Every gym enthusiast dreams of getting a tightly packed core or six-pack abs. But, making the dream true demands dedication, hard work, and specific techniques or exercises essential for building core.
Generally, people think doing a few sit-ups or crunches may help them get the desired results. But, that’s not true, as minimal exercise won’t help you get a strong and uniform core.
For this reason, your aim needs to be toward overall body fitness. For doing so, you might want to add a few shoulder workouts, bicep workouts, and a little cardio.
Then you may proceed further with the exercises targeting the different areas to cut down the stomach fat and build solid abdominal packs. Hence, this article will list a few activities to help you get the desired six-packs comfortably.
10 Best Abs Workouts To Get Six Packs
You must prepare your body by enhancing the balance to avoid unwanted injuries.
Hence, to get a better body posture, you may consider the hardstyle plank as one of the potential exercises.
The hardstyle plank helps you intensely activate the core, which may help strengthen the abdominal muscles.
- Hardstyle plank isn’t a strenuous exercise to understand, but an effective one to get a strong core.
- You should get into the elbow plank position by placing the elbows below your shoulders.
- Position the clenched fists inwards, facing each other, and keep the feet together.
- Squeezing and holding the entire body, including the core, glutes, fists, and back, is an essential part of the exercise.
- Once you get to a perfect position, try to hold the posture for at least 10-30 seconds.
- Moreover, to enhance the intensity, you may perform 10 seconds of hardstyle plank and 5 seconds of rests alternatively for six times.
Building a solid core is essential to enhance the stability of an individual.
Hence, performing a hollow extension-to-cannonball exercise may help you create deep and functional core strength.
- You should start by placing the knees close to the chest and hugging them with your arms to get a cannonball shape.
- Now, extend or stretch both legs and arms simultaneously outwards while transferring the body weight to the lower back.
- Keep the stretched position for at least 5-10 seconds before curling back again.
- You should consider doing five reps in one set for a better result.
The dead bug is a multipurpose exercise you may perform to get a six-pack ab.
The dead bug exercise may help stabilize and strengthen the abdominal muscles, back muscles, and spine.
Overall, it may help improve an individual’s posture, balance, and coordination.
- Lie down on the floor by shifting the pressure over the shoulders and lower back.
- To get into the starting position, lift the arms upward, making a 90° angle to the floor, and keep your fist facing each other.
- Simultaneously, raise your legs over the hips, and bend them at the knees to make a right angle between the thighs and glutes.
- When you exhale, bring the right leg and left arm parallel to the floor.
- When you inhale, bring the arm and leg to the initial position.
- Repeat the above process in the opposite arm and leg to complete one rep.
Medicine Ball Slam
Medicine ball slam is one of the best cardio exercises that target all the crucial areas of the body.
Generally, people doing medicine ball slams may enhance the strength of the core, glutes, and upper and lower back.
It triggers all the muscles in the core region and cuts down fat effectively.
- Take a medicine ball and place it at chest height. Slightly bend your knees and position the feet hip-width apart.
- Simultaneously, keep the upper body straight and tucked.
- Once you get into the starting position, raise the ball over your head and slam it forcefully on the ground.
- Try to maintain a strong core, and bend your hips and knees while slamming.
- Catch the ball after it bounces back to you, and repeat the same process.
The cocoon exercise is a dedicated abdominal muscle or six-pack abs-building exercise.
The exercise helps stretch and contract the abdominal muscles to tighten the core.
Moreover, you may increase the difficulty by adding simultaneous arm and leg movements.
- You should start by lying straight with your back on the floor.
- Now, stretch the arms and legs completely to feel slight muscle stress.
- Start the exercise by pulling your knees close to the chest and lifting the glutes over the floor.
- Simultaneously, start flexing the spines to get into a crunch position.
- Hold the position for a few seconds to feel the stress at the core and return to the normal position.
Spiderman With A Twist
It isn’t the same as the spiderman walk exercise.
By doing the spiderman exercise with a change, you may be able to get solid and packed abdominal muscles.
The workout targets explicitly the abdominal region, but it may help you relieve the back pain.
- Get into the starting position by lying down straight on your stomach and placing both palms on your head.
- Start the exercise by raising the torso and simultaneously twisting the chest from life to right or vice versa.
- Repeat the exercise until you experience a stretch or stress at the core.
Russian twists could be the best way to engage your core.
