6 Non-crunch Bodybuilding Six Pack Exercises

January 26, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Guess what everyone? I’ve got a 6 Pac and I love it.

But you already knew that from Effective 6pac building techniques. You would also know that since building a 6 Pac, I have not had to perform any sit-ups, crunches or leg lifts to maintain it. So what am I doing to keep my stomach in shape? After all, it has been 10-12 years since I originally carved my stomach into 6 firm defined parts.

Well I didn’t tell you then, but I will tell you now.

The Myth

‘You have to perform an endless amount crunches and sit ups to build a 6 Pac’


The above statement is completely untrue!

Yes, you will have work hard and pull out all stops to build your 6 Pac. But you don’t necessarily need to keep that up in order to maintain your newly chiseled torso.

The Solution

The reason why I have been able to maintain my 6 Pac without even doing a single sit up again, is because I have incorporated exercises into my workout routine, which recruit all of the muscle fibers of the body that hit deep within the muscle tissue.

Here are the exercises.

The Renegade Row

Just a few posts ago in 5 Essential Bodybuilding Tips You’ve Missed, the last tip I gave you was to contract your stomach muscles as if you were about to be sucker punched in the gut. That is exactly what you will have to do when performing this exercise. If you don’t do that, you will probably end up falling over.

How to do it

  • Position yourself so your legs are straight out behind you while balancing your upper body with your hands (Push up position)
  • Place a dumbbell by each hand, shoulder-width apart on the floor under the shoulders.
  • Once in this position, transfer your weight to one side and proceed to lift the arm up to perform a one-arm row.
  • Then you can either perform the second rep on the same side or switch over to the other side and alternate between reps.

I understand that not all of you reading this will have great stability skills, so to make things a little easier for yourself, buy yourself a pair of Power-blocks (Which are being used in the video). I wrote a post about these a couple of months back and they are currently in my top 3 pieces of gym equipment that I own. Along with the best cross trainer to buy. Remember, that if you do decide to use power blocks, you must treat them as part of the furniture as they are durable, space efficient, a best friend for home winter workouts and lifesavers for working out on the move.

Side Leg Raises

I don’t perform this exercise to often, as I prefer to stick to more challenging exercises. But it is effective nonetheless.

How to do it

  • Position your body on the floor so that you are in a side-ways position (Crap at balancing? Well you’re just going to have to get good at it)
  • Once you’ve found your balance, lift the leg that is closest to the ceiling up and down.
  • Those are side leg lifts.
  • To increase the challenge, bring the leg forward and back as well. If you do this, just be sure to keep your back straight otherwise you could injure yourself.

The One Legged Squat

This proved to be a favorite amongst many of you when I covered this back in unique body-weight exercises. But what I didn’t mention at the time is that this is also a great exercise for building your abs

  • Stand so that you’re balancing on one leg with the other leg raised out directly in front of you.
  • Next, begin to squat down on the standing leg, maintaining balance the entire time.
  • Go down as low as you can possibly go, and then rise back up to the starting position.

Cable woodchoppers

These are great for your abs and shoulders. This exercise is also great for building functional strength.

How to do it

  • Stand sideways next to a cable machine with a low-cable pulley attachment by your feet.
  • Bend over using a slight bend in the knees and reach for the handle.
  • Then straighten your body back up while twisting in the opposite direction until you are holding the handle across your body and above your head in the opposite direction.
  • Pause for a few seconds and then lower back down to the starting position to complete the rep.
  • 1 set of 10 reps for each side.

If things start to become easy, just add resistance.

Stability ball jack-knife

We all know how much I love to share high intensity training and workouts/exercises and this is another to add to that list. If you don’t include some high intensity, how else are you going to push yourself to the max?

How to do it

  • Place your elbows on a bench while your legs are behind you on top of an exercise ball, with your stomach facing the floor.
  • From there, lift one leg off the exercise ball and raise it out to the side of your body
  • Then curl the ball into your chest with the leg still on top of it. Once the ball is as far as it can go, extend it straight out behind you again.
  • That’s one rep. Perform 3 sets of 10. increase with strength.

Lunge with ball pass-off

For this exercise you will need to find yourself a gym partner and grab yourself a medicine ball.

How to do it

  • Perform a standard lunge while holding a medicine ball.
  • As you lower down to the ground, twist to the side so you are able to hand the ball off to your gym partner (who will be behind you)
  • From there, twist back to the front and continue with the lunging motion until you get to the bottom portion of the second lunge. Have your partner pass you the ball on your other side.
  • 10 reps on each side.
  • 30 to 60 second rest in-between.

I don’t perform all of these exercises all of the time. But I do have my favorites such as the cable woodchopper and one legged squat. Both of those exercises I perform on a regular basis. Either way, all of the exercises above will work the core part of your body that each is designed to do, while at the same time working your abs. If your goal is to maintain your abs or to improve different sections of them, then be sure to slip these exercises into your weightlifting routine and you will achieve just that.

