Try these abdominal exercises to develop a hard and well-defined six pack
Are you one of those who has low fat percentage but has no luck with abs? If you have tried dieting but cannot see your abs pop out, then these 21 abdominal exercises will help you get there.
If you are to develop a six pack, you will need to develop strong core muscles. These muscles not just include the rectus abdominus and the external obliques but also the internal obliques and transverse abdominis. Now you are told that abs are built in the kitchen, which is perfectly said, but not without the best abs workout sessions.
These set of exercises will surely stimulate muscle hypertrophy. I have included proper instructions so that you execute the exercises with proper form.
You can definitely increase the intensity of these abdominal exercises with time for dramatic results.
But before you start with the abs workout why not set the mood by listening to “Eye of the Tiger – POWER METAL cover by Jonathan Young”
Name of the game is Hypertrophy
To make the abdominal muscles look blockier and thicker, you will need to work on muscle hypertrophy. Now, if you know about hypertrophy, you know how it is induced. And when it comes to abdominal muscles, the process of inducing hypertrophy is similar. Strength Training . However hypertrophy is influenced by other factors too like nutrition and training variables. We will cover all the aspects to make sure that the next time you get shirtless, all the ladies drool over you.
Let’s get started
1 Weighted Planks : If you have been working on your abs for quite some time now, you know what a plank is and how to execute one. However to slaughter belly fat, you’ll need to add resistance to your planks.
To execute a weighted plank, you will need a partner. To start with the exercise get into the normal plank position with your torso on your elbows and your feet on your toes. Harden your core and then let your partner put the weight in your lower back and hips. Hold the position for your desired period of time.
2 Flutter Kicks : Lie on the floor with your hands around your hips and your legs extended. Then lift your legs above the floor for about 4 to 5 inches and keep them straight and extended, as you lift one leg higher while the other is in the initial place. Then lift the other leg up and lower the former leg to the starting position. Repeat this exercise for the desired time (mostly for 60 seconds)
3 Weighted sit-ups : To execute this abdominal exercise, you will need to hold a weight (dumbbell or plate) on your chest and keep your legs folded. Weight should be between 10-20kg and you can increase weight if you are comfortable with it. Perform a sit-up by raising your torso to a point where the contraction of the abdominal muscles is maximum, then lower your torso to initial position.
If you are not able to perform more than 5 repetitions, then you must decrease the weight.
4 Hanging Leg Raises : People generally have a hard time with removing fat from their lower abdomen. This exercise will slaughter that lower belly fat. Before getting started with this abdominal exercise, I would like to point out the mistakes you may do unknowingly while doing a hanging leg raise.
Do not use momentum to raise your legs. I will not recommend doing a leg raise with an unsupported back if you keep using momentum to perform the exercise.
Do not swing while doing leg rises
Perform the exercise slowly and feel the contraction in the abdominal region. This exercise will develop your lower abs.
5 Windshield Wiper : To start with a windshield wiper, you will need to lie on your back, and keep both the hands stretched on both sides(making a T shape with your arms). Stretch your legs making an angle of 90 deg with your abdomen and swing your legs on both sides, like the motion of a pendulum. Do not let your legs touch the floor on either sides while doing the exercise.
6 Cable/Resistance bands Crunches : You must have heard how crucial cable crunches can be to amass blockier abs. However, if you are a busy person or because of some reason you don’t have an access to a gym, then resistance bands can be used for kneeling cable crunches too.
Kneel down holding the resistance band behind your neck, and place your buttocks against your heels. Then exhale when you contract your abdominal muscles by pulling the band down till you feel the contraction in those abs. Then inhale as you go up.
The key to get the most out of this abdominal exercise is to perform the exercise slowly.
The reason why I have mentioned resistance band crunches instead of cable crunches is that, I travel a lot. And I guess most of you do too. So, not every-time we are fortunate enough to have an access to a gym while we are travelling. And resistance bands can be great for training even when we are travelling. All you need is some door to fix the band and you can start anywhere. I personally use resistance bands by Bodyelastics. You can grab your package too by clicking here. You can find some other band too online. But I love Bodyelastic resistance bands because they never snap. You will not like it to snap when you are performing an exercise. Trust me on this.
