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How to Get Six Pack Abs: The Ultimate Ab Workout

We recommend doing ab exercises and ab workouts, and there is a strong reason for this recommendation. Because the advantages of having a strong core go well beyond the visual benefits of having a set of six-pack abs.

Your abdominal muscles are also one of the most important muscles in your body. If you have a stronger core, it will be easier for you to lift heavier weights, which will improve your performance on lifts such as bench presses, overhead work, deadlifts, and squats. An efficient abs routine can not only help you become more proficient in any sport, but it will also assist you in maintaining good posture and may even rid you of back problems.

It is, therefore, safe to state that abdominal exercises merit the same amount of time and care as the training of any other muscle group in your body. In light of this, it is essential that you not only put in work but that you also work wisely. This is why we have compiled a list of the greatest abdominal exercises and workouts to stabilise your midsection.

A word of caution: in order to get the most out of the abdominal exercises that follow, you should practice getting used to the sensation of being uncomfortable. 

The Best Abs Workout: The Only 6 Exercises You Need to Get a Six-Pack

1. Hardstyle plank

Equipment: None.

Attempt it by propping yourself into a forearm plank position while lying on the ground with your face down. Check that your hands are in a balled-up fist position and that your elbows are positioned so they are underneath your shoulders. It is recommended that your forearms be aligned in a parallel fashion. Each set should be held for ten to twenty seconds.

A word to the wise from your trainer: you’ve probably done planks before, right? Going through the motions in this situation is really simple. Don’t do it. The objective is to clench your entire body as tight as you can while taking diaphoretic breaths throughout the hold. This includes squeezing your quads, glutes, core, back, and fists. This is a workout that can be made as challenging as you want it to be, regardless of how many times you’ve already completed it.

2. Dead bug

Equipment: None.

Do it: Lie down on the floor with your face up and your arms extended in a straight line over your shoulders. To begin, position your knees so that they are directly over your hips. Then, bend at the knees so that your thigh and calf are each at a right angle to one another. After that, bring your left arm closer to your side as you bring your right leg closer to the ground while simultaneously lowering your left arm from above your head. After pausing, return to the location from which you started and repeat the process on the other side. Complete one set by performing 14 reps in an alternate pattern.

Make sure your lower back maintains contact with the floor, and try to keep your breathing as regular as possible. This activity is one of my favourites since it helps to promote left-right coordination between the upper and lower extremities, which in turn can aid in improving cognitive performance.

3. Hollow extension-to-cannonball

Equipment: None.

Do it: Put your body in the shape of a cannonball while lying on your back and pull your knees toward your chest. Yes, it should feel like you’re back at the pool at summer camp. To perform this exercise, simultaneously extend your legs and arms outward into a “hollow” position while pressing your lower back into the floor. One set consists of five repetitions, during which you should hold the contracted position for five seconds before releasing it.

Engage as much as possible during the extension period, and use the cannonball for recovery. Just don’t entirely let go. Imagine that you are holding a crunch in your hands!

4. Dumbbell side bend

The equipment consists of a single dumbbell of medium weight.

Do it: You should stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and a dumbbell held in the right hand with the palm pointing inwards towards the body. Maintain a straight posture, engage your abdominal muscles, and bend to the side as far as you comfortably can, bending solely at the waist. At the end of your range of motion, pause to hold for one second, then return to the starting position to complete one repetition. One set consists of anywhere from 12 to 20 reps.

Be judicious when you pick the weight. It ought not to come across as impossible. If you want to get the most out of your workout and tone your abs, using manageable weights can help you concentrate on doing so. And make sure that the tempo is calm and leisurely. The sense of being on fire as you work toward a six-pack is more important than the lift itself.

5. Barbell back squat

The equipment consists of a barbell. However, there are no weights included. For the time being.

Do the movement as follows: Position your feet so that they are shoulder-width apart, then lift a barbell off the rig while keeping it centred equally across your shoulders. (Since this variation of the squat focuses on the abdominal muscles rather than the legs, you should perform it with a much lighter load than you would for a conventional back squat.) Bend your knees as far as you can while sending your glutes backwards, simulating the motion of lowering yourself into a chair. Applying pressure through your heels, return to the beginning posture to complete one repetition of the exercise. Do 12 reps for one set.

Think about keeping tension in your abdomen throughout the entire activity. After you get the movement perfected, you will be able to add additional weights to the barbell. But, you can avoid harm if you increase the difficulty in stages rather than all at once.

