride away from the cable while holding the handles with an interlocking grasp.
To pre-activate your obliques, draw in your abdomen. You can accomplish this by exhaling and picturing your belly button going into your spine.
Then, maintain an extended arm position with your elbows locked. Simultaneously, rotate your torso down and across your body towards the other knee using one side of your obliques.
The important thing to remember here is to concentrate on the rotational part of the movement. You should engage your arm muscles as little as possible by keeping your elbows locked rather than bending and extending them or swinging the weight down with your arms. When done correctly, you should feel a powerful contraction on the side of the obliques that you’re tugging towards.
And for this exercise, you should use a lower rep range of around 10-15 reps. You can then gradually increase the weight as this rep range gets easier.
2) Bike Crunch
The bicycle crunch is the next exercise you should incorporate in your oblique workout. These oblique crunches allow you to train the obliques and abdominals even farther by using only your body weight. Although study data on the obliques is limited, this exercise successfully incorporates the obliques’ numerous movement patterns.
EMG analyses have also revealed that it elicits fairly high obliques activation when compared to other exercises. A must-have for any oblique workout.
How to Prepare for the Bike Crunch
To enhance the efficiency of this obliques workout, we must ensure that we are performing all of the obliques functions.
And we can accomplish this by performing two things before we begin our reps:
Enter a posterior pelvic tilt. Your lower back should be flat against the ground, and your ribs should be tucked down.
Exhale and bring your belly button in towards your spine to draw in your abdomen. You may already feel a powerful contraction in your obliques at this time.
We may now go on to the bicycle crunch from here. You should still maintain your posterior pelvic tilt and draw your abdominals in. This will significantly improve your capacity to activate the obliques during this action.
The Bicycle Crunch: How to Do It
And, when it comes to workout execution, don’t do what the majority of people do. Don’t simply try to touch your elbow to your knee because this will result in form compensations.
Instead, recall the duties of the obliques. Concentrate on merely crushing to one side while rotating your torso.
Ignore where your elbows and knees end up and instead go as far as you can to either side while still feeling the obliques working during each rep.
And for this exercise, you should absolutely utilize a much greater rep range, such as more than 15 reps per side. But, as always, the key is to concentrate on the contraction. And, rather than aiming for a predetermined number of reps, you should terminate your set based on the exhaustion of your obliques and abs.
If you like our step-by-step approach to appropriate exercise execution, you’ll love our membership program.
3) Leg Raise with Twisting
Following that, we’ll do twisting leg lifts. This is one of the most important oblique ab exercises to include in an oblique workout. Take notice that the classic leg raise with no twist has previously been proven in a few EMG tests to give superior obliques activation when compared to other typical core exercises, making it an excellent choice.
How to Do a Twisting Leg Raise
To make the movement target the obliques even more, simply twist each rep as you come up. This will now incorporate lateral flexion and rotation of the torso into the movement, allowing you to work the obliques more effectively.
But, once again, when it comes to how to acquire v cut abs, don’t forget to include the two additional functions of the obliques. You can accomplish this by entering the posterior pelvic tilt and drawing in the abdomen before beginning your reps.
And, while most individuals find it difficult to hang this exercise, there are numerous ways to retreat it.
I’d recommend starting with lying leg lifts with a twist on the floor.
Then, graduate to executing them while sitting in the Captain’s Chair and dangling or hanging from a pullup bar with bent knees.
You’ll soon be able to hang with your legs straightened. This ensures that you’re increasing the demand on your obliques as they develop and strengthen over time.
Because of the difficulty of this exercise, a rep range of 10-20 reps is recommended. But, once again, the emphasis should be on controlling and aggressively engaging your obliques on each and every rep.
The Best Science-Based Oblique Workout
In terms of frequency and amount of sets for these movements in an oblique workout, I’d recommend including 3-4 sets of each into your current ab training. And, depending on how much volume you’re doing during each session, you should undertake abs training once to four times per week.
So, if I were performing three very short ab workouts each week, I would incorporate three sets of one of these v cut abs exercises into each of those ab sessions.
In any case, experiment with these movements to see which one works best for you. You can then incorporate them into your v cut abs workout according to the instructions I provided. This will significantly increase the growth of your obliques. Don’t forget to work on your lower abs as well!
However, bear in mind that choosing the correct core exercises for your oblique workout is only one part of the issue. The key to leaning down and defining your midsection is to dial in your nutrition and eat the proper number and types of foods.
How To Get Lower Abs: 3 Best Lower Abs Exercises You Should be Doing
You can’t have a well-defined six-pack until you work on your lower abs. I’ll show you how to work your lower abs with three of the greatest lower ab workouts in this article.
You must work on your lower abs if you want to have a beautiful six-pack. However, if you’ve spent a substantial amount of time doing various abdominal workouts, you’ll know that the lower abs region is one of the most difficult to reveal. So, how do you exercise your lower abs?
But why is it so difficult? It’s mostly because muscular definition, particularly in the stomach area, and extra body fat don’t mix.
You’d have to lose a lot of body fat before your abs start showing. And it is your nutrition that will be mostly accountable for this.
Despite the fact that nutrition plays an important part in showing the lower abs, you may still emphasize and develop the region so that it becomes more noticeable – even at a greater body fat percentage.
So, how do you work your lower abs? You can accomplish this by selecting the appropriate lower abs workouts, performing them, and then correctly progressing them.
Of course, if you’re seeking to do more than just work on your lower abs, our membership program would be beneficial. These walk you through the process of developing a well-rounded physique step by step.
Isn’t the abdominal muscle just one muscle?
Before I get into the numerous workouts for toning your lower abdominal, I’d like to clear up a frequent myth. Many people assume that it is impossible to target the lower abs strategically.
However, evidence indicates that it is conceivable. Because different nerves innervate the upper and lower abs, they have a mechanism for selective activation.
Bret Contreras, a researcher, has conducted substantial research on this topic. And his EMG data conclusively show that the upper and lower abs can be selectively emphasized.
Of course, this is dependent on the type of ab workouts you perform. Upper abs, for example, are top-down ab workouts that require bringing your shoulders to your hips, such as crunches.
