Six Pack Abs ExercisesWhat are the correct and most effective exercises to achieve six pack abs? Should you be doing crunches, sit-ups or full-body exercises that also target the abdominal muscles?
In my opinion, to successfully and permanently lose belly fat and get amazing looking and strong abdominals you should focus your abdominal workouts primarily with full-body exercises supplemented with a limited number of traditional abs focused exercises for strengthening the mid-section.
Getting amazing looking and strong abs is all about losing the excess belly fat and strengthening the abdominal muscles. For many people, losing the fat around the stomach can be very difficult. You can spend a lot of time doing hundreds of ab crunches or sit-ups and you still may not get your 6 pack abs! Plus I do not do sit-ups or like them as I feel they can be bad for your back. That’s why your workouts should focus on exercises that will burn the belly fat and the excess calories. Also, doing hundreds of ab crunches is very time consuming and can eventually be boring! Therefore, the most effective way is to focus on full-body exercise workouts to burn off the excess belly fat. Not only are you working your abs hard but you are at the same time working out other parts of your body. It’s a very time-efficient way and effective way of exercising and getting optimal results for your entire body.
There are many full-body exercises that will work your abs. They are not your usual or normal exercises for the abdominal muscles. Many can be also done in a home gym with limited fitness equipment like
adjustable dumbbells or a stacked dumbbell set which take very little space, free weights or with a simple all-in-one weight training machine.
For example, renegade dumbbell rows will work your abs, arms, lats and your balance. You may already know that the bent-over dumbbell row is a very tough back exercise and one of the best exercises for the lat muscles of your back but when done on the floor holding on to dumbbells, it’s a much tougher strength training and calorie burning exercise working out additional areas of your body.
Another full-body exercise is the "Woodchopper with a free weight" which is a rotational full-body exercise that is amazing for losing the love handles. Nothing worse than having those muffin tops! You can also do this exercise with pulley-cables or the medicine ball and there are countless variations of the woodchopper exercise.
A third exercise is the Mountain Climbers which is a floor exercise and involves no free weights and can be done either indoors or outdoors.
Kettlebells are an other approach. They have been gaining popularity in the last number of years and kettlebell workouts focus on exercises for the entire body and there are many such exercises that will also work your abs at the same time.
It’s good to have several of these types of exercises as part of your workout and to vary them constantly to get maximum results and prevent complacency and boredom. It also prevents your body from getting used to the same workout, basically confusing your muscles and forcing them to work and continually adapt to the changes.
Of course the traditional ab specific exercises can still play an important part in your workouts. Once the belly fat is gone, they are great for strengthening and delineating the abdominal muscles. You need not go overboard by doing 200, 300 repetitions of say ab crunches. Focus more on a couple of different types of abdominal exercises each workout and limit ab focused exercises to 10 to 12 minutes per workout, 2 to 3 times per week. Also vary up the exercises by doing a variety of ab and oblique exercises including both static and the more dynamic exercises that I prefer and which are more cardio intensive in nature like bicycle crunches or the ab crunch with leg extension whereby you are lying flat on your back on the floor and with your hands behind your head. As you crunch your abs, you are simultaneously bringing your knees in towards your midsection. As you lower your abs (un-crunch) you will extend your legs straight and outwards.
As you can see all forms of abdominal exercises have a role in getting 6 pack abs, they just need to be chosen in the right order and context of your workout.
Also, are you tired of always exercising at home or the gym? Why not go rollerblading once a week to add some variety. It’s a great complete body workout and a great way to spend the day outdoors for an hour or two.
Of course, exercising alone will not get you the six abs that you want. What you eat is also very critical to getting the abs you desire. When you eat the wrong foods or too much, you will not achieve the results you want.
To conclude, the most effective way to get tight and toned or amazing six pack abs is to focus primarily on full-body exercises in your workouts to first eliminate the excess belly fat and only afterwards to use traditional or normal ab specific exercises primarily for strengthening the abdominal muscles. I have also tried to present the various exercise options available to you. Secondly, pay attention to what you eat. Eating healthy foods and the right foods is the key to getting and maintaining six pack abs for the long-term.