One of the most asked questions in fitness is the best way to get a six pack. Everyone wants to look fit and strong, and a six pack certainly gives the appearance of that. But what does it really take to get that look, and can anyone do it?
Surely the way to a six pack is simply through doing lots of sit-ups and crunches?
While core exercises are vitally important for a strong core and body, doing daily crunches can actually lead to a distended stomach appearance which is the opposite of what anyone wants when trying to get a six pack.
Many people believe you can spot reduce fat and by doing lots of abdominal crunches that will help to ‘burn’ and eliminate stomach fat and allow the hard work to show through. Unfortunately, the human body doesn’t work that way, if only it did!
So, what is the best way to get a six pack?
The first place to help a six pack show on the outside is to clean up your diet and trim down body fat. This doesn’t need to be dramatic and should be done over a period of time so that the results are gradual and will, therefore, last longer. Changing habits is the safest way to do this rather than dramatically cutting foods out.
It’s all about balance, consistency and determination.
The dedication and discipline this effort takes are considerable, and why so few of us tend to have a ripped six pack to show off.
Why is diet so important to get a six pack?
Diet alone won’t keep your body strong, fit and healthy. Exercise and a poor diet will help you build some level of fitness but won’t generally mean you’re healthy. Combining the two elements is a recipe for health and fitness success. The level of effort, consistency and patients are what will help you get a six pack.
20% exercise and 80% nutrition is the optimum effort level.
Nutrition first, exercises second. Overeating or eating foods high in sugar, salt and processed fats alongside not enough movement will lead to weight gain. A balance of these two will result in maintenance of current weight. Eating natural foods in balanced quantities and increasing energy output will lead to losing weight and body fat.
A diet rich in healthy proteins, whole grain carbohydrates including vegetables and fruits and reducing sugar laden foods will help to reduce any unwanted body fat around your middle. While many people still believe that fats and carbs like bread are to blame for extra body fat, it’s most often caused by processed fats, too much salt and carbs in the form of sugary products.
Water, fibre and natural foods are all essential elements for anyone who wants to get a six pack. These all help with digestion and reduce bloating and inflammation within the body, adding to a firm torso.
Mindful eating and intuitive eating can also play a part in helping to ensure you make lasting, sensible and balanced decisions where your nutrition is concerned.
Aren’t crunches the best way to get a six pack?
Unless you have received proper and specific training on how to perform a sit-up safely, many people do not perform them with the correct form and that way; it creates weakness, pressure and strain in other areas, including the spine and neck. Performing exercises with correct form the get you better results and ensure they keep your body safe.
To get a six pack, you need to do a combination of exercises, including mobility, cardio, strength training and abdominal. This can be achieved through bodyweight training alone but is equally effective using equipment such as medicine balls, slam balls, swizz balls and weights.
The ab workout exercises you perform need to hit all the angles of the abs to develop balance strength and the look required. Do exercises that work on the top, middle, sides and bottom sections of your abs.
- Hanging Knee Raise
- Bicycle Crunches
- Russian Twists
- Pike Plank
- Lying Leg Raise
- Leg Up Crunch
- Plank (with variations for increasing difficulty)
- Mountain Climbers
Make friends with the plank abs exercise.
The forearm plank is one of the best exercises you can do for your abs but will also help keep your entire core strong, including your whole torso and glutes. A strong core is the foundation of a fit body.
Forward planks and side planks will help hit all areas. Start with just 20 seconds a day and then build up to as long as you can hold it. Remember to rest when needed but getting a six pack requires determination and dedication. Keep the tension out of your shoulders, neck and jaw.
These tips are the best way to get six pack abs.
Consider a complete lifestyle overhaul too. Sleep, relaxation techniques and active rest are all important tools to help ensure fat isn’t stored instead of utilised for energy.
The venture is not for the faint hearted. It will take time, but the effort is always worth the reward. If you embark on this journey, remember to take photos every few weeks to document your progress and consider keeping a diary to monitor your progress on what’s working and what’s not so you can make tweaks.