Lower abs – Bottom-up ab workouts such as leg lifts that require moving your hips towards your shoulders.
How do you work your lower abs?
“How to work lower abs?” is one of the most often asked inquiries I receive. The question then becomes, “What exercises best target lower abs?” Now that you understand how different motions influence distinct ab muscle groups, let’s move on to three of the best – and most basic – lower ab workouts.
1) Crunches in reverse
By pushing the pelvis up towards the shoulders, we may target the lower abs in the first exercise. Sadly, despite its popularity, many people do not do it in a way that targets and activates the lower abs.
One common error I see is that they mindlessly swing their legs up and down. Instead of the lower abs driving the action of the exercise, the momentum generated by swinging now assists them in completing the reps.
As a result, reverse crunches become a hip flexor exercise rather than a lower abs exercise. That’s not good. Do you think reverse crunches can be turned into hip flexor exercises? Here’s some evidence.
Researchers discovered that individuals who aimlessly swung their legs up and down were unable to train the lower abs in a study on the reverse crunch. On the contrary, individuals who executed the exercise correctly (as I’ll demonstrate in a moment) were able to activate their lower abs to a substantially greater extent.
Reverse crunches: How to Do Them
You don’t want to swing your legs blindly, do you? Instead, here’s what you should do.
To begin, lie down on a flat bench or the floor with your hands behind the bench for support.
Then, elevate your legs and bend them to about 90 degrees. And, most importantly, you must commence something known as the posterior pelvic tilt.
Squeeze your glutes and compress your abs to accomplish this. When you do both movements at the same time, your pelvis will tilt upwards. As a result, your back will be completely flattened onto the bench or ground. Keep the posterior pelvic tilt throughout the movement.
Then, raise your pelvis off the bench. Consider lifting it and curling it towards your belly button. Consider contracting your lower abs while you do so.
Then, gradually lower yourself back to the beginning point. Every time you come back down for the next rep, make sure you have that posterior pelvic tilt and flat lower back.
When done correctly, you should feel a strong contraction in the lower abdomen. Do you get it? Congratulations, you’ve just successfully worked your lower abs!
How to Gradually Increase the Intensity of Reverse Crunches
Once you’re able to accomplish at least 15 reps of reverse crunches, you’ll want to gradually overload with it (progressive overload). To stimulate the growth of the lower abs, perform the exercise as you would any other.
You can accomplish this by squeezing a weighted ball between your knees while performing the maneuver. And there’s an added benefit to doing so. You’ll increase your core activation even more. But be careful: I’m sure you don’t want the ball to wind up slapping you in the face! Ouch.
When executing the reverse crunches, you can also switch to a decline bench. In each case, you must overload the movement in some way over time.
2) Leg lifts while hanging
Now that you’ve mastered the reverse crunches, it’s time to move on to the hanging leg lift. This is another bottom-up ab action that is one of the best lower belly abs workouts.
In two separate EMG analyses (from T Nation and Suppversity), this exercise was demonstrated to generate the maximum lower abs activation when compared to many other abs exercises.
However, as with the reverse crunch, the effectiveness of this exercise as a lower ab workout is contingent on how you perform it. When performed poorly, it can soon become a hip flexor dominating exercise.
How to Execute Hanging Leg Raises
Begin by clinging to a bar. If the hanging version is too difficult for you, you can substitute a captain’s chair leg raise.
In either case, you should return to a posterior pelvic tilt before beginning the activity. Flex your core and tilt your pelvis upwards; the curvature of your lower back will automatically level out as a result.
From here, I want you to imagine rising your pelvis and curling it towards your belly button as far as your ab strength allows. You’ll notice that your legs will be raised as a result.
By actively lifting your pelvis, you can keep your hip flexors from taking over the work of your lower abs.
If you find this action too challenging, begin with bent knees. Use the same signals as I did previously.
As you gain strength, you can gradually straighten your knees and elevate your pelvis and legs higher to increase the difficulty of the activity.
How to Gradually Increase the Intensity of Hanging Leg Raises
Once you’ve mastered 15+ reps of hanging leg lifts in a row, you can add weight to the activity using a dumbbell or a ball. This guarantees that you continue to progress and grow your lower abs over time.
3) The Ab wheel
Finally, we’ve arrived at the final exercise in learning how to train lower abs. The ab wheel roll-out, in addition to being one of the best lower abs workouts available, also targets other muscles.
You may have observed that this exercise is not a bottom-up movement. How astute! But notice how, when done correctly, the ab wheel roll-out heavily activates the lower abs.
Various EMG analyses (T Nation and a 2006 study) that compared the ab wheel roll-out to other typical ab exercises show this.
However, as previously said, its efficacy is dependent on proper implementation. Unfortunately, many people do not.
How to Use an Ab Roller Exercising Wheel
First, get into the proper beginning posture by going into the posterior pelvic tilt. So you want to tighten your abs and tilt your pelvis towards your belly button. You will slightly flex your spine as a result of this.
As a result, you’ll not only be able to activate your lower abs more effectively during the roll-out, but you’ll also be putting your lower back in a safer posture.
From here, you’ll want to hold this stance with your abs tight while you roll out. Extend your legs as far as you can while maintaining a posterior pelvic tilt.
When your lower back begins to cave, you’ve hit the limit of your abs’ strength. Begin with small-scale roll-outs first. As your ab strength improves, gradually move further out.
On the way back, you should avoid just bending at the knees; this is considered cheating. Instead, keep your posterior pelvic tilt and pull-up with your midsection to roll back in.
Visualize a string tugging your mid-back up to the beginning position as a helpful signal. When done correctly, you should feel a significant contraction, particularly in the lower abs.
I hope you can see that when it comes to how to acquire lower abs and a well-defined six-pack, you need to not only choose the ideal exercises, but also make sure you’re doing them correctly.
This, together with the application of the proper eating plan, will be the key to losing body fat and developing those coveted six-pack abs.
How To GROW Your Abs: 3 Science-Based Steps
Do you want to show off your six-pack and have abs that show even when you have a higher body fat percentage? In this article, I’ll show you how to grow abs quickly by demonstrating three evidence-based techniques you may do to build your abs.
