Ways to Get a Six Pack of Abs

For many people who exercise, getting a six pack of abs is an important goal. A well-defined mid section can be attractive to the opposite sex and also an indicator of good health. Body fat stored around the mid-section is associated with metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD) for short. While not necessarily easy to achieve, a six pack is a realistic goal for dedicated exercisers.

Practice Good Nutrition

Diet is the most important factor when trying to get six pack abs. For your abdominal muscles to be visible, there can only be a thin layer of body fat covering them. If you want to lower your body fat levels, you will need to eat slightly less than your daily maintenance level of calories and perform exercise most days. When your body fat levels approach 10 percent for men or 18 percent for women, your abdominals should become more visible.

Exercise with Intensity

You will find a large number of abdominal exercises to choose from, but the important thing to remember is that for an abdominal exercise to be effective, it has to be challenging. Exercises that allow you to perform repetitions (reps) higher than 20 with minimal difficulty will not be sufficiently challenge to develop six pack abs. Choose exercises that you can only just perform between 12 to 20 reps. If you can perform more than 20, look for ways of making the exercise harder or choose another exercise altogether.

Use a Variety of Exercises

The abdominals are made up of a number of different muscles that all contribute to the appearance of a six pack. The muscle at the front of your torso is the rectus abdominus and is responsible for bending your spine forward such as when you are performing crunches. Your obliques are responsible for rotating your spine and are located on the sides of your torso and effectively “frame” your abs. Holding all your abdominal contents in place is your transverse abdominus, which holds your stomach in and keeps your abdominal wall flat. By performing exercises not just for your abs but for your obliques and transverse abdominus, you are much more likely to develop a good-looking six pack.

Don’t Train Too Frequently

It is a common mistake to train your abdominals too frequently in the belief that doing so will speed up the development of a six pack. Many people believe that performing high reps and doing frequent workouts will result in spot reduction of abdominal fat. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Your abs are just another muscle. Like your thighs or arms, the abdominal muscles will respond best to two or three times a week for 10 to 15 minutes per session.

About this Author

Patrick Dale is an experienced writer who has written for a plethora of international publications. Also a lecturer and trainer of trainers, he is a major contributor for Ultra-FIT magazine and has been involved in fitness for 22 years. Other than a five-year service in the Royal Marines, Dale has always worked in health and fitness and never intends leaving.