In the world of weight loss, heath and fitness abs have somehow become the sign of true fitness and it seems everyone is on the road to get them or keep them, if they already have them. This is where finding the best 6 pack ab workout for you comes in. Finding the best routine can help you lose weight and even get toned enough for those core muscles to show up.
What Are Abs?
Also known as abdominal or core muscles, they are all the muscles located between the ribs and the pelvis on the front of the body. These core muscles work to support the trunk, allow movement and hold organs in place by regulating internal abdominal pressure. These muscles are made up of a combination of the transverse abdominis, external and internal obliques, latissimus dorsi, erector spinae, and the rectus abdominis.
The Best 6 Pack Ab Workout At Home – A Simple No Equipment Routine
Home workouts have long been the preferred route for many people looking to start working out for the first time and in some cases for those looking to get back to the groove of things because despite not having all the fancy equipment available at the gym, they have other benefits that are often overlooked.
Some of these advantages include:
- It’s cost effective as it keeps you from paying expensive gym monthly fees
- Privacy – This is especially important for most beginners who may not want judgemental looks from other gym goers who could be judging their form, how long it takes them to do a rep, among other things.
- Lower risk of the Corona virus – While the risk of the pandemic has reduced with the implementation of masks in gyms and vaccinations the risk of the virus is still there since gyms obviously have more people than your house.
Working out at home, especially for those marked as high risk is much better and safer than being at the gym.
If you are wondering how to get a six pack at home and with no equipment, here are some exercises to incorporate in your routine:
- V-ups – 3 sets – 10 reps per set
- Sit-ups – 2 sets – 15 reps per set
- Mountain climbers – 3 sets – As many as you can per minute
- Crunches – 3 sets – 8 reps per set
- Elbow planks – 1 set – 30 seconds
- Side planks – 1 set – 30 seconds per side
- Russian Twists – 3 sets – 12 reps per side
- Bird-Dog – 4 sets – 8 reps per side
How To Get Abs: Unconventional Exercises To Help You Get The Six Pack Of Your Dreams
Let us first get this out of the way – there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing the conventional ab exercises such as sit-ups and crunches in your journey to achieve a flatter and more toned midsection. such exercises are often listed on many ‘best 6 pack ab workout’ lists because they work. However, sometimes, especially if you have been doing such exercises for a while, you can hit a plateau and will need to switch out your routine to achieve your goals.
If this sounds like something that you are currently experiencing or would just love to add some new workouts to your ‘how to get a six pack routine’, here are some exercises to consider:
Kneeling Lean Backs
This is a great workout that not only strengthens your core, but also targets your back muscles, quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings making it a fantastic compound exercise.
- Start by kneeling on the floor with your knees about hip-width apart.
- Brace your core by pulling your belly button to your back.
- Maintaining a rigid line from your knees to shoulders, cross your arms over your chest and slowly lean back as far as you can. Do not arch your back or sit back on your heels as you lean.
- Once you are as far back as you can go, reverse the movement and come back up to a normal kneeling position
Please note that while this exercise is often done with just your body weight, you can add some weights such as dumbbells.
While this exercise is often done in the gym with the person hanging from a pull-up bar, it can also be modified for anyone working out at home, or anywhere else without access to such a bar. Please note that this is also a great lower ab workout to get rid of that little stomach pouch.
- Begin by lying flat on your back on a yoga or exercise mat. Do not try this without a mat as you are very likely to not only be quite uncomfortable, but to also injure your back.
- Spread your arms out to your sides. Lift your legs perpendicular to the ground, keeping them as straight as you can.
- Brace your core by pulling your navel towards your back, keep your shoulders to the mat and rotate your legs and hips from left to right.
- Remember to keep breathing throughout the workout, and bring your legs as close as you can to the ground with each rotation.
If you would like to make this workout a bit more challenging, you could choose to pause for a few seconds at the end of each rotation, letting your legs hang a bit in the air. This puts more pressure on your core, working the muscles in this area even further.
Advanced gym goers could also choose to try this workout using a pull-up bar, this simple lower ab workout into a compound exercise that also targets their lats, biceps, deltoids, and rhomboids.
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Turkish Get Up
As previously stated, in some cases the best ab workout for fast 6 pack is one that does not necessarily stick to the norm. The Turkish get up is one such workout as it not only targets the core – this is a full body workout that helps you build a tighter core and even lose weight.
Please note that while this workout is often done with a kettlebell but you can also easily do it with a dumbbell – just be sure to not use one that is too heavy to avoid injuring yourself.
- Start by lying on your back on the ground with your legs out straight, both arms out to the sides on the floor and holding a kettlebell or dumbbell in your most dominant hand – right in this case.
- Lift the right hand holding the weight up towards the ceiling, and bend the right knee, placing the foot on the ground.
- Extend out the left leg and arm, take a deep breath, press through the heel of the right knee and roll over to the left side using the elbow of the left arm to support and balance yourself.
- Exhale as you sit up. Remember to keep the arm with the weight straight and up in the air while using the arm that is on the ground to support yourself.
- Then from the seated position you are going to form a bridge with your body by lifting your hips up as high as you can. Press down through your left hand as well as your left heel and right foot. Keep your right foot flat on the ground and your left leg out straight. Do not let your right heel come up.