Don’t get me wrong here. Proper nutrition, fat-loss diets, and a low body fat percentage are still essential for getting a six-pack. However, many people are not aware that the abs are just like any other muscle. The abs will expand if you do the appropriate abs exercises and get stronger with them over time. This will inevitably increase the overall appearance and visibility of your six-pack.
And research backs up this claim. A 2017 study looked at the effect of 10 weeks of abdominal training on the growth of abs in 28 collegiate male soccer players. Here’s a summary of the male soccer players’ ab thickness increase after ten weeks:
Upper abs muscle thickness increased by 2.1mm, whereas mid abs muscle thickness increased by 1.9mm.
Muscle thickness in the lower abs has increased by 2.7mm.
As you may expect, these findings resulted in a more prominent appearance of their abdominal muscles. However, when it comes to how to grow abs fast, research reveals that there are three important aspects that you must master.
1) Select the appropriate abs exercises.
The first step in determining the best approach to increase abs is to select the appropriate exercises. While there are numerous abdominal workouts to choose from, we all know that not all of them are equally helpful in terms of how to develop bigger abs.
Isometric vs. dynamic abdominal exercises
For example, according to the 2017 article (which I previously stated), only subjects who performed active abs workouts such as the ab wheel out attained the outlined effects. No abdominal growth was observed in those who performed static or isometric workouts (e.g., plank).
But why is this the case? Isometric exercises, in which muscle lengths do not alter throughout the execution, aren’t as effective for growth. As a result, when it comes to how to get abs to show, static workouts (such as the plank) aren’t your greatest bet.
Instead, use dynamic abs workouts that may be easily overloaded with weight. Because, as previously said, you must treat your abs like any other muscular area. As a result, you’ll want to gradually overwhelm them in order to maintain growth stimulation.
How to Build Abdominal Muscles with the Right Exercises
What is the simplest approach to accomplish this? Exercise your abs using weights. You’ll now have a plethora of weighted abs exercises to pick from. But, instead, pick one or two exercises for your upper and lower abs to include into your current program.
Here’s a basic breakdown of my recommendations based on ab muscle group:
Upper abs – Top-down workouts that bring the shoulders down towards the hips are the most effective. The weighted cable crunch and the weighted Swiss ball crunch are two of the best exercises. You’ll discover that both workouts can be easily overloaded with weight.
Lower abs – Bottom-up actions that bring the hips up towards the shoulders are the most effective. The reverse crunch and leg raise are both fantastic possibilities, as I explained in my lower abs piece. Again, both the reverse crunch and the leg raise can be conveniently overloaded with weight.
2) Improve your posture.
When you’ve settled on the weighted abs exercises that feel the greatest for you, you’ll want to be sure you’re doing them correctly. And this is the second stage in learning how to get thick abs, which is where many individuals go wrong.
That’s because most people don’t activate their abs adequately – even with unweighted abdominal exercises. As a result, when weights are added to the mix, they begin to swing.
This, as you may know, allows other muscle groups to take over even more. Instead of strengthening and expanding their abs, individuals wind up training and strengthening other muscle groups, such as their hip flexors.
Perfecting your form is the key to growing abs (Upper abs)
Let’s take a look at a top-down movement, such as the weighted cable crunch. The majority of people will use momentum and their hips to move the weight downwards. This is especially true when the chosen weight is too heavy for them.
What they don’t realize is that by doing so, they’re turning the weighted cable crunch into a hip flexor exercise rather than an upper abdominal exercise. Here’s how to get abs quickly (or quickly) by refining your form for this exercise:
Select a lighter weight that you can manage. This keeps you from being overwhelmed and stops momentum from taking control.
Lock your hips into the beginning position and bend your knees to about 90 degrees. This keeps your hips from sliding down to your feet.
Exhale and contract your abs. You can achieve this by imagining moving your belly button closer to your spine; this produces additional stability.
Crunch the weight downwards by flexing your spine and pulling your shoulders down towards your hips. Remember, this is precisely what your abs are designed to do, and this is where they are most stimulated.
It’s crucial to remember not to let your hips fall back into your heels as you crunch down. You should keep them in the beginning position at all times. The flexion of your spine should be the source of all movement.
If you use this technique, you’ll notice not only a big difference in upper ab contraction, but also abdominal growth.
Do you ever wonder if you’re doing your ab workouts correctly – and optimally for muscular growth in the gym? Don’t be concerned. Our membership program provides training, tutorials and more…
Perfecting your form is the key to growing abs (Lower abs)
Bottom-up moves, such as the reverse crunch, need you to avoid swinging aimlessly as well. Because using momentum to finish the action transforms the exercise into a hip flexor exercise. And that’s completely useless when it comes to showing off your abs.
Here’s how to build abs more effectively by refining your reverse crunch form:
Exhale and drag your belly button in to tighten your abs. Simultaneously, assume a posterior pelvic tilt, with your lower back flat against the bench.
Consider lifting your pelvis from the bench and curling it towards your belly button. Simultaneously, picture your lower abs working; this will allow you to perform the exercise correctly.
By executing the above and regulating the movement, all of the strain will be diverted to your lower abs rather than your hip flexors. That is what you desire.
3) Increase the number of exercises.
Once you’ve mastered your form, it’s time to go on to step 3. That is, as you gain strength with your chosen weighted abs workouts, you should overload them. And this is going to be the most important part of learning how to build abs – both sustainably and long-term.
And, in order to overload in a methodical manner, you should stay to a rep range of around 10-15 reps for your sets of weighted ab exercises. Let’s imagine you have three sets of the weighted cable crunch.
When you can easily finish all three sets with 15 quality reps, it’s time to overload it even more by raising the weight. After you’ve built up your abdominal strength enough to do 15 excellent reps with the new weights, you can increase the weight again.
That is how the procedure is repeated. It’s also the general strategy you should adopt with any weighted abs exercises if you’re actually interested in how to sustainably build your abs.
Bringing it all together
So, I hope you can see that by following the three procedures stated above, you will be able to effectively increase the thickness and growth of your abdominal muscles.