Just because you’ve made it this far, I am sharing my favourite song which I play while performing my abdominal exercises.
7 Reverse Crunches : Lie in a crunch position with your feet on the floor, and your hands underneath your hips or behind your head. Then slowly lift your knees off the floor and bring them towards your chest, without using momentum. Contraction of the abs will be maximum if you perform this abdominal exercise slowly.
Do not rush with this exercise, otherwise your energy and time will be wasted and you won’t like that for sure.
8 Ab Roller : Hold the ab-roller with both your hands in front of you, and place your knees on the floor making a 45 deg angle with your torso. Slowly move the roller forward and stretch your body to a straight position, then pull your body back to the 45 deg position from where you started.
9 Side Elbow Planks : This is one of the best abdominal exercises you might have been skipping if you don’t already have abs. To perform this exercise, you will need to place your forearm directly below your shoulder as you keep your legs straight. Lift your hips up while keeping your core tight throughout the exercise. Balance the side plank and remember to not sag your hips down during the exercise. Perform this exercise on both sides
10 L-Sit : This exercise is not just for your core but will also work your triceps and almost every muscle group of your body at the same time. You will build a rock hard core if you can perform L-Sits properly.
To perform an L-sit properly your shoulders must be strong enough. If you are good at performing dips, this exercise must not bother you much. If you have a hard time doing L-sits you’ll need to work on your dips first.
If you need help with your L-sit I’ve found the perfect tutorial on the internet.
11 Hanging Windshield Wipers : If you have a strong core and want to push your abdominal exercises to the next level, its time to hit the hanging windshield wipers. You must be strong enough to pull your legs up to the bar by contracting your core, then twist your legs from side to side.
The real challenge with performing this exercise is stopping the momentum of the legs on either side while performing the exercise. If you are having a hard time with performing this abdominal exercise then you can do the windshield wiper on floor.
12 Lying Leg Thrusts : This exercise targets primarily the lower abs. To perform this abs exercise lie on the floor with your arms by your side. Then raise your legs to make a 90 deg angle with the abdomen, then thrust your hips up the floor with your legs straight. Do not let your legs move beyond that 90 deg angle towards your chest.
And to maintain the contraction, do not let the legs touch the floor. Repeat this motion with perfect form.
13 Medicine ball Russian Twist : Lie on the floor with your legs folded and raise your torso to make a V with your thighs. Then hold a medicine ball or a weight in your hands and twist your torso in the right side till you feel the contraction in your abdomen. Then twist on the left side. Repeat the motion.
Make sure you don’t make an arc with your back. If you do so, you will do more harm than good.
14 Swiss Ball Crunches : Lie on a Swiss ball with your lower back against the ball, placing your feet firmly on the floor. Place your hands on your chest or behind the head.
Stretch your back and then contract your abs by raising your torso (like you do in a regular crunch). Do it slowly to lower the risk of falling off the ball.
15 Mountain Climbers : This exercise can help lose overall body fat by raising the heart beat rate and the reason it made to this list is that it can be beneficial for getting rid of fat around those abs, and help reveal the six pack or eight pack (if you have sculpted a strong core)
To perform this exercise you need to get on a regular plank position with your arms and legs stretched. Then bring your left knee towards your chest and then switch and do it with your right knee. It is like you are trying to run with your hands on the floor.
Make sure you don’t make an arc woth your spine, and keep it straight.
16 Squat : If you wish to build great abs you need to make your core stronger, and squats will do that for you. When you perform a squat your rectus abdominus and your external obliques contract to support the movement of your back.
It is crucial for proper contraction of the abdominal muscles to maintain a straight back while performing the squat. So, during this exercise your abdominal muscles are also worked. This will strengthen your entire abdomen region.
