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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