But bear in mind that you’ll also need to remove excess abdominal fat before you can show off your hard work. And it is at this point that nutrition and eating the proper foods in the right quantity (weight loss meals) become crucial.
The Best Ab Workout For Six Pack Abs (Based On Science)
Discover the greatest science-based six pack abs workout you need to undertake for a chiseled stomach in this post.
Let’s face it: having sculpted six-pack abs is a goal that many of us strive for.
Most of us also understand that in order to achieve this, we must focus on our nutrition in order to remove the excess fat that covers our abs.
Depending on your gender, you’ll have to do this till you get down:
For guys, aim for a body fat percentage of 10-12%.
Women should aim for a body fat percentage of 14-18%.
****This Chart was created as a means of visually seeing various body fat percentages so you can estimate where you are currently and where you would need to get to for your goals*****
However, achieving well-developed abs and a chiseled stomach goes beyond this. True, your diet will be primarily accountable for showing your abs in the first place. But here’s the important part. Your training will subsequently determine how developed and good your abs and whole midsection look once they’re shown.
Of course, having a beautiful set of abs is nearly difficult if your other muscle groups are lagging. That’s why we’ve created a number of step-by-step, science-based programs to help you eventually reach your ideal body. With those envious six-pack abs. If you’re interested, please check out our membership features.
In any case. If you want to boost your six-pack development, you must include direct abs and core work in your program.
The Fundamental Anatomy of the Core Ab Muscles
To achieve this effectively, you must first understand the basic architecture of the core muscles. That’s because they all play an important function in the overall appearance of your stomach.
First and foremost, there’s the rectus abdominis.
Which muscle group is most closely related with the coveted “six pack?” The rectus abdominis is now separated into two regions:
The upper abdominals
The lower abs are
And, because they are innervated by distinct nerves, research has demonstrated that each of these two zones can be selectively triggered. As you’ll see, this will be taken into account when we get to our workout.
The obliques are up next. These are located on the sides of the abs. Obliques, in addition to adding shape to your midsection, can assist visually taper and narrow your waistline.
Finally, there’s the serratus anterior, which is located directly on top of the ribs. This, once again, provides definition to your midsection. In addition, it is important for your shoulder health and injury prevention.
As you can see, each of these muscles is important in sculpting an outstanding midsection. That is, your abdominal regimen must be organized in such a way that it targets all of these different muscles.
However, most people fail to do this with their ab routines. This is primarily due to the enormous variety of core workouts available. As a result, it’s tough to know which ones you should be focusing your time and effort on. And which ones will most successfully accelerate your core development.
But in this post, I’ll teach you how to do just that by designing the perfect six pack abs routine for you depending on:
Scientific investigation and Our knowledge of the core muscles’ anatomical structure
Reverse Crunch is the first exercise (Lower Abs)
The reverse crunch is the first exercise we’re going to do. Because the hips are moved up towards your shoulders, the reverse crunch is now classified as a “bottom-up” abs workout. As a result, in terms of activation, it effectively favors the lower abs over the upper abs.
Bottom-up abdominal exercises are often the most challenging to perform when compared to other abs exercises, therefore starting with this movement first in the workout makes sense. And, because the lower abs are the region of the abdominals where most people struggle not only with reducing fat but also with developing, we’ll want to prioritize them by training them first in the workout when we’re fresh.
However, as I’ve indicated in previous articles, the secret to the success of this exercise is entirely dependent on how you practice it. An EMG analysis exemplifies this. It was discovered that those who performed the reverse crunch in the commonly used erroneous form, in which the legs were merely swung up and down, were unable to generate considerably lower abs activity. Subjects who did the reverse crunch with the proper form I’m about to demonstrate were able to evoke considerably more lower abs activation.
How to Do the Reverse Crunch Properly
Instead, what you want to accomplish is: Before you begin, induce something called posterior pelvic tilt. Squeeze your glutes and compress your abs to accomplish this. Your pelvis will be forced to tilt upwards as a result of this. And your back will fall flat on the bench. This will help to pre-activate your lower abs and keep them stimulated throughout each rep.
Then, as you do a rep, I want you to focus on curling your pelvic up towards your belly button. Also, consider contracting your lower abs. As a result, you should feel a significant contraction in your lower abs.
Using the Reverse Crunch in a Six Pack Abs Workout
I’d advocate working up to 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps done with bodyweight and complete control. Then, for 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps, perform them weighted and/or with a decline implemented in this manner.
It is critical that you do this. Because, just like any other muscle, such as your biceps, you want to overload your abs with increased weight over time. This allows you to develop and stimulate their growth to the greatest extent possible.
High to Low Cable Woodchoppers (Exercise 2) (Side Abs)
Then we’ll do a circular movement with the high to low woodchoppers. This permits us to concentrate on the crucial obliques. These are an excellent addition to your core workout since they allow us to apply weighted resistance directly in line with the diagonal path of the oblique fibers.
How to Do High to Low Cable Woodchoppers
And you should avoid merely swinging the weight down with your arms for these.
Maintain your arms outstretched and your elbows locked.
Then, using one of your obliques, rotate your torso down and across your body to the other knee.
I’d suggest a set and rep range of around 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps, gradually increasing the weight as this becomes easier.
Bicycle crunches are an excellent substitute for six pack abs exercises.
Bicycle crunches are a feasible alternative if you have problems with this action.
Because, when compared to other frequent obliques exercises, bicycle crunches have been found by the American Council of Exercise to elicit quite a high activation of the obliques.
However, for these, you should use a larger rep range of 20-30 reps. Alternatively, because you’ll only be working with your own weight here, simply execute them to failure.
Weighted Crunches are the third exercise (Upper Abs)
Then it’s time to progress to weighted crunches. This is a top-down abs action, and we know that it will now allow us to selectively concentrate the upper abs over the lower abs, which we’ve already worked on.
There are other weighted crunches you can do here, including the stability ball crunch and the weighted cable crunch, both of which are good at targeting the upper abs.
The crucial point here is that you’re stressing the top-down element of these movements by simply moving the rib cage forward and down towards the pelvis.
Your hips should simply remain motionless as you complete each rep, allowing your abs to move through their full range of motion.