You may strengthen the sides and tighten the abdominal muscles by doing Russian twists.
But, to perform the exercise, you may require a dumbbell or kettlebell of your preferred weight.
It would be best if you consider a medium weight to lift the weight comfortably while exercising.
- Sit on the floor while holding the weight with both your hands.
- Lift the legs to transfer the body weight onto the hips.
- Once you get the control, start twisting the torso from left to right or vice versa.
- You may continue the exercise up to the desired number of times.
Bird dog exercise may help you attain better stability and retain the body’s posture.
The activity mainly targets the spine, core, and back muscles to improve their strength and flexibility.
- Start the exercise by positioning yourself in a tabletop position by placing the knees under the hips and hands under the shoulder.
- Try to maintain a neutral and straight spine while engaging the core muscles.
- Start the exercise by lifting the right leg and left arm simultaneously parallel to the floor.
- Hold the position for at least 5-10 seconds, and continue the same process with the opposite arm and leg.
Dumbbell Side Bend
It’s an easy but effective way to build the sides of the abdomen strong.
You may require a single medium-weight dumbbell or kettlebell to perform the exercise.
The weight helps to engage the core and tighten the abdominal muscles.
- Get into the starting position by standing straight while keeping the feet shoulder-width apart.
- Now, pick a medium-weight dumbbell or kettlebell in one hand.
- While performing the exercise, keep the back straight and abdominal muscles activated to feel the stress.
- Start bending to the side where you have held the weight as far as possible.
- Hold the position for a second, and return to the starting point.
- You should continue the process 10-20 times before shifting the opposite hand.
You may consider squats to be good to get six-pack abs, but adding weight over the shoulder makes the exercise effective.
You may require a medium-weight barbell to execute the exercise.
- You should start the exercise by standing straight and keeping the feet hip-width apart.
- Take the medium-weight barbell and position it over the shoulder in a balanced manner.
- Start the exercise by bending the knees as much as possible while keeping the spine straight.
- In short, get into the chair position with a barbell on the shoulder.
- Now return to the initial position to complete one rep, and continue for at least 10-12 times in one set.
Areas To Focus On In Abs Workout
Before selecting and performing abs workouts, you should be aware of the critical areas of the abdominal muscles.
The essential awareness of the different zones helps you train effectively in selective areas.
Generally, the abdominal muscles could be categorized into three distinct zones mentioned as follows:
The first two packs of the six are considered the upper zone.
The upper zone may help you build a strong core and hold the posture perfectly.
Hence, it would be best if you consider doing exercises that involve pulling the chest towards the pelvis while doing abs workouts.
These types of exercises activate the core, especially the upper zone muscles.
The adjacent muscles to the upper zone are the middle zone of the ‘rectus abdominal’.
The Middle zone of abdominal muscles helps explicitly in building a solid core.
Hence, you should perform exercises that involve flexing the spine while bringing the pelvis and ribs closer.
The lower zone has higher importance as it helps maintain core strength.
But, building a solid lower abs needs time, specifically for people losing weight.
Performing some lower ab exercises like heel tap crunches helps get a strong lower zone of abdominal muscles.
All abdominal muscle exercises may not require any special instruments to perform. You may get the desired results with some basic but effective exercises listed above.
Hence, you should consider doing these exercises to enhance the intensity of the workout and get the six-pack abs quickly.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
- By Mayo Clinic Staff. Core exercises: Why you should strengthen your core muscles. Aug. 29, 2020. Available from: https://kcms-prod-mcorg.mayo.edu/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/core-exercises/art-20044751?reDate=13092019.
- Kellie C. Huxel Bliven, PhD, AT and Barton E. Anderson, MS, ATC, AT. Core Stability Training for Injury Prevention. Sports Health. 2013 Nov; 5(6): 514–522. doi: 10.1177/1941738113481200.
- Wen-Dien Chang, PhD, Hung-Yu Lin, PhD, and Ping-Tung Lai, BS. Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015 Mar; 27(3): 619–622. Published online 2015 Mar 31. doi: 10.1589/jpts.27.619.
- Abdominal muscles. Reviewed on: 30-06-2015. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/abdominal-muscles.
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Michael has been in the male wellness industry for 25+ years. Before joining Working For Health as a full-time male wellness journalist, he contributed to multiple online portals in the male wellness field. Before that, he has been an assistant to several sexologists.