Tips on how to get Six-Pack Abs

six-pack absHave you been hitting the gym hard in the hope of getting six-pack abs? The often sought after but rarely achieved benchmark of physical fitness takes more then just a lot of stomach crunches. In fact, six-pack abs are not just a sign of having strong abdominal muscles they are also the result of a well balanced training program.

If you have been doing a ton of ab exercises but have not gotten the results you are after, you may need to address other aspects of your training program.  Below are training tips that will help you get a ripped midsection.

Your sloppy diet might be hiding your abs. In order to achieve ab definition men need to get their body fat percentage down to around 10% and women need to get their body fat below 18%.  This level of leanness is very difficult for most people to achieve. In order to reach your goal of having a shredded core you will have to keep your calorie consumption low while making sure you are consuming enough protein to support your training. Serious strength athletes and fitness competitors should try to consume 1 gram of protein per a kilogram of body weight each day.

Squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses activate the core muscles . The June 2013 issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research published a research study which found that free-weight exercises like squats, deadlifts, and overhead presses activate the core muscles more than any other type of exercise. The University of South Florida researchers analyzed 97 different exercises and concluded that, “conditioning specialists should focus on implementing multi-joint free weight exercises, rather than core-specific exercises, to adequately train the core muscles in their athletes and clients.”

Switch from back squats to front squats. Any type of squat will engage your core but holding the weight at the front of your body challenges the anterior core more than a back squat does. Back squats put more of an emphasis on our less visible posterior core.

Try core challenging back exercises. On back day you can select exercises that also work your core. For example bent over rows challenge your core’s anti-fexion and anti-rotation skills. To keep your body stable and upright, your rectus abdominis has to resist forward flexion and since you’re loaded on one side, your obliques and deep abdominal muscles have to be engaged in order to keep from falling under the pressure of a lopsided load. Other core challenging back exercises include tall-kneeling lat pulldowns and half-kneeling cable rows.

Rethink traditional crunches. A study at the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University recently found several other  exercises work your core more effectively than traditional crunches. In addition to no being as effective, traditional crunches are hard on the spine and do no burn many calories.

Sprinting can help you carve out six-pack abs. Celebrity trainer, Obi Obadike, explains, “While you’re sprinting, your abs have to constantly produce force to keep your body upright and your trunk stabilized… If you do multiple sets of sprints, your abs will spend a lot of time under tension working as hard as they can.” In addition to being a great core workout, sprinting is also an excellent calorie burner. Remember, in order to get a firm and sculpted torso you need to become very lean throughout your entire body.

Creating the abs of your dreams  will take more then a bunch of crunches or informercial ab exercise equipment. A well planned exercise and diet program is the key to getting those six-pack abs.

Photo by Hotlanta Voyeur 

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