And for these, utilize a moderate rep range of 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps, gradually increasing the weight as your abs develop and strengthen over time.
Serratus Jabs (Exercise 4)
Serratus jabs will be the final exercise in this abs workout. Which, according to EMG investigations, evokes exceptionally strong serratus anterior activity because it successfully applies both of its primary movement functions:
Scapular protraction and upward rotation
How to Do Serratus Jabs
You can rig up a band or wire so that your arm moves upward during the jab. Then simply do an upward punching motion. And at the end, reach as far as you can to protract the scapula and fully activate the serratus anterior.
And, once again, we’ll use a rep range of 10-15 reps each side for these, gradually increasing the resistance to overload it.
So, to summarize this workout, here’s how you should put it together.
The Best Abs Workout for Six Packs
Reverse crunches: 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps (bodyweight)
WORK YOUR WAY UP TO: 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions (weighted/decline).
Cable Exercise 2: High to Low Woodchoppers: 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions each OR Bicycle Crunches: 2-3 sets to failure (bodyweight)
Weighted Crunches: 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps
Serratus Jabs: 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions
This workout should be done 1-3 times a week, and it should be done quickly after your main workouts or on your rest days.
Keep in mind, guys, that this six pack abs routine, complete with the best ab exercises, is only one piece of the puzzle. If you genuinely want to get a shredded, well-defined set of six pack abs, you must combine your workouts with a dietary plan that allows you to effortlessly shred fat while also supplying your muscles with the food they need to recuperate and grow to their full potential after each session. Discover the greatest science-based six pack abs workout you need to undertake for a chiseled stomach in this post.
Let’s face it: having sculpted six-pack abs is a goal that many of us strive for.
Most of us also understand that in order to achieve this, we must focus on our nutrition in order to remove the excess fat that covers our abs.
How To Get A Six Pack (3 Abs Training Fixes You Need To Make)
There’s no denying it. If you’re like most people, ‘How to Get a Six Pack’ will be a popular Google search term. So, excellent news! In this essay, I will explain you exactly how to do so.
When it comes to how to obtain a six pack, most of us know that we need to get to a low enough body fat percentage for them to start peeking through. The same can be said for any muscle for that matter. But there’s also something else. We need to train our abs properly. Because, like any other muscle, they will develop in response. As a result, as you begin to chip away at the fat hiding your six pack, it will become even more noticeable and appealing. So, in this article, I’ll go over three changes you should make to the way you train your abs. These modifications will allow you to more efficiently target and grow your six pack.
Of course, if you’re seeking to do more than just work on your abs, you’d benefit from joining our membership program. These walk you through the process of developing a well-rounded physique step by step.
Fix #1: Dominance of the Hip Flexors
The first error you’re making with your ab workout is allowing your hip flexors to take over the activity. But what causes this to occur in the first place? As it turns out, ab workouts such as:
Crunches in the opposite direction… Involve a lot of hip flexion. This, as the name suggests, is the primary function of our hip flexors. And study has shown that if your hip flexors are already shortened all day due to prolonged sitting OR your abdominals are simply comparatively weak… your hip flexors are more likely to take control. As a result, the abs’ involvement in these motions is reduced. This, of course, is detrimental to our overall ab growth. However, it can also cause a significant imbalance between our hip flexors and abs strength. This, in turn, can lead to back problems and discomfort in the future.
How to Correct Hip Flexor Dominance for a Six Pack
Change Your Attitude
Simply altering your emphasis during abs exercises is one method to overcome this. During the movement, ignore what your legs or upper body are doing. Instead, concentrate on your pelvic.
Bottom-up abs workouts (such as leg raises or reverse crunches) entail simply curving your pelvis towards your belly button.
Top-down abdominal exercises (such as cable crunches or sit-ups) – Simply move the rib cage forward and down towards the pelvis.
This mental shift alone will help you feel the exercise more through your abs and less through your hip flexors.
Change Up Your Abs Workouts
However, another way is to modify your existing abs exercise to help take the hip flexors out of the equation. One solution, for example, is to perform the Janda sit-up during sit-ups. Vladimir Janda, a Czech physician, created this maneuver. And it works on the basis of a notion known as reciprocal inhibition. This motion has been demonstrated to reduce hip flexor activation by employing a band to force the hamstrings to remain tight during the sit-up.
Wrap a band around a fixture to perform it. Put it behind your knees or your heels. Keep your feet firmly planted. To resist the pull of the band, contract your hamstrings and glutes mindfully. Then, simply perform your sit-ups, squeezing your hamstrings and glutes with each rep.
If you don’t have a band, a ball behind your knees can suffice. Again, concentrate on contracting the hamstrings and glutes. The similar approach can be applied to exercises such as wire crunches. This little change will challenge your abs to work considerably harder than they are accustomed to. And, eventually, you’ll be able to strengthen your abs and increase your mind-muscle connection to the point where these alterations are no longer necessary.
Reduce your range of motion.
Furthermore, most people are unaware that the range of motion of the abs during movements like the reverse crunch is actually rather limited. How brief? On the way down, as soon as you exceed 90 degrees, your abs begin to do significantly less work. And your hip flexors will begin to take over.
What does this have to do with you? Stopping this short on the way down is a simple method to redistribute extra tension back to the abs. As a result, the involvement of the hip flexors is reduced.
Posterior Pelvic Tilt Fix #2
The second error you’re doing while learning how to grow a six pack is failing to establish and maintain what’s known as a posterior pelvic tilt during your abs exercises.
Another important function of the abs is to tilt the pelvis by engaging the glutes and abs. And it has been demonstrated to do two crucial things:
Boost activity significantly AND
This helps to keep the hip flexors from taking over during our abs exercises.
This is emphasized in a 2008 research published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. When compared to a neutral or anteriorly tilted pelvic posture, the research discovered that effectively initiating and sustaining a posterior pelvic tilt during a simple move like a lying leg lift resulted in: Less hip flexor activity AND Greater upper and lower ab activation… In fact, as shown in the graphs, when patients moved away from a posterior pelvic tilt, hip flexor activity rose while stomach activity dropped.