See you in the comments.

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The Super Secret 6 Pac Exercise

January 5, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Well, it’s not really a secret exercise. But I can almost guarantee that it will put you on the express train towards 8 Pac city.

Introducing the Decline Sit Up

In the last few years I have found this to be the only abs exercise that I would do in the gym, quite simply because it is that good. I have even found it to be even more effective than using an exercise ball and those covered In lower abs exercises. However, I wouldn’t sacrifice those techniques just for this exercise. All you do here is alternate the exercises week by week and track the results that you start to see from each.

The reason why this exercise is so good is because it rips the whole of your stomach, but namely your lower abs. But be warned! When you do perform this exercise you will feel the pain, especially in the first few weeks. Yes you will build a radiator looking stomach. Just know that it will feel like you have swallowed one before you even get to that stage.

This is how you do them

1) Find a weights bench
2) Make sure it has a padded bar for you lower legs
3) Lower the bench
4) Sit on the bench with your arms crossed over your chest (Or behind your neck)
5) Keep your feet firmly locked under the padded bar
6) Lower your body back until your hips are almost extended
7) Raise your body by flexing your hips until your torso is upright
8) Repeat

Note: Do not make the mistake of lowering your body ALL the way back. It will eventually feel like you are bending your back in half. Besides, it is dangerous and could cause an injury.

Some people may say that this exercise isn’t good for you because it makes blood rush to your head, which may cause haemorrhages in your brain later on in life. I say take the risk and reap the rewards… which will inevitably come if you manage keep, this exercise active in your weightlifting routines.

That is the core of this exercise. But we are not finished yet. In true stayfitbug.com fashion, I will show you some techniques that will really test your abilities and best of all, give you an even more defined 6 Pac!

Lower The Bench

We all know about those dreaded weightlifting plateaus and you are likely to face one at some point during this exercise. To add to that, building a 6 Pac is not always easy and obtaining that optimum level of definition that you want can seem like a never ending battle.

The first way to get around this will be to lower the bench even further. Doing this will increase resistance and make the exercise that little bit harder to perform.

Use A Weighted Plate

To increase resistance even further stick a weighted plate on your chest.

Still finding things a little to easy?

Simple. Use a heavier weight plate.

Grab a Barbell

This alone will help you overcome any plateau, or if you are an advanced bodybuilder. This is simply doing sit ups with a barbell held at your chest. it is a much better and more practical way to have progressive overload with added weight than using a weight plate.

Play Chicken Like A Kid On The Beach

For those who do not know what that is, you simply find a friend, sit on his shoulders and run around. If you did acquire that skill as a kid you will be happy to know that you can use it again in adulthood (But for a good cause this time).

You will do exactly the same as above, but as you are on your friend’s shoulders, you will,

1. Lean all the way back
2. Let them grip your ankles tight (They are now your stabilizer)
3. And then start doing sit ups

This can be quite challenging yes. But this is the most effective way I know to get MAXIMUM results for all the areas of your abs to really show. You will want to choose a stronger and heavier person to do this exercise with, for the safety of both of you. This tends to be a guy, which is fine, however, you may find that your butts may clash together on every rep that you do. If you’ve got a problem with that, then you better start feeding your wife with Pop Eyes favourite food. If not, then don’t wait up. Grab a strong friend and get to work.

Have you tried any of the above methods?
If so, what were your experiences?
Did reveal a secret for YOU?

See you in the comments.

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The Super Secret 6 Pac Exercise

December 7, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

It’s that time to talk about my favorite (and your favorite) body part again folks. The 6 Pac! And here I’m going to share with you an exercise that is so top secret that no one else can know about it… except you :). Just so that you can achieve the body you know you deserve.

Why am I sharing secrets?

Well… I’ve already got a 6 pac and I don’t benefit from keeping information on ‘how to build a 6 pac’ to myself. Besides… building a 6 pac is down to what you do and not what I tell you to do.

Any how the secret exercise is,

The cable core press

And in similar fashion to the hip raise exercise I shared with you a couple of weeks back, this exercise is deceiving. It might not look like you are doing much when you are performing this exercise, but that right there is the secret. Less is sometimes more.

Most of the exercises that I cover require that you to workout like a mad barbarian with the whole ‘no pain, no gain’ agenda in mind. But the best way to build your abs and make it look like you have swallowed a radiator is to actually prevent movement of your core. Enough of me talking, here’s how you do it

1. Find a cable station in your gym.

2. Grab one of the handles with a hand over grip.

3. Line the pully up with your chest.

4. Stand so that you are facing the weights.

5. Make sure that your feet are shoulder width apart and keep your knees bent.

6. Bring the handle towards your chest and tense your abs.

7. Push your arms out in front of you (dead straight), hold for a few seconds and bring them back.

8. That is one set. Repeat on your other side.

  • 3 sets
  • 8 – 10 reps
  • 1 minute rest between each set

This exercise is all about control of the weight and not how much weight you can stack and lift. Overloading the machine will lead you to perform the exercise incorrectly.

