Today, I'm going to answer a question that was submitted by
“I just want to know how to get a six pack quickly and easily to impress the girls,” he wrote. “Please help me!”
Other than liposuction, there's no quick and easy way to get a six pack. It boils down to a combination of good nutrition, regular exercise and — if you have a lot of fat to lose — a hefty dose of persistence.
To see your six pack, you need two things:
A well-developed rectus abdominis.
Low levels of subcutaneous (under the skin) fat.
I've explained how to use diet and exercise to get rid of subcutaneous fat so many times you're probably fed up with me going on about it, so lets take a closer look at how to work the abs.
Rectus abdominis, which is the six pack muscle, extends down the stomach from your ribs to your hips.
The six pack look is the result of bands of connective tissue that "cut" into rectus abdominis. The more developed the rectus abdominis muscle, the deeper the grooves.
You’ve probably been told on more than one occasion that to see your abs, you need to have a low level of bodyfat. No matter how well developed your abdominal muscles are, you won't see anything if there's a layer of fat filling in the gaps. Don't waste your time trying to trim the inches from your waist by crunching them away.
Judging by the sheer number of e-mails I get from people wanting to know the “best” exercises for burning fat from their stomach, this is a fundamental truth that most people don't want to hear.
But dropping fat is only part of the story. You also need to BUILD rectus abdominis in order to get a real six pack.
Yes, there are some people who are genetically gifted in the abs department and don't need to do a lot of direct abdominal work. Unless you're one of them, you'll need to train rectus abdominis if you want a six-pack that looks good on the beach.
Here are three of my favourite exercises for doing just that...
With a Swiss Ball, loaded barbell or a Power Wheel in front of you, kneel down on the floor. Take your knees off the floor and straighten your legs. In this position, only your toes should be in contact with the floor. Push the ball forwards as far as possible, pause for a second, and then return to the start position. Studies show that rollouts are a great way to work rectus abdominis .
Although the Renegade Row looks nothing like a traditional abdominal exercise, your abs (as well as a number of other muscles) have to work very hard to keep your torso stable and rigid.
Start with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart. If you find the exercise too difficult, move your feet further apart, which serves to increase your stability. As you get stronger, you can move the feet closer together.
Just before lifting your arm off the floor you’ll want to "brace" the abdominals as hard as you can. This involves tightening the abdominal muscles as if you're about to take a punch in the gut.
You don't need to use kettlebells. The Renegade Row can be done using dumbbells, but make sure to use either hex-shaped dumbbells or Powerblocks, so they don't roll out from under you.
Start with your feet roughly shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. Press the cable out until your arms are fully extended in front of you.
From there, you’ll want to "brace" the abdominals as hard as you can. This involves tightening the abdominal muscles as if you're about to take a punch in the gut.
Bracing your abs during the exercise is really important, as this has been shown to increase muscle activation , making your abs work harder and giving you better results.
Aim for a total of 3-5 repetitions per set, holding for around 5 seconds each time. Be sure to do at least one set on both sides.
I recommend training your abs 2-3 times per week, doing 2-3 sets per exercise, 5-15 repetitions per set (using extra resistance where necessary to make the load challenging) and taking 45-60 seconds of rest between sets.
It's a FREE 20-page special report (PDF) I put together to debunk 10 popular myths that are still widely believed, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Click here now to download a copy.
About the Author
Christian Finn holds a master's degree in exercise science, is a certified personal trainer and has been featured on BBC TV and radio, as well as in Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Muscle & Fitness, Fit Pro, Zest and other popular fitness magazines.
If you want better, faster results from the time you spend in the gym, click here now for instant access to his step-by-step muscle-building and fat-burning workout routines.
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I'm Christian. My goal here is to share with you science-based strategies that you can use to burn fat, build muscle and get strong.
The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.