Another study looked at lower abs activity during the reverse crunch and found a similar result. Recognize the significance of this. Apply this slight change to all of your abdominal exercises. For example, before performing each rep of the reverse crunch, tighten your glutes and abs to initiate the posterior pelvic tilt. And hold that position for the duration of each rep.
The same is true for exercises like as hanging leg raises, sit-ups, ab roll-outs, and even planks. When you make this adjustment, you’ll notice a significantly stronger contraction in your abs. Not only that, but there’s more. You’ll also see reduced participation of other muscle groups that we wish to keep out of the movement, such as the hip flexors and lower back.
Fix #3: Treating the abs as a “special” muscle.
The final blunder is treating your abs as if they were a separate muscle. On one end of the scale, there are folks who do no abs work at all. On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who train their abs completely differently than they do their other muscle groups. If you want to maximize your abs growth, both ways are suboptimal.
To be sure, many of our compound exercises engage our abs indirectly. However, studies have shown that they are triggered to a far greater extent during direct abs labor. As a result, they would respond better to expansion.
You may think of it in the same way that you would any other muscle. Take your arms as an example. Most people will be able to maintain and expand their arm size just by performing indirect arm work in compound exercises like the bench press and pull-ups. But, more often than not, they may improve their performance by incorporating some more direct arm work. The same is true when it comes to developing abs.
However, when it comes to direct abs work, treat it as you would any other muscle group. Many people make the mistake of working out their abs numerous times each week with:
Extensive rep ranges
AND SHORT REST PERIODS
Leave them until the end of their workouts, when they’re already exhausted.
Instead, when it comes to how to train abs, treat them the same way you would any other muscular group. Give them your whole attention and volume. And also with enough rest. As they develop stronger, stress your abs exercises with more weight or intensity rather than repeating the same regimen. By training them in this manner, as demonstrated by the literature, they will respond with growth in the same way that any of your other muscles would.
Takeaway: How to Get a Six Pack
Overall, as discussed previously in this post, understand that while ab exercise does help to create your six pack, you must couple it with a healthy eating plan meant to then reveal your hard work and make your abs more noticeable. The same holds true for each of your muscle groups. Concentrating all of your efforts on training while ignoring the importance of nutrition will get you nowhere.
How Long Does It Take For Your Abs To Show? (Use This Formula!)
If you’re like most individuals, attaining a six-pack is your ultimate aim. It appears to be powerful and functional, and it is an indication of a strong, functional core. But how long does it take for your abs to appear? Below, I’ll walk you through the specific steps you’ll need to follow to calculate it for yourself.
How long does it take for your abs to become visible? I’ll be completely honest. When I initially started training seriously, this was one of the questions I had. And chances are you’re curious as well, because for many of us, attaining a well-defined six-pack is the ultimate aim. But, what is the answer to that question? There isn’t a simple solution. It is conditional. To be more explicit, it is determined by: where you are right now AND
How defined and prominent do you want your six-pack to be?
The method you take to get there (because, let’s face it, some people work out for years and never seem to get there because they’re taking the wrong approach!)
This is why, in this post, we’ll first calculate how long it takes for your abs to appear, and then, more importantly, we’ll discuss how to best secure your success during those weeks.
Looking for a step-by-step approach that addresses all of the important variables in fat loss (i.e. workout and nutrition) so that you can get your six-packs in the shortest amount of time? Then you’ve arrived at the right place: UNORTHODOX TRAINING MEMBERSHIP
Your body fat percentage is a good predictor of how long it will take for your abs to appear.
First and foremost, everyone has a six-pack physiologically. It’s just a matter of whether or not it’s noticeable. How long does it take for your abs to become visible?
Here’s something you should be aware of. Abs are only apparent when body fat is low enough to display them. For guys, your abs will normally become evident around 15% of the way through the workout. But it’s at 12 percent that you’ll start to notice some decent definition in your six-pack. At 10%, your six-pack is definitely apparent and beautifully defined. I wouldn’t propose a “clearly visible six-pack” as a goal for ladies. However, some percentage equivalents to what I covered with males would be approximately 22%, 20%, and 18%.
How Long Does It Take To Get Abs ‘Calculator’
Now, we can use the following calculation to estimate how long it will take you to attain your target body fat percentages and display your abs: Bodyweight with Six Pack Goal = Lean Body Weight/ (1-desired body fat percentage).
So, grab a pen and paper. We’ll go over this simple computation step by step, using Bill as an example. In my example, I’ll use pounds, but if you prefer kilograms, simply perform the same calculations in kilograms.
Step 1: Determine Your Lean Body Mass Index
First, we’ll calculate your lean body weight. This is simply how much you would weigh if you had no fat at all. To do so, use the following charts to evaluate your current body fat percentage.
Then multiply that percentage by 100. Then divide that figure by your current body weight. The result is a rough estimate of how much fat you’re carrying. Take that figure and subtract it from your current body weight. That figure will be your lean body weight.
Step 2: Determine Your Ideal Body Fat Percentage
Choose your target body fat percentage next. Determine how lean and prominent you want your six-pack to be based on what I discussed previously. I’d advise being extremely cautious in this situation. Why? That’s because once you’ve reached a given body fat percentage, you may always try to get lower.
As an example, we’ll set a goal of 12 percent for Bill.
Step 3: Divide the result by 100 and enter it into the formula.
Once you’ve calculated it, divide it by 100. And then we’ll plug everything into the formula like this. Carry out that calculation. The result is a general estimate of your bodyweight once you’ve achieved your ideal body fat percentage and six-pack.
Step 4: Take the figure and subtract it from your current body weight.
Step 4: Now, simply deduct that figure from your current body weight. The value you obtain there basically shows how much fat you’d have to lose to reach your target body fat percentage. This is also enough to make your abs visible. In this situation, Bill would need to lose approximately 15 pounds of fat in order to achieve his target of 12 percent body fat and display his abs.
Finally, based on this figure, we can answer your burning question: “How long does it take for my abs to show?” In other words, this number will assist you estimate how long it will take you to shed that amount of fat and achieve your six-pack.