It’s up to you where you wish to place this exercise in your weightlifting routine. It’s not a really demanding exercise, so you can position it where you wish.

Have you tried this exercise before, or something similar?

See you in the comments.

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12 Best Foods to Burn Fat and Build Muscle For Your Abs

November 3, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

OK, I have showed you how to build your abs in

Effective 6pac building techniques

And how to overcome the other hurdle of how to get ripped abs and lose that lower stomach fat in,

The Best Exercises To Work Lower Abs

But I have only briefly explained what foods you need to include into your diet to ensure that you achieve those weightlifting goals when you work your abs. As we all know, all of the hard work from performing exercises for your abs will go to waste if you do not have the correct diet.

Luckily for you, I have already covered which foods you need to eat in posts such as killer foods for fitness, but today I will tell you exactly, which foods will have a positive effect for getting those abs to rise through that annoying layer of fat.

There really is no one-way to achieve great abs, as we all have different body types to begin with. Just make sure that you workout like a barbarian. That alone will guarantee you results. But let me quict the talking already.

Eat this,

1. Almonds and nuts (Eat the skins too)

Special powers

These will help you build muscle and prevent you from snacking on potentially crap fatty foods through out the day.

Mighty health

Helps fight off – Obesity, heart disease, muscle loss, wrinkles, cancer and the dreaded high blood pressure.

2. Beans and legumes

I covered beans back in killer foods for fitness, but both beans and legumes are great foods for your abs.

Special powers

Both of these foods will help you burn fat build muscle and help regulate digestion.

Mighty health

Helps fight off – Obesity, colon cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.

3. Spinach and green vegetables

Now pop eye isn’t a super hero, or even one of my favorite cartoon characters, but you will need to eat like him if you are serious about building those abs.

Special powers

Spinach is a great food for repairing muscle on your rest days from your weightlifting workouts, but will also neutralize free radicals (Molecules that speed up the aging process).

Mighty health

Helps fight – Cancer, heart disease, stroke and obesity.

4. Dairy products (Fat-free/ Low fat milk, yogurt and cheese)

Special Powers

Keeping a good dose of dairy products in your diet will help you build strong bones as well as helping you to lose fat.

Mighty health

Helps fight – Obesity, cancer and high blood pressure.

5. Instant Oatmeal (No sugar and no flavours)

Special powers

This might sound boring and quite foul, especially if you have an appetite for tasty food like myself. But adding no sugar is important because instant oatmeal will help maintain blood sugar levels, is a great energy booster and it also reduces cholesterol.

Mighty health

Helps fight – heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and obesity.

6. Eggs

Special powers

Build muscle and burn fat.

Mighty health

Helps fight obesity.

7. Turkey and other lean meats

Special powers

Will help build muscle and a strong immune system

Mighty health

Helps fight – obesity and various other diseases

8. Peanut butter

I included peanut butter in killer foods for fitness with the peanut butter and jam/ jelly sandwich. But it’s also a great food to eat for getting those abs to show.

Special powers

Burn fat build muscle.

Mighty health

Helps fight – Obesity, muscle loss, wrinkles, cardiovascular disease

9. Olive oil

Special powers

It has been drummed into my head from a young age to drink olive oil and with age, I began to understand why.

1. Lowers cholesterol

2. Boosts immune system

Mighty health

Helps fight – obesity, cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.

10. Whole-grain bread and cereals

You can find out which is the best bread to go for over at killer foods for fitness part 2, but this is definitely a type of food that you will want to include into your weightlifting diet. This could even be the reason why I was able to build a 6 Pac so easily (other than being a lucky high metabolism type) as I grew up with this food in my daily diet without fail.

Special powers

Prevents the body from storing fat.

Mighty health

Helps fight – Obesity, cancer, high blood pressure and heart disease.

11. Whey Powder

I do love my whey protein shakes along with some of you here, with my overall favorite being optimum nutrition protein powder. And whey protein isn’t popular by coincidence either.

Special powers

Burn fat build muscle.

Mighty health

Helps fight obesity.

12. Berries

I haven’t covered this one before, but it is one type of food that you should definitely include into your weightlifting diet.

Special powers

  • Protects your heart.
  • Improves your eye site
  • Improves balance
  • Coordination
  • Short-term memory
  • Prevents cravings

Mighty health

Helps fight – heart disease, cancer and obesity.

There you have it. For all of you out there who I know that have asked… this is your list for the foods that you SHOULD eat to help and assist with getting those abs to rise through the fat.

See you in the comments.

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