Getting six pack abs is one of the most common fitness goals these days. Many surveys have ranked six pack abs as the most attractive part of both the male and female body. Now why does it seem so hard to get a six-pack? Most people are using the wrong techniques and not receiving the full effect from their abs workout. Here are iSatori athlete - Michael Lee's 6 tips to getting a six-pack:
1. Focus on the precise region that is being worked while you perform your abdominal exercises.
It is easy to allow other muscles to take off some of the weight from your abs if you are not careful - the key here is to isolate your ab muscles. If you notice your abs are not getting fatigued after 15 repetitions, then you are likely using some of your other muscles to assist you.
2. Lose bodyfat.
No amount of ab workouts will reveal a well-defined six pack if you're padding them with an extra layer of fat. Abdominals are always prone to storing belly fat, and are, as a result, possibly the hardest part of your body to get toned. The answer to exposing your abs is to burn the fat away from them, which requires a mix of nutrition planning and cardio, not just a simply doing ab exercises. You can pair your ab workouts cardio – start with 25-40 minutes of cardio depending on how much bodyfat you need to lose, followed by a focused abdominal routine.
A good fat burning supplement will also help shed stubborn fat and give you energy to power through tough cardio sessions. All fat burners are a little different so finding the one that works for you is important. iSatori makes burners in liquid form and capsules.
3. Try your best to avoid alcohol.
New research has linked alcoholic drinks with a rise in cortisol, a hormone which appears to increase fat storage around your belly. So unless you like the look of a beer belly/wine gut, alcohol should just be an occasional indulgence for you.
4. If you've lost your belly fat but still are not seeing defined abdominals, chances are that you have poor form.
Doing 2-3 sets of 15-20 repetitions of a couple of different ab exercises every other day is sufficient to tone/build your ab muscles, so if you are not seeing results you are probably falling victim to tip #1. Remember, 15 well executed crunches are more beneficial than 30 poorly executed stomach exercises.
5. A great way to train for six pack abs is by simply keeping them contracted when performing all of your other exercises.
In addition, try contracting them while sitting, standing, or driving. Not only will this help tone your abs, it will also reduce back strain.
6. Mix up your routine.
As a replacement for the traditional ab workout routines such as stand-bys like crunches, situps, and leg lifts, try some variety. I recommend options that boost your metabolism - like high intensity interval training workouts, that really work your entire body while also working your abdominals. You’ll notice increased fat loss and higher energy levels. Or, incorporate more complex movements to strengthen your core. You’ll notice greater stability and a tighter midsection, and will have stronger foundation when focusing on direct abdominal training.
BONUS TIP: Overlooked core-building exercises
I'm going to reveal to you a great routine for building a six pack that does not include any direct abdominal exercises at all. It's in a triple set format (similar to a super-set but alternating between three exercises).
It’s as follows:
- 1a. Front Squats with Barbell
- 1b. Renegade Dumbbell Rows
- 1c. Mountain Climbers on Floor
A good plan for this routine would be 3-4 sets of all three exercises performed back to back to back. Start with 8-10 reps for each weight exercise, and a 30-35 second time interval for the Mountain Climbers.
Front squats are done similar to back squats, however with the barbell is in front of your body on the front of your shoulders instead of resting on the upper back as in the customary back squats. You must stabilize the barbell on your shoulders by crossing your arms and pushing your fists into the bar against your shoulders while keeping your elbows out in front of the body. As can be expected, this takes a bit practice at first, therefore you will want to seek out a professional trainer at your gym to help you with the form. Front squats require extreme stabilization strength from your abdominals due to the barbell weight being shifted to the front of your body instead of the back. Front squats work more than just your legs – the complex movement incorporates several muscle groups and requires abdominals for both support and stability.
Renegade dumbbell rows are started in a pushup position with each hand on a dumbbell. You then row one dumbbell upwards lifting it off the ground with your elbow rising towards the ceiling. Then lower the dumbbell back towards the ground and alternate the rowing arm while stabilizing with your opposite arm. This stabilizing effect during the rows creates incredible work for your entire core area.
Mountain climbers are done by starting in a pushup position and then shuffling your feet in and out so that your knees are moving in under your chest and then back out to starting position. It resembles climbing a mountain but flat on your floor.
After you have finished each exercise, rest about 25-30 seconds before starting the next exercise. Rest about 1-2 minutes after completing each “triple set" before you repeat. Perform 4 triple sets.
This will give you one of the best abdominal workouts you've ever had without even doing any direct abdominal workout. As you develop you can increase the level of difficulty with more variations and volume.
If you are tired of failing to get visible six pack abs, step up your game and stop relying on simple ab exercises or ab gadgets or machines. Start to focus, get your nutrition and cardio dialed and introduce some variety to accelerate your gains and show off your work.
Six pack abs are not only a status symbol for men and women of all ages, six pack abs are a decent reflection of overall health. And a six-pack is attainable by anyone – the secret is in the effort not the method.
Ab exercises are similar to other muscle exercises, and direct ab exercises do not need to be done daily. But to develop your six-pack try training abs as much as every other day – you’ll notice a flatter stomach and more pronounced abdominal muscles shape. And focus on strengthening your core with alternate indirect exercises and using you your core in all of your other training. With cardio, nutrition, direct and indirect abdominal training, you’ll start to tighten up your stomach muscles and trim your waist area.
Contrary to what many people think, six pack abs are not a myth, nor are they something that only fitness professionals can achieve. Tight, sexy six pack abs can be yours!