These Pointers Can Assist You in Successfully Revealing Your Six-Packs
Don’t Lose Weight Too Quickly
Unfortunately, here is where most people go wrong. Consider what happens when you tell someone they need to shed 15 pounds in order to get a six-pack. They’re probably going to try to drop the weight as quickly as possible. This is because of their (understandable) desire to achieve their six-pack as soon as feasible. What most people don’t realize is that there is a daily limit to how much fat you can lose. Excessive weight loss will result if this limit is exceeded. However, there is a catch. It will be derived from muscle rather than fat.
In one study, for example, resistance-trained males and females were instructed to lose weight slowly at a pace of 0.7 percent body weight per week OR quickly at a rate of 1.4 percent body weight per week.
Despite the fact that the slow group required three additional weeks of dieting, both groups dropped the same amount of weight. Furthermore, of the weight lost, those in the slower weight reduction group:
Significantly more fat was lost than in the fast weight reduction group (11 vs 7 lbs) AND
In comparison to the fast group, we gained a tiny amount of lean mass while losing muscle mass (2 lbs. vs a loss of .66 lbs)
Lose 0.7 percent of your current body weight per week on average.
As a result, it is recommended that you establish a weekly goal of decreasing 0.7 percent of your present body weight. Bill, in our example, weighs 170 pounds and needs to drop 15 pounds. It would take him around 12 weeks to lose 0.7 percent of his current body weight if he set a weekly goal of dropping 0.7 percent of his current body weight.
However, keep in mind that this formula has limitations. This is due to the fact that it will not account for:
The weight of water
Gains in muscle AND
Anything else that isn’t fat would have an impact on your before and after weight during the process.
Nonetheless, it’s an excellent approach to acquiring a ballpark figure.
Allow yourself a few weeks extra time.
Consider Taking Diet Breaks on a Regular Basis
In addition to adding a few weeks to your estimate… you might want to think about taking frequent breaks from your several weeks of dieting. That is, rather than attempting to do everything all at once. This is due to the fact that the longer you diet, the more difficult it will inevitably become. As you lose weight, it is likely that you will experience increased appetite and exhaustion. As a result, adhering to the rules becomes tough.
Diet Breaks Can Help You Stick to Your Diet
To combat this, studies show that boosting your calories back to maintenance for a few days every few weeks, or what is now generally known as a “diet break,” can assist to combat these cravings. A revolutionary new study led by researcher Jackson Peos demonstrates the efficacy of this strategy.
In this study, 61 resistance-trained men and women were randomly allocated to one of two groups:
Continue your diet for a total of 12 weeks OR
For a total of 15 weeks, complete four cycles of dieting for three weeks and eating at maintenance calories for one week.
They discovered that both groups lost the same amount of fat while maintaining the same amount of muscle. The diet break group, on the other hand, experienced:
Reduced hunger and irritation
AND MORE SATISFACTION
Had half of the participants dropped out (4 vs 8 dropouts)
That is if you have previously battled with sticking to a diet on a consistent basis? Or do you simply reach a point when you can really feel the consequences of your diet? Then don’t be frightened to skip a diet.
You will still need to plan your diet breaks.
But keep in mind that this is not an excuse to eat anything you want. Instead, it entails intentionally boosting your calories to maintain, primarily by increasing your daily carb intake. Then, to ensure that you are on track, continue to track your intake.
However, keep in mind that this will lengthen the time it takes to attain your goal. But if you’re not in a rush to meet a deadline for a big event, for example, it’s something to think about. This is especially true when you near the end of your diet when you’re much slimmer and the diet becomes much more difficult. For example, if you predicted that it would take you 12 weeks to reach 10% body fat… Then, towards the finish, you might want to consider interspersing 1-2 diet breaks to help with adherence and hunger levels. However, you can always make that option based on how you feel after you arrive.
Takeaway: How Long Does It Take For Abs To Show?
So, in conclusion, despite everything I went through in terms of timeliness, please don’t stress over the exact time it will take. It’s a good idea to have a general time range in mind. This is what the formula I used can assist you with. That is, it will assist you in focusing on the process and the particular measures you will take to reach your goal. However, it does not emphasize how long it will take for your abs to show.
Those who set objectives and focus on the particular actions they will take along the road are the most likely to achieve them. This applies not only to getting a six-pack, but to everything in life. And if you need more direction on the exact action plan you’ll need to follow over the next few weeks, I’ve covered it extensively in many of my previous posts.
How To Get “6 Pack” Abs At Home (DO THIS WORKOUT ANYWHERE!)
You don’t need to hit the gym to get six-pack abs. Here, I demonstrate a really effective abs workout that you can do at home – or really anyplace – to finally obtain that muscle definition in your abdomen.
You can sculpt a nice set of abs with nothing more than your body weight and a few square feet of floor space. In fact, in this article, I’ll show you the best abdominal workout you can perform at home. Here’s what I’ll be talking about:
Why are most body weight abs workouts a waste of time (and can cause more harm than benefit!)
The four exercises we’ll utilize to target every aspect of your six-pack.
How to do the abs workout at home – or anyplace else you like – for the best results.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a complete, downloadable workout that you can do anywhere to get a terrific set of abs.
Looking to discover how to properly (and effectively) target each of your muscle groups – in addition, to the abs? Don’t be concerned. I’ve got you covered. The Unorthodox Training membership program, whether at home or at the gym, is an all-in-one, science and fun-based program that will bring you to your ideal body.
What makes our at-home ab workout superior to others?
So, with our abdominal workout, we’ll do three things differently. These “differentiators” will make it significantly more effective than the majority of bodyweight abs workouts on the market.
#1: Abdominal growth that is balanced
Here’s the reality. To achieve a great-looking, balanced midsection, your at-home abs workout should target all four zones of the abs. A 2010 study on tennis players explains the potential hazards of not doing so.
The researchers examined the muscular development of the athletes’ abs and discovered significant imbalances. In fact, the researchers discovered a 35% difference in size between the left and right sides of the athletes’ abs! There were also disparities in the growth of their abs’ top and lower parts.
Obviously, this lopsided expansion can be linked to the fact that tennis players mostly work on one side of the court. However, this demonstrates how the same thing may happen with an ab practice that prioritizes some regions and motions over others.