6. Bird dog

Equipment: None.

Do it: Imagine that this is a dead bug hanging upside down. Begin in a tabletop position, with your shoulders resting on top of your wrists and your hips resting on top of your knees. To strengthen your core, engage your abdominal muscles while elevating your right arm and left leg. When you kick back, your foot should be bent into a flexed position, and your palm should be turned toward your body. After pausing for a split second when your arm and leg are at the same height as your torso, bring your elbow and knee to touch underneath the body, and then continue moving forward with the exercise. Repeat the motion on the opposite side to complete one rep, and execute five total reps to complete one set.

Watch out that you don’t hyperextend your elbows! Maintaining a tiny bend in the elbow burns up those triceps. Keep the neck long by looking down and a few inches in front of you, and use the exhale portion of each breath to produce tension.

The Best Ab Workout For A Six Pack

How To Do This Core Routine

While this is an intermediate to advanced ab workout, form is really important.

For optimal results, beginners should focus on executing only three of the seven exercises for two sets each, aiming to complete as many repetitions as possible, with one minute of rest between each set. After that, increase your level of fitness and endurance by performing additional exercises and sets while simultaneously decreasing the rest you take between them.

At the end of 12 weeks of training, a reasonable objective would be to be able to perform all seven exercises that make up a large circuit without resting for more than a minute or two between sets before completing the circuit two more times.

Be free to break up the workout in various ways as you progress toward that goal. For example, one of my favourite ways to do supersets is as follows:

Repeat three times:

  • Exercise 1 and 2, rest 30 sec.
  • Exercise 3 and 4, rest 30 sec.
  • Exercise 5 and 6, rest 30 sec.
  • Workout 7, rest 60 sec.

Do each set until you reach temporary muscular failure, which is defined as the point at which you cannot easily perform another repetition.

Take note that I have not included any direct or indirect effort. From personal experience, I can say that doing direct, oblique work never results in a smaller waistline. In addition, the obliques receive sufficient stimulation through full-body weight training, including squats, deadlifts, and others.

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When To Work Your Abs

It should be sufficient for the vast majority of people to carry out this practice no less than three times per week. It is possible that a more accomplished bodybuilder could perform it almost every day.

For me, the best way to maximise my workout is to get to the gym first thing in the morning to work on my core and get some cardio in, and then I like to return in the afternoon to do weights. In this way, I can rev my metabolism not once but twice every day.

Suppose you would rather complete the workout in a single session. In that case, I suggest performing the abdominal routine as a warm-up for your weight training or after your training if you are doing heavy lifting like squats or deadlifts. If you would rather complete the workout in a single session, I recommend performing the ab routine as a warm-up for your weight training. After that, finish up with your cardio.

How To Make This Ab Routine Easier Or Harder

Suppose you are unable to perform a certain activity, for example, because of injuries to your lower back. In that case, you should feel free to replace it with another exercise that won’t cause your back any discomfort.

If, on the other hand, you are not experiencing any issues with your lower back and would like to build more mass in your abdominal muscles, you should perform the routine three times per week and incorporate some form of resistance into the movements, such as gripping a small plate or dumbbell.

How To Perform The Exercises

Exercise 1: Sit-Up

The Upper Abs Should Be Your Main Focus

  1. Position yourself so you are lying on the floor with your knees bent and your legs tucked beneath a bench or other piece of heavy furniture.
  2. Put your hands in a defensive position at your chest.
  3. Raise your torso until you are almost in a sitting position by contracting the abdominal muscles in your core.
  4. You should maintain tension on the abdominal muscles as you lower your torso back to the starting position. Note: Throughout the entire movement, you should keep complete control. Be as still as possible and resist the urge to rock back and forth.

Exercise 2: Leg Lift

The Main Aim Is to Reduce the Abs

  1. Place yourself on the floor on your back with your legs extended in front of you in a straight line.
  2. Put your hands down by your sides, and use them as support as you stand.
  3. Raise your legs so they are perpendicular to the floor while contracting the lower abdominal muscles.
  4. Maintain the tension in your muscles as you move your legs back to the starting position. Note: Throughout the entire movement, you should keep complete control. Be strong and resist the urge to let your legs fall to the floor during the lowering section of the action.

