While everyone knows about classic ab workouts like crunches and sit-ups, very few people realize that there are other exercises that can give them a six-pack. By diversifying ab routines, it’s a lot easier to make gains in the gym. Switching things up can help reduce the chances of physical injury and better target different muscle groups.
Below are the 10 best exercises for six-pack abs, each one helps to sculpt muscles with its own unique set of movements. Anyone looking to take their workout to the next level should try to incorporate these routines into their gym sessions.
Bicycles are an excellent workout for increasing core strength and carving abs. Lie on the ground and place your hands behind your head. After getting into position raise your right leg, bending your knee towards your face. At the same time begin to move your body forward so that your left elbow, and whole upper body, will turn and allow you to touch your right knee. Alternate both your knees and elbows with every rep, allowing both halves of your body to experience this exercise. For maximum effect do between 20 and 30 reps per set.
Planks are simple to learn but difficult to master. They are also great for building a strong core and chiseled abs. To do a plank get into the standard pushup position. Keep your elbows under your shoulders and bent at 90 degrees. Place your body weight on your forearms. Keep your torso suspended in the air and held in a straight line for as long as you can. Each set should ideally be about two to three minutes, but many inexperienced plankers will not be able to hold the position for that long.
Pull-ups are a classic exercise that can help to build a six pack. To do them simply find a pull-up bar and grip it a little bit wider than your shoulder width. Keep your shoulder blades back, bend your legs behind you, and flex your core. Then pull yourself up until your collarbone is at the same height as the bar. Afterward, lower yourself down and pull yourself up again. Try to do three sets until failure.
4. Plate Twists.
Plate twists are a great way to get definition. To do them sit on a floor and keep your legs in front of you and grab a small weight plate. Then cross your knees and keep your ankles elevated off of the floor. Afterward, rotate your torso from one side of your body to the other twisting so that your body can fully stretch. Use slow and deliberate motions in order to prevent injury and do between 12 and 15 reps per set.
5. Medicine Ball Toss.
The medicine ball toss uses explosive motions to help strengthen the core. While it is best to have a partner for this activity it isn’t necessary. To do the exercise squat down and hold the ball between your legs. Then rise up while lifting the ball as high as you can above your head and toss it behind you to your partner. If you don’t have a partner do the exercise against a wall so that it is easy to retrieve your medicine ball. Do this exercise for as many reps as you can.
6. Side Bridges.
Like planks, side bridges are a simple workout that can be difficult to master. Lie on your side and elevate your body using your feet and forearms. Hold this position until failure and then repeat it with the other side of your body. You should try and make each rep last for roughly one minute, although less experienced individuals may only be able to support themselves for a few seconds.
7. Jack Knives.
Jack knives are great for getting a thorough ab workout. To do them lie on the ground and extend your arms behind your head. Then slowly bring your arms and legs up so that they meet each other at a 45-degree angle. Then slowly lower your body back down to the starting position and begin the motion again. Try and do between 20 and 30 reps per set.
8. Stomach Vacuum.
Doing stomach vacuums is a great way to really work your ab muscles and fortify your core. This exercise is also incredibly simple and can be done almost anywhere. To do the Stomach Vacuum simply stand straight up and put your hands on your waist. Then breath out. After that expand your chest as much as possible and then bring your stomach in as far as you can then hold this position. Try and hold each rep for anywhere between 30 seconds and a minute depending on your skill level.
9. Wind Sprints.
Wind sprints are an exercise that many people have probably heard of, but might not know a lot about. To successfully do wind sprints hang from a pull-up bar and keep your arms and legs extended. Then raise one knee as high as possible. After that lower your knee while raising the other. Repeat this process for the rest of your set. If you are doing wind sprints correctly, you should be moving your legs as if you were actually running.
10. Ab Roller
Using an ab roller can really help to improve your six pack. The device is specifically designed to sculpt your core and strengthen your muscles. To use it keep your hands on the unit and your knees on the floor. Slowly roll forward and stretch your body as far and as straight as you possibly can. Inhale as you do so. Once you are fully extended hold the position for a few seconds and then begin to retract it. When you get back to the starting point repeat the process. Try and do at least 25 reps per set.
These are 10 of the best exercises for six pack abs. Each one can help to build definition and carve out visible muscle. While you don’t have to do all of the exercises, it is a good idea to incorporate as many as you feel comfortable with.