These disparities are problematic for two reasons. The first is that they can alter the appearance of your midsection. And the second (and perhaps more crucial) point is that these imbalances can have a significant impact on your performance and risk of injury.
#2: Progressive overburdening
The abs function similarly to any other muscle. That implies you can erect them to make them more apparent. However, “at-home” bodyweight abs workouts fail to gradually increase the difficulty of their exercises in order to consistently drive growth in your abs as they get stronger.
#3: Selecting an Exercise
How many times have you performed an abdominal workout only to feel it in your hip flexors or lower back instead? This is due to ineffective abs exercise selection. Many abdominal exercises are simply bad choices. As a result, it should be avoided for this reason.
Bodyweight Abs Exercises That Work
So. Our workout will address each of these three typical issues. I’ll organize the material depending on the exercises you can do for each abs region. Without further ado, let’s get started by exploring the first abs region – and exercising.
Abdominal Transverse Abdominis (TVA)
Just so you know, the first exercise we’ll go over will be the most difficult. It will target the transverse abdominis area (TVA). This is possibly the least-discussed ab muscle. This muscle is not visible because it is located beneath your abs. However, when properly educated, it can help to create a more appealing midsection.
It accomplishes this by acting as a “natural corset,” drawing the abs in – and tightening the waist. It also had the added benefit of highlighting the “sexiest muscle on a man.” Those two lines that begin near the hips… and then descend to the wonderful area.
To best work this muscle, we’ll recreate a no-equipment version (suitable for at-home use) of a popular abs exercise found in a gym-based routine: the ab rollout. The ab rollout is beneficial because it both strengthens and tones your six-pack muscles.
The TVA is forced to contract in order to stabilize our spine when we move forward and back.
Here’s how you’ll carry out the exercise:
Position yourself on all fours with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
By twisting your hips and engaging your abs, you can achieve a “posterior pelvic tilt.”
To properly engage your TVA, pull your belly button into your spine.
From here, slowly extend your hands forward.
Only walk your hands back as far as you can without breaking this form and arching your lower back.
Your abs should be working hard to keep your body stable. Experiment with extending your hands further and further out over time. It’s fine if you only take a few steps at first. You’ll become better with practice.
We’ll now go to the next most difficult activity. This will help you target your lower abs. The secret to efficiently training the lower abs is to use a “bottom-up” exercise, in which the bottom half of your body is raised. Leg raises are a nice example.
Having said that, it’s normal for folks to feel the effects of these “bottom-up” workouts in their hip flexors (rather than in their abs). Which is incorrect. So, for our exercise of choice, pay special attention to the precise form:
Lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your knees bent to 90 degrees.
Squeeze your glutes and contract your abs to initiate posterior pelvic tilt; this pre-activates your lower abs and flattens your lower back on the floor.
Curl your pelvic girdle up towards your belly button (instead of thinking about “raising” your legs)
Avoid arching your lower back on the way down; instead, keep it flat against the ground until you reach the bottom.
When done correctly, you should feel a significant contraction in your lower abs. Simply tuck your knees in closer to your upper torso to make this exercise simpler. As your lower abs strengthen, you can gradually increase the challenge by straightening your legs.
To target the upper abs, we’ll want to perform a “top-down” workout. This is where the top half of your body is lowered, like in crunches. And, while we’re on the subject of crunches, because our upper abs will be exhausted from the previous two workouts, a less demanding activity, such as a crunch, is the ideal choice. However, there is a certain technique we’ll want to complete them to make them more effective and avoid causing back pain:
Lay on your back with your knees bent and your hands behind your head.
Put a rolled-up T-shirt or towel beneath your lower back to extend the range of motion of your abs.
Lift your shoulder blades off the ground by flexing your spine – and then lower them again.
Avoid jerking your neck and using momentum as you come up. Furthermore, considering the role of the upper abs, you don’t need to move all the way up when you contract the abs, as this will only engage more of the hip flexors.
Finally, go slowly and feel the upper abs working. To progress these, as you get stronger, place your arms straight over your head. When that becomes too simple, add weight with a bottle or a backpack.
Before we go into how to best perform the entire at-home abs workout, let’s finish with the obliques. Exercises that rotate the torso are ideal for strengthening these muscles.
The Russian Twists are a well-known exercise that we recommend for “at-home” six-pack growth. The issue with this famous motion, however, is that it is frequently executed incorrectly, making the exercise significantly less effective in working the obliques. To avoid this, it is necessary to begin with a correct setup:
Sit on your buttocks, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor; sitting too erect will make the exercise simpler but less efficient, so try to angle your back to roughly a 45-degree angle.
The goal from here is to touch either side of the ground. However, keep in mind that your hands aren’t what activates your obliques, so avoid simply reaching with your arms and without twisting your torso. Allow your shoulders to direct your rotation.
That is, when you reach each side, you should aim to align your shoulder with your leg. When you twist to the right, your left shoulder should line up with your left leg. You will be forced to rotate your torso and engage your obliques as a result of this.
You can gradually increase the difficulty of this move by raising your feet off the ground significantly. And attempt to extend your arms further and further out. These exercises will make your obliques work harder to stabilize your body.
How To Perform The Complete “At Home” Abs Workout
Now, let’s talk about how to complete the entire workout for the best benefits.
This workout will be done in the shape of a circuit. You’ll go from one workout to the next with only 15 seconds in between to catch your breath. After running through it once, you’ll rest for 2 minutes before repeating it three times.
In terms of reps, aim for 5-10 reps for the walkouts. Aim for anything between 10 and 25 reps of reverse crunches and crunches. You’ll do as many Russian twists as you can in one minute.
The Total Bodyweight Abs Workout
5-10 reps of walkouts
10–25 reps of reverse crunches
10–25 reps of crunches
1 minute Russian twists
The workout can be done 2-3 times per week. However, as you gain strength, it is critical that you aim to increase your reps over time while adhering to the previously specified progressions. This will simulate the effect of adding more weight to help your abs grow and pop more.
But keep in mind, everyone no matter how hard you work your abs with this home workout (or other abs routines), you won’t get the six packs you want unless you have a sound eating plan in place.