5 Must-Do’s for Six-Pack Abs – We all would like to have a 6 pack, am I right? And whether you are an all-pro athlete or average Joe, bodybuilder, CrossFitter, or weekend warrior – a great physique is NOT complete without a strong set of abs. If you’re training well, you’ll get a good amount of core work within your typical workout—but for a truly great ‘six-pack’, you’ll need to put in more focused work (not to mention keep weight down).
Lots of us don’t know anything besides the old school approach of hundred-rep sets of sit-ups to achieve the shredded, lean look. But in truth more volume does not necessarily equate to more success. You wouldn’t approach training other muscle groups by pumping out triple-digit working sets, why should an abs workout be any different?
We should note that nutrition is a key factor to achieving a lean six pack—but for the training component, the plan should be to implement challenging abdominal exercises that use a load within the typical hypertrophy rep range. If you need more guidance, these five quintessential core moves we will discuss will help you on your way to achieving that elite six-pack status in as little as eight to 15 reps per set.
Don’t be afraid to load your abs because your abs needs to be strong so that you can squat better, so you can dead-lift better, so you can hit all your other exercises better. None of [these exercises] will you be doing 100 reps. You’re going to load up, they’re going to be challenging, and they’re going to push you to get you the six pack visually that you want.
5 Must-Do Exercises for Six-Pack Abs
Renegade Row (Plank Row)
Planks force you to maintain constant tension throughout the movement (or non-movement)—this means not dropping your hips mid-exercise. For planks to work properly, you need to your hips up and glutes and lats tight while creating tension throughout the whole body.
By adding a dumbbell row to your plank, you increase the focus and intensity of maintaining that tight core—thereby adding an anti-rotation element to the move. This is commonly known as a ‘Renegade Row‘.
To maintain core integrity, think of the move as if you’re placing a glass of water on your back. If it spills, that means you’re losing that core tension. With a plank, it’s so easy to slip out of those tension techniques and slip into that bad place where you’re not really getting the most out of the exercise. That’s why when you add that row in, you got that anti-rotation while you’re using the plank position… that’s why I love this exercise so much.
This old school ab-attacking classic is making a resurgence, namely because of its ability to allow you to load weight and push through a wide range of motion as you work through spinal flexion.
Throughout this movement, concentrate on flexing your hands hard as you bring your elbows to your knees after each rep, all the while keeping your head relaxed.
And don’t be afraid to go heavy with this exercise. The great thing about this is when you drive up you get a nice stretch on your abs at the top and then really get to contract all those six-pack muscles as you lower.
5 Must-Do’s for Six-Pack Abs
Ab Wheel Rollout
This another classic core move that’s gaining steam in modern fitness circles. It’s one of the most effective moves you can do for your core—when done properly. Too many people lose tension when they perform ab wheel rollouts for a variety of reasons, from not owning the move in its entirety to creating too much lumbar tension. Other times a lack of shoulder mobility or strength affect proper positioning. A key to a perfect rollout: Don’t rush the move. Take each rep slow and controlled. For this, two or three perfect roll-outs are far more beneficial than 10 to 12 lousy roll-outs.
You will be getting a lot of core work, aesthetically we are working the abdominals—you are going to feel this. But if you don’t have ownership over this range of motion safely, and the correct way, maybe go to something like a plank or some other type of variation.
Hanging Leg Raise
Think of hanging leg raises like a vertical hollow hold, Samuel says. Just by hanging, you’re putting yourself in a position of heavy work. Not only are you working your core, you’re also bringing in grip strength, as well as lat and shoulder mobility as you fight off the urge to swing from this position.
With leg raises, you can also manipulate the difficulty level by leg positioning. Shortening the lever by making it a knee raise can ease up the work, or extending the lever to a straight-leg raise can max out the challenge. For added hang time, you can incorporate elbow sleeves to take your grip out of the work, although that’s not always recommended.
5 Must-Do’s for Six-Pack Abs
The farmer’s carry is more than just an aesthetic movement; it’s a functional fitness building block that helps you in so many other areas besides core strength.
Carries allow you to work with heavy weight as you move from Point A to B. Besides core work, you’re building strength, improving posture along with cardiovascular and fat-burning benefits.
A great tip to note. Most Farmer’s Carry tutorials show the carrier carrying a weight in each hand. Try using JUST ONE WEIGHT, then switch sides. This will put a load on one side that will engage the core muscles on the opposite side. Otherwise, it’s more of a shoulder/trap exercise.
Don’t be afraid to experiment, come up with variations of these moves to fit your own body-type, exercise style, etc. Combine these with some of our FREE WORKOUTS and develop your own GO-TO routines for YOUR conditioning. Remember – Get Fit | Stay Fit | Get Healthy | Stay Healthy
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