The abs are extremely important in maintaining proper body posture, the body’s core balance and stabilization, providing support for the back and helping in relieving back pain.
Many people view them as some sort of fitness status symbol that’s reserved for those who spend most of their time in the gym and the genetic elite. Yes, it’s true that your diet and genetics influence the muscle definition that you will have around your abdomen. The bands of stringy connective tissue that are found in your abdomen and where and how they fall is what determines the overall aesthetic appearance of your abs once you have lost enough body fat.
But the good news is that we all have abs, and with the correct 6 pack abs workout and programs, a fat burning cardio regime and a proper diet, we can all have well-defined abs. Below are 5 abs exercises that have been proven to be quite effective in carving out a great six pack.
1. Reverse Crunch Exercise
This 6 pack abs workout strengthens the abs and also helps in fixing posture. It prevents upper back rounding: kyphosis.
How to Do The Reverse Crunch Exercise
- Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and knees bent.
- Place your hands behind your head or on the floor.
- Bring your knees up towards your chest so that they bend at an angle of approximately 90 degrees.
- Contract your abdominal muscles and slowly lift your hips off the floor.
- Slowly lower your hips and knees so that you are back to the starting position and then perform several repetitions of this exercise.
When performing this exercise, you should avoid moving your head up, arching your lower back and extending your knees.
2. Vertical Leg Crunch Exercise
This is an effective 6 pack abs workout that strengthens the internal obliques, external obliques and rectus abdominis muscles.
How to Do The Vertical Leg Crunch Exercise
- Lie on your back, extend your legs up and slightly bend your knees.
- Contract your abdominal muscles and rise up until you are able to lift your shoulder blades off the floor.
- Keep your chin up and do not pull on your neck.
- Your legs should not move when performing this exercise.
- Lift your torso towards your knees.
- Lower your torso back to the starting position and perform several repetitions of this exercise that you are comfortable with.
3. Hanging Leg Raise Exercise
This 6 pack abs workout helps in strengthening the muscles that are responsible for maintaining proper spinal posture. The muscles that are exercised when performing this exercise are the external obliques and rectus abdominus.
How to Do The Hanging Leg Raise Exercise
- Hold on to a high bar with your palms facing forward. The bar should have enough clearance so that your feet do not touch the floor.
- Inhale deeply and then while holding your breath, slowly rotate your hips upwards (without using momentum or swinging) and raise your legs up towards your body while keeping your knees either slightly bent or straight until your legs are at a near vertical position.
- Pause for a few seconds at the top of this movement, and then exhale and slowly lower your legs they go back to the starting position.
- Perform 8 to 15 repetitions of this exercise.
4. Ab Roller Exercise
An ab roller is a fitness equipment that helps in performing crunches correctly. Its special ergonomic structure enables it to support your head, neck and whole upper body so that you can avoid strains and injuries caused by fast or improper movements. This 6 pack abs workout strengthens the core muscles in your lower torso, including the rectus abdominis, your hip flexors and the latissimus dorsi, which starts on your pelvis and lower back and goes all the way up to the shoulder.
How to Do the Ab Roller Exercise
- Hold the Ab Roller with both your knees and hands on the floor.
- Place the ab roller on the floor in front of you so that you’re in the kneeling push up position.
- Slowly roll the ab roller forward and stretch your body into a horizontal position. Tip: Stretch your body as far as you can without touching the floor. You should breathe in during this part of the exercise.
- Pause for a few seconds in the horizontal position and then slowly pull yourself back to the beginning position.
- Perform 5 to 10 repetitions of this exercise.
Caution: This exercise is not advised for people with hernias or lower back problems.
Variations: If you’re advanced you can perform this exercise by moving the ab roller to your sides in a diagonal fashion. This version of the ab roller exercise places focuses on the oblique muscles.
5. Side Plank
This 6 pack abs workout is more intense than the traditional plank exercise since you will be supporting your body weight on 2 points of contact instead of 4. As a result, you must work your core harder to stay stabilized.
How to Do The Side Plank Exercise
- Lie on the left side of your body with your legs stacked and your elbow beneath your shoulder. Place your right hand on your right hip or left shoulder.
- Brace your abdominal muscles and lift your hips off the floor until you are balancing on your feet and forearm so that your body is in a diagonal line. Hold for 30-45 seconds. If you cannot hold that long, you should stay up as long as you can and do several repetitions until you have held for thirty seconds total. Switch sides and repeat the side plank exercise.
In summary, the above abs exercises target specific muscles of the abdomen and if you perform them correctly, you will be able to have rock hard six pack abs and maintain a proper body posture. Remember that your abdominal muscles are just like the other muscles in your body, so exercise them accordingly. That means 1 to 3 sessions per week, and 1 to 2 days of rest in between your abs workouts.
In addition, if you’re interested in starting a workout program that will enable you to have well defined abs and a healthy lifestyle, check out the turbo-charged suite of muscle building programs such as The Muscle Maximizer program and the Visual Impact Muscle Building program. You will also be able to get abs-friendly recipes from the Anabolic Cooking program, experts and a community of buddies to keep you focused.
By using the above workout programs, performing the 6 pack abs workout and eating a proper diet, you will be able to have a well-defined and sculpted six-pack within a few weeks.