However if you perform this exercise wrong you will do more harm to your lower back. To perform this exercise properly, place your feet at shoulder width and keep your toes pointed outwards. And start with low weight (weight you are comfortable with), keep your chest outwards and your shoulders down. As you go lower while performing it push your hips outwards and contract your abdomen. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then slowly return to the starting position.
I have found an excellent tutorial to help you with your squats.
17 Seated Knee Tuck : Sit on a bench and keep your hands on the bench at shoulder width. Then bend your knees to bring them towards your chest. During the entire motion keep your back straight. Pause there for a second and move your legs back to the original position. Exhale as you tuck your knees towards your chest. Repeat this motion.
This abdominal exercise targets the lower abs.
18 Star Plank : To perform this exercise, you need to get on the floor in push up position. From there move your palms outward and forward to form a star or an x. Hold the position for the required time and then get back to the starting position.
This exercise not only targets the abs but also the chest and shoulders. When you perform this exercise you will feel the burn in your body.
19 Side Star Plank : This abdominal exercise targets your abs, shoulders and increases your upper body strength and should be performed only after mastering a side plank and other planks.
To perform this exercise start with your body resting on the left forearm, and your right leg lying on top of the left leg. Then lift your waist to make a straight line ( do not lt your waist and hips sag ) and separate your legs. Hold this star position for the desired time and then repeat the exercise
20 Jack Knife : This abdominal exercise again is my favourite one because it helps target the lower abs. To perform this exercise you only need a mat (which you already have in your arsenal). Lie down on the mat with both your hands straight. Raise your legs keeping them straight in order to from a V. As you raise your legs, bring your torso towards the legs to form a perfect V. Try to touch your toes as you raise your torso for that extra tension in your abdomen.
Exhale while you are bringing your legs and torso together. Feel the contraction in your abs. If you find this exercise difficult, then you can also perform, this exercise with your knees folded.
21 Bicycle crunches : This is the last abdominal exercise I like to incorporate in my abs routine and I perform this exercise t till failure.
This exercise engages the entire abdominal region and is even safe for people with back pains. To perform this exercise you need to get into standard crunch position with your calves parallel to the floor. Then twist your left elbow to reach your right knee and then switch to the other side. Repeat this exercise till failure.
I personally do 100 bicycle crunches on both sides. I perform the first 10 slowly and then perform the next 10 fast and this pattern goes on till 100 reps are completed.
How to incorporate these abdominal exercises?
Now that you know how to perform these exercises you might be thinking how to perform all these exercises to get the most out of these abdominal exercises in 60 days. Of-course you cannot perform all the 21 exercises everyday. You’ll need a routine, and I have that planned for you mate.
I have divided these exercises into 4 different groups which you can perform in 4 days.
Mon : Weighted planks, flutter kicks, hanging leg raises, windshield wipers, ab roller
Wed : Weighted sit-ups, reverse crunches, resistance band crunches, side elbow planks, bicycle crunches
Fri : Jack knife, star plank, side star plank, Squat, Swiss ball crunches, bicycle crunches
Sun : Medicine ball Russian twists, seated knee tuck, L-sits, Hanging windshield wipers, Lying leg thrusts,mountain climbers, Bicycle crunches.
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You need to understand this that you will not see dramatic results if you have high body fat percentage. Abdominal exercises alone cannot and will not eliminate body fat if your diet is not on point. I know sometimes it is hard to maintain healthy eating when you are busy with work and studies. But try to fix your diet by eating healthy. I have seen people who have rock hard abs but they tend to lose abs because of their diet. I do have written a post on Keto Diet.
Also, if you want better results with these abdominal exercises, make sure you incorporate HIIT sessions at-least twice a week. I have written a post on 9 amazing HIIT exercises which if performed twice a week will make the results more dramatic.
Hope this post provided value and you people learned about how you can make those abs pop out.
If you liked the post share it, to others who might find it beneficial. Thank You for reading. Stay Healthy, wealthy and wise ….Dreamers!