Effective 6pac building techniques

July 31, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

how to build abs and tone muscle

When i left high school, one of the first things i wanted to get into was working out, because i started off slim to average build. I eventually went from slim to bigger slim, like those i mentioned in (Muscles do exist). I didn’t want to start lifting weights before 16 years old because i knew it could possibly stunt my growth (good thing i didn’t – i am a sky scraping 6’2 now :)). So i started to workout using my own body weight using exercises from pull ups, push ups, sit ups, crunches, pull ups with weights and others. After 4-5 weeks i started to notice that i was getting more toned, but no real gains in muscle mass (that was ok – i expected that). But one area of my body that i saw develop really quickly was my stomach. Even though i was of a slim/ average build, my stomach never really was defined to begin with. But here is what i done:

– 30 push ups a night (50 when maxed out)

– 150-200 sit ups a night

– No change in diet

– Consistence and regularity

– 10 weeks…. then!

I take a look in the mirror…stop! and say ‘Heeey, i really do have a 6 pac’ 🙂

To this day people will stop and ask me ‘What did you do to get that?’ I tell them the above and i get a shock response. So i would assume that building a 6 pac is quite hard for most to achieve. It’s either that or i just worked damn for it. Although i did work hard for it initially, one thing is for sure… it wasn’t easy. So when you see all of these videos and adverts describing that you can achieve results in just X no. of weeks, it’s usually a false positive, or its based on a generalization that everyone has the same body type (which obviously is not the case). What has surprised me the most up until now (10+ years later) is that i have done RARELY any stomach exercises since then, yet most of what i achieved at the time has stayed the same. (don’t be mislead, maintain it)

So what were the reasons for my relatively quick results. Hard work? My physique? Regularity and consistency? Diet? I would say a variation of all of those things, but below are some of the best ab exercises for building a 6pac that you can take away and implement into your workouts.

Exercise #1 – Sit-Ups
Sit ups. How to build a 6 pac

This is the one that everybody seems to know about but the majority of people do wrong. Remember that the smallest adjustments can make all the difference and we want our workouts to be as effective as possible to get the most out of every minute we exercise (if in doubt ALWAYS ask!). Here’s how to do proper sit ups:

Lie flat on the floor with your legs stretched out and your arms beside you. Lift your knees up by bringing your feet closer towards your body – about the distance from your heels to your calf muscle. Cross your hands over your chest and lift your body all the way up so that even your lower back lifts off the floor. Stay there for about 3 seconds and then gently lower yourself. Repeat about 20 of these in 3 to 4 sets, but don’t strain yourself – especially if you haven’t done it for a while. As you build your ab muscles you can start making it more challenging by sitting on an inclined bench or by holding a weight over your chest. (My fave part)

Abs Exercise #2 – Crunches
crunches. How to build a 6 pac

Once again, lying flat on your back, pull your legs towards your body slightly. With your arms crossed over your chest tighten your abs by ‘pulling’ your abdomen towards your spine as you inhale. Now lift your shoulders off the floor and don’t lift your body all the way up – you just need to lift your shoulders to tighten your abs. As you lift your shoulders you want to exhale. Stay there for about 3 seconds and gently lower your shoulders. In the lowered position you should relax your abs. Now repeat.

The key here is to focus only on your abdominal area as you do this. Flexing your abs and proper breathing is essential – remember that your breathing originates in your abdomen with your diaphragm. Repeat 10 to 20 times and do 3 to 4 sets of these.

Abs Exercise #3 – Leg Lifts

leg lifts. How to build a 6 pac

Your abs are a very important muscle group as it is a ‘pivot point’ in your body. With leg lifts we use this deliberately to tone our abs. Lie flat on your back with your legs extended and your arms beside you (or on chest). Place your hands flat on the floor beside you and in this position, with your legs straight, lift your legs up as far as you can. Preferably your legs should be up in a 90 degree angle with the floor, but this might be difficult for some at first. Then, slowly lower your legs, but do not let your feet touch the ground. Repeat 10 to 20 times and do 3 to 4 sets of these.

Of course, these exercises are by no means the only way to get great abs, they are just some of the best abs exercises there are. Even so, you will still have to combine them with proper cardiovascular exercise like running, swimming or cycling as it will help you loose weight/work all muscle groups while targeting the abdominal muscles. I mentioned earlier that i didn’t change my diet much, but that’s just me. For most, you will have to control your diet. Fatty foods tend to ‘gather’ around the abdominal area which might make your workouts worthless.

Note: As i stated there are other methods out there to building great abs, below is a video that shows another good method of building great abs. Some of you may have seen, some of you may not. Either way, give it a watch.

How to get a 6pac (but in 3 minutes :S?)

Also view my Lower abs exercises pot on how to get ride of that fat in the lower ab area.

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