- From this bridge position, slide your left leg back and under you so that you are in a kneeling position with your hand on the ground. Slowly lift the left hand off the floor so that you are now left in a kneeling position.
- Remember that your right hand is still lifted straight to the ceiling and keep your core engaged throughout this entire process.
- Now face forward, press through the back foot and front heel and engage your core, push yourself up as you step your back foot forward, and come to a standing position
- Exhale as you stand and make sure that your feet are roughly hip-distance apart.
- Reverse the movements as done to return to the floor. This makes one rep
Please note that this is not considered a beginner move but more of an advanced workout. If you are a beginner and would still like to make this exercise part of your best 6 pack ab workout, we would suggest
- Using a lighter weight
- Stopping at the kneeling position and not pushing to stand – Doing this makes the workout easier and thus more beginner friendly.
Medicine Ball Plank With Knee Tuck
Planks are some of the most commonly suggested ab exercises because they work really well for this part of the body. While the common variations are good, switching out these variations for something more challenging is always a good idea, especially for bodybuilding and muscle toning.
A medicine ball plank with knee tuck – also known as stability ball knee tuck or stability ball reverse curl – is one such great example that will not only blast your core, but is also fantastic for your shoulder, chest, hips and tricep muscles.
- Get on your yoga mat on your hands and knees with the medicine ball at your feet.
- Lift one leg and place it on top of the ball. Position the ball between the ankle joint and the top of your shins – but not too close to the knees so you can tuck them easily.
- Lift the other leg and place it on top of the ball in the same position as the previous leg. Make sure that you are stable enough and adjust the position of the ball until you feel that you are as comfortable and stable as you can be. At the end of it all you should basically be in a high plank position while balancing on a medicine ball
- Brace your core and make sure that your body is in a straight line from head to toe
- As you exhale, press your feet and shins down into the medicine ball and use your core muscles/abs to help you pull the ball towards your chest.Bend your knees and tuck your lower body up to your torso bringing the knees as close as possible to your chest.
- Hold this tucked position for a few seconds and remember to breathe.
- On another exhale extend your knees out, pushing and rolling the ball away from your torso to return to the high plank position.
- This is one rep.
Other unconventional core exercises to include in your best 6 pack ab workout include rope climbing, deadlifts,and loaded carries (carrying weights as you walk around – not only does this workout train the lower and upper back, legs, shoulders, and core but according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, it can improve hip and core stability while developing and enhancing muscle strength (4))
If you prefer to workout at the gym with proper machines and equipment, some unconventional ab exercises that you can do include decline smith press sit-ups, single-arm cable row with abdominal twists, and plank reach cable rows.
Which Is The Best Ab Workout For Men To Get A 6 Pack?
Despite what many people may think, workouts are not gender based. While at the core men and women are biologically different and in some cases men may be stronger than women, this does not mean that specific types of workout should only be targeted for men and vice versa. The only time where gender may come into play in relation to working out is:
- Reasons to workout – According to a study published in 2014 by the International Journal of Liberal Arts and Social Science, women often workout for weight loss and toning while men do it for enjoyment (1).
- How often different gender workout – According to the above-mentioned study, researchers also found out that women tend to workout more than men and tend to have a higher quality of life too (1).
- Age – A study done in Taiwan and published online in 2020 revealed that middle aged women – 40 to 65 years old – are more likely to workout than women above the age of 65 (2).
- Level of education – The same study revealed that men with higher education levels tend to exercise more than those with lower education levels and even women with the same level of education (2).
With this in mind, the best ab workout for men to get a 6 pack is literally any workout that targets your core, either directly or indirectly.
How To Get Abs In A Week
No matter how much you will it or workout, you cannot get abs in a week. According to medicalnewstoday.com, getting abs is dependent on several factors including
- Body fat percentage – Acefitness.org goes on to further state that for ab muscles to be visible, men should reduce their body fat percentages to about 6 to 13 percent, while women should have percentages of about 14 to 20 percent.
- Diet – Ab muscles are not only built from ab exercises alone. A proper diet is also a big part of this. If you would like to see your abs quickly make sure to eat more lean protein, more vegetables, low-fat dairy, healthy nuts and seeds, fruits, complex carbohydrates, as well as legumes and lentils.
- Exercise habits and frequency – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people do 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week and muscle-strengthening activities on at least 2 days of the week (3).
Remember that weight loss and even getting abs is part of an ongoing lifestyle of long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits (5). Cosmopolitan and The Greatlist go on to further state that getting abs can take anywhere between 3 months to 2 years – all dependent mostly on how much body fat you currently have.
The Bottom Line
The best 6 pack ab workout is one that combines a healthy diet with more exercises that directly and indirectly target your core. To get the best results, make sure to not just do core exercises but also include cardio and other weight lifting workouts too. Before undertaking any of the above-mentioned exercises please be sure to first speak to your doctor, especially if you have an underlying condition.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any medical conditions. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Gender Differences in Exercise Habits and Quality of Life Reports: Assessing the Moderating Effects of Reasons for Exercise (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Gender differences in related influential factors of regular exercise behavior among people in Taiwan in 2007: A cross-sectional study (2020, journals.plos.org)
- How much physical activity do adults need? (2020, cdc.gov)
- Increase Hip and Trunk Stability with Loaded Carries for Injury Prevention, Rehabilitation, and Performance (2020, nsca.com)
- Losing Weight (2020, cdc.gov)