Getting six pack abs will take dedication, hard work, time and patience. In order to get a visible six-pack, you need to do two things: lose fat and build some muscle. Even though you already know that 90% of the responsibility goes to a good diet, you should not underestimate a good six pack workout.
In this article we will set the focus on a six pack workout and the exercises you need to do, but before that, let’s look at the abs anatomy and see how thy function ?
Anatomy of the Six Pack
The muscles of the abdomen comprise of several muscle groups : the Rectus Abdominis, Transverse Abdominis, External and Internal Obliques.
The rectus abdominis muscles are a pair of long, flat muscles that extend vertically along the entire length of the abdomen, adjacent to the umbilicus. Each muscle consists of a string of four fleshy muscular bodies, connected by narrow bands of tendon, which give it a lumpy appearance when well defined and tensed. This lumpy appearance results in the rectus abdominis muscles being referred to as the “six-pack.”
The transverse abdominis, also known as the TVA muscle, is the deepest innermost layer of all abdominal muscles and is located underneath your rectus abdominis (the six-pack belly muscle). The transverse abdominis muscle runs horizontally across the abdomen and is recruited almost any time a limb moves.
External Oblique abdominal muscles are a pair of muscles that run along each side of the rectus abdominis. The muscle fibers run diagonally downward and inward from the lower ribs to the pelvis, forming the letter V and allow compression of the abdomen.
Internal Oblique abdominal muscles are a pair of deep muscles that are just below the external oblique muscles. The internal and external obliques are at right angles to each other. The lower muscle fibers of the internal obliques run nearly horizontally and allow compression of the abdomen.
10 Core Exercises For a Six-Pack
Because one move does not work all abdominal muscles equally, you’re going to need at least a few exercises in your abs arsenal to get a six pack. Below, there are 10 core exercises and their modifications to target all areas of the abdomen.
1. Hanging Leg raises
– Start by hanging from a bar in a straight position.
– With straight legs, slowly raise up your feet, to the point where your legs are parallel to the floor.
– Lower the legs back to the starting position.
If you get tired, you can continue doing knee raises. Start in the same position as the leg raises, but instead of straight legs you will bend your knees. For knee raises, bring your knees up to your abdominal region and squeeze. Lower the legs and stop before your thighs get perpendicular to the floor to keep the tension in your abs.
Easier version of the hanging leg raises are leg raises performed on a flat bench, or from the floor.
2. Ab Crunches
We all know the good old crunch. The crunch targets the upper and middle portion of your abs and it’s also known as a “universal ab exercise”. You can do simple crunches on the floor, on a fitness ball or with your feet lying on a bench. There is also a pulley machine version of it where you put your head toward the rope attachment on a low pulley. By holding the two rope ends at the sides on your head you do a reverse crunch.
Basic Ab Crunch
– Lie down on the floor with your knees bent. Put your hands behind your neck for support.
– Raise your chest towards the knees until your body forms a 45 degree angle with the floor. Squeeze your abs.
– Return to the starting position.
3. Side crunches
In addition to performing traditional side crunches on a sit-up bench or on the floor, side crunches can also be performed on a Roman chair. Position yourself with your feet and hip contacting the bench while your upper body is suspended. Crunch your pelvis by twisting and bending your knees side-to-side.
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