Exercise 3: V-Up

The Upper and Lower Abs Are the Main Focus

  1. Place yourself on the floor on your back with your legs extended in front of you in a straight line.
  2. Put your hands down by your sides, and use them as support as you stand.
  3. Raise your legs so they are perpendicular to the floor while contracting the lower abdominal muscles.
  4. At this point, curl your shoulders and torso up off the floor in a curling motion without lifting your back off the floor. Raise your shoulders and torso as far as possible from the ground.
  5. Tension should be maintained when the legs are brought back to the starting position, and then the torso should be brought back to the starting position. Note: Throughout the entire movement, you should keep complete control. Be as still as possible and resist the urge to rock back and forth.

Exercise 4: Seated Knee Tuck

The Main Aim Is to Reduce the Abs

  1. Position yourself so that you are seated on the ground (or on the edge of a chair or exercise bench), with your legs stretched out in front of you and your hands grasping the sides of the area for support.
  2. With your knees together, bring them in toward your chest and continue to do so until you are unable to move any farther.
  3. Returning to the starting position while maintaining the strain on your lower abdominals, perform the action again and again until you have finished your set.

Exercise 5: Toe-Toucher

The Upper and Lower Abs Are the Main Focus

  1. When you lie on the floor, bring your legs together so they are touching and then stretch them in front of you. Keep your hands by your sides.
  2. Raise your legs as high as you can while bringing your body closer to them and reaching your hands closer to your toes. Hold this position for as long as you can.
  3. After finishing the movement, you should return to the starting position and continue to perform it until the set is over.

Exercise 6: Crunches

The Upper Abs Should Be Your Main Focus

  1. Position yourself on the floor so that you are lying on your back and your knees are bent.
  2. Put your hands in a defensive position at your chest.
  3. Make a curling motion with your shoulders and torso while keeping your lower back on the floor the entire time. Lift your shoulders and torso as high off the ground as you can.
  4. Bring your torso back to the beginning position while keeping the strain on your abdominal muscles. Note: Throughout the entire movement, you should keep complete control. Be as still as possible and resist the urge to rock back and forth.

Exercise 7: Reverse Crunch

The Upper and Lower Abs Are the Main Focus

  1. Place yourself on the floor on your back with your legs extended in front of you in a straight line.
  2. Put your hands by your sides with the palms facing down for support.
  3. Bring both knees closer to your chest as you slowly bend your legs at the knees.
  4. As soon as your knees are next to your chest, curl your shoulders and torso toward your chest while keeping your back flat on the floor. Raise your shoulders and torso as high off the ground as you can while keeping your back flat.
  5. Bring your torso back down to the floor while simultaneously bringing your legs back to the beginning position.

10 Ab Exercises and Workouts to Build a Chiselled Core

1. Barbell Floor Wiper

  1. Position yourself so that your back is flat on the floor and your arms are extended above your chest while clutching the barbell.
  2. Raise your legs into an L shape while maintaining the posture of your arms in a straight position.
  3. Bring your leg all the way down to the floor, then raise it to the starting position without letting it touch the ground.

2. Medicine Ball Slam

  1. Lift the medicine ball directly over your head while standing up straight and bending your knees ever-so-slightly. Extend your arms.
  2. Raise yourself up onto the balls of your feet, and while bending forward at the waist, throw the ball to the ground with the help of the core muscles in your body.
  3. Continue until you have caught the ball. In addition to strengthening your abdominal muscles, the motion will help you develop strong shoulders.

3. Side Jackknife

  1. It would help if you were lying on your side with your left arm extended out on the floor and your right arm bent near your head with the elbow of that arm extended out.
  2. Check to see that your right leg is positioned over your left one.
  3. Before switching sides after each set of repetitions, bring your right elbow to your left leg as you elevate your body up, engaging your obliques as you go. Lower your body down carefully.

4. Dragon Flag

  1. Lay back on the bench and bring your hands up to support your head by holding on to the bench.
  2. Raise your body so that only your shoulders are resting on the bench by bringing your knees up to your chest and then kicking out toward the ceiling.
  3. Maintain a straight posture even as you make your way down the ladder slowly. You should expect to feel the heat not only in your abdominal muscles but also in your lower back.

5. Cable Woodchopper

  1. It would help if you stood side on to the weights with your back to the cable machine, and then adjust the cable machine to the highest position possible.
  2. After securing a firm grip on the handle with both hands, step back from the structure and spread your feet about the same distance apart.
  3. Pull the handle down and across your body while rotating your torso. Fully extend your arms and do this while rotating your torso.
  4. You should bend your knees, pivot on your back foot, and slowly return to the starting position. You should switch sides after each set of reps.

