Probably the best way to train your abs is not by direct ab work, but rather through execution of complex exercises. Working on all the major muscle groups like legs, back and core will ensure that you are training the abs using their stabilizing functions. This way you also stimulate the whole metabolism and ensure the production of fat burning and muscle building hormones.
This however doesn’t mean you should avoid any specific ab training altogether. If you really want to build an impressive six pack, you need to include a variety of specialized ab exercises to ensure the full development of the six pack.
So the ideal six pack abs workout would include a combination of heavy compound moves like deadlifts, squats and bench and shoulder presses, along with ab specific exercises.
The direct ab exercises I usually do include crunches/sit ups and leg raises an I usually do them after my deadlift or squat session.
1. Crunches – 2 sets of 15-20 repetitions
This is a great exercise that can be performed in the gym or at home. The only difference between the crunches and the sit ups is that you only lift your upper back instead the whole torso when doing crunches.As any other muscle, abdominal muscles need to be trained with sufficient intensity in order to grow and progress.So after a while I recommend weighted crunches/sit ups instead of regular ones.
2. Leg raises – 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions
The leg raise is really a unique exercise that works the whole abdominal area and specially the lower abs.Leg raises will give you improved flexibility and amazingly strong lower abs which will soon help you obtain the six pack if that is your goal. The advanced version of the leg raises are hanging leg raises.
Remember, diet and cardio are a great part of getting a six pack. Only when your body fat percentage gets down to 11-15 % (11% for men and 15% for women) you will be able to see your abs.