6. Cocoon

  1. You should be lying on your back with your arms stretched out behind your head and your feet lifted just a little bit off the ground.
  2. When performing a crunch, bring your knees into your chest, lift your rear end off the floor, and raise your arms above your head. Repeat this movement as many times as you choose. 

7. Sandbag Sit-Up

  1. Lay down on the ground with your back against it and your knees bent upwards.
  2. Hold a sandbag in front of your chest with both arms extended, then crunch forward while contracting your abdominal muscles to create a V shape with your thighs and body.
  3. Repeat while carefully lowering yourself.

8. Hanging Leg Raise

  1. Grasp a pull-up bar with your arms in a V formation and lower yourself into a hanging position to perform a dead hang.
  2. You are going to want to bring your feet together, then bring your legs up until they are perpendicular to your chest while you keep them straight.
  3. Bring your body back down to the beginning posture in a controlled manner.

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9. Superman With A Twist

  1. Place your hands on top of your head while you are lying on your stomach.
  2. Lift your torso and rotate your chest from one side to the other as you perform the exercise.
  3. This move will not only work your abdominal muscles, but it also has the potential to alleviate back discomfort.

10. Hollow Rocks

  1. Sit up straight with your legs extended in front of you and raise your hands in the air above your head.
  2. Lift your legs, and your body will begin to take the shape of a dish.
  3. Maintaining a stiff body while you build your core can help you more effectively.

6 Quick Tips to Make the Most of Your Abs Workout

1. If crunches are your go-to abs exercise, consider these instead.

Consider an abdominal exercise; any abdominal exercise will do. Did your thoughts immediately move to the difficulty of the situation? Many people believe crunches and other exercises based on similar movement patterns, such as the sit-up and the bicycle crunch, are the only way to train the abdominal muscles. If this rings true for you, know that you are not alone in this belief.

The crunch is a spinal flexion exercise, which means that when you perform it, you are bending forward and extending backward. The rectus abdominus, or the muscles that run along the front of your abdomen and which you probably refer to as your “abs muscles,” will definitely get a workout from that, but the rest of your core will be neglected.

We don’t just bend forward and backward all day. Therefore, this is not a very useful technique to exercise your core. There are a lot of other motions we undertake in the course of our daily lives. Suppose you practice the same pattern over and over again. In that case, you put yourself at risk for overuse injuries and put yourself in a position to experience joint discomfort in the future.

You can get more out of your core than just crunches, so you should exercise those muscles in a variety of different movement patterns. Which movement patterns are you going to include? Ones that are proven to be effective in enhancing the stability of your core. Consider anti-extension, in which you prevent your lower back from arching (exercises such as planks), anti-rotation, in which you prevent rotation at your hips and lower back (exercises such as the Pallof press or bird-dog); and anti-lateral flexion, in which you prevent your spine from bending to the side (exercises such as a single-arm farmer’s carry). 

After you have those patterns completely under control, you can begin to incorporate other planes of motion into your game, such as spinning movements like wood chops. You can incorporate certain spinal flexion exercises like crunches into your regimen. But, you should ensure that these exercises complement the ones that work the other core movements and do not take over your practice entirely.

2. More is not better, so please, please stop training your abs every day.

You don’t need any special equipment to get a good abs workout, and the exercises are relatively user-friendly, especially for those just starting out. You can get a solid abs workout anyplace. This is just one of the many reasons people are tempted to work their abdominal muscles excessively.

A lot of people have a habit of overtraining themselves. People attempt to work their core every day, and as a result, they end up with injuries like hernias or problems with their lower backs.

Consider your core to be just like any other muscle in your body. You wouldn’t schedule squat sessions every single day, would you? (Just thinking about it gives our quads a sharp pain.)

To allow your abdominal muscles to recuperate fully, which is essential if your objective is to increase your strength. You should limit the number of times per week you train with core-specific workouts to between two and three. Shoot for 9 to 12 sets every session.

Consider the following if you believe that the allotted amount of time to work those always-crucial muscles is insufficient: Exercises that focus just on the abdominal muscles are not, by any means, the only moves that can strengthen your core. The remaining aspects of your strength-training routine present challenges for your abdominal muscles. (Just think about how hard your abdominal muscles are working to stabilise you when you’re pushing weights over your head or rising up from a squat.)

If you are doing workouts and focusing on strength training and complex motions, then your abdominals are obviously getting work. You don’t have to put them in isolation every single day.

3. Avoid arching your back to get your core muscles in the best position to turn on.

When doing abdominal exercises, a common mistake many people make is to thrust their pelvis excessively forward. Consider the situation in which your hips shift forward, causing an arch to develop in your lower back and causing your buttocks to protrude more than usual. (Everyone has a natural curve in their lower backs, but when it becomes excessive, it can become an issue and strain your lower back.) 

You won’t be able to adequately isolate your core muscles if you try to engage your abs while in an excessively anterior pelvic tilt position.

You are not putting your core and rib cage in a proper place for them to engage themselves and protect the lower back. You are not maximising the potential of the muscles in your body. Also, you may end up recruiting other muscles to work instead, which is why it may wind up stressing your lower back and hip flexors. It is because you may end up recruiting other muscles to perform instead.

It would help if you focused on releasing your tight hip flexors before you begin working on your abs, and one way to do this is with foam rolling. Tight hip flexors can play a significant part in the development of an anterior pelvic tilt. A prolonged period of sitting can also cause them to get stiff; thus, before you even go to the gym, make sure you take a few walk breaks during the day to loosen them up and prevent them from becoming tight.

When you are ready to lift, you should visualise lifting the buckle of your belt up to your chin. Because of this, your pelvis will be able to tilt to a more posterior position, which will enable your rib cage to stack over your hips and your glutes to tuck in. As a result, you will be in a better position (and a safer posture) to activate your core.

4. Breathe deeply to get your core muscles to really fire.

When you’re working on your abs, perfecting the art of the deep exhale will not only help you get into the best possible position for your core, but it will also make it easier for your core to contract.

A big exhale is going to be necessary in order to “turn your abs on a little better.” That breathing component is definitely an aspect of abdominal exercise that gets too little attention. That requires a lot of practice.

How exactly can one determine whether or not their exhale is sufficiently forceful? Give this test a shot. Lay flat on a mat and position your hands so they are just below your rib cage. Take a deep breath in, press your lips together, and aggressively expel for five to ten seconds. At the end of the exercise, your breath should be stuttering, and you should be able to feel your abdominal muscles violently contracting underneath your hands.

When you begin your core activities, you will be using this “brace,” and it will help you get out of that excessive anterior pelvic tilt and cue the safer posterior pelvic tilt placement.

Then, after you begin your activities, ensure that you continue to breathe (absolutely do not hold your breath) while maintaining that brace. If you do this, you will be able to prevent injury. It would help if you were exhaling during the portion of the action that needs the most effort and inhaling during the portion that demands the least effort.

5. Don’t burn yourself out by starting your workout with all the core stuff.

Front-loading your core work at the beginning of your workout can leave you exhausted for the rest. While you should definitely make some moves to activate your abs during your warm-up—think planking motions, dead bugs, or balance exercises—front-loading your core work at the beginning of your workout can leave you exhausted for the rest of it.

It is not a good idea to warm up your abdominal muscles before a workout because you’re going to need them for everything else. Remember that when you perform compound movements like squats, deadlifts, and presses, your abdominal muscles work very hard to help stabilise you.

The best time to work out your core is either in the middle or at the finish of your strength training session. But, if you are working out using a circuit, you can incorporate it into the workout at various points throughout the routine.

6. Change up your exercises for a better balance.

Suppose you have a favourite abdominal exercise and perform it to the exclusion of all other movement patterns. In that case, you may be on your way to developing a strength imbalance because you will only be working certain muscles. It is because you will only be working those abdominal muscles.

Your gains from the workout will be restricted simply because your body adapts. You want to keep it different and give your body different stimuli, so it may get stronger and grow. In that case, it will simply adapt, and you won’t get any of the benefits of it.

Create a foundational program that incorporates all of the different movement variations, and then commit to following that program for a period of between four and six weeks to ensure that you have learned the motions and are making progress toward your strength goals. Yet, to prevent yourself from being bored throughout that period, you can switch things up a little bit.

One strategy for achieving this goal is to perform variants of the same exercise around once every other week or so. These changes should nevertheless target the same muscles. If you begin with the plank, for instance, you may switch it up by performing variations of the plank, such as the forearm plank rock or the plank jack.


To begin seeing results, you do not need to spend a significant amount of time in the gym performing one activity after another. In point of fact, doing so can actually slow down your progress, which is great news for anyone expecting to watch a couple of episodes of Schitt’s Creek after they finished working out but before it was time to go to bed.

You may get the process started by incorporating a few abdominal exercises into your regimen. Still, if you want to get the most out of your abdominal workout, you need to train smarter, not necessarily for longer or harder.

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