Published on October 15th, 2013 | by Joe Starks0
Building the Perfect Six-Pack
The perfect six-pack is something of a dream for almost every man and quite a few ladies out there. Six well shaped, symmetrically trained muscles on your abdomen can do wonders for you self esteem as a man and even more wonders in your social life at the beach and in the gym. Beautiful six-packs remind of super-heroes and power. It is no wonder then that most of us want some of our own.
We all have quite strong abdominal muscles, since this muscle group takes part in almost everything we do in our lives, even if you are unfit. To go from simply strong to bulging, fit and beautiful is a very hard task though. Our abdominal muscles help us keep upright, sit up, turn around and bend down. So, it is only logical that repeating those movements will train these muscles well.
How to make your abdominal muscles show
There are three parts in gaining those perfect abs. You must be ready to put some hard work and lots of willpower into this, because great six-packs are a symbol of hard work, not easy ways out. Here are the three things you need to do:
- Train your abdominal muscles. Yes, you saw that one coming didn’t you? Of course the most basic and important thing is to put some serious exercise into this muscle group. Abdominal muscles are usually pretty flat and it takes extreme exercise to get them to grow in mass. They also need very good rest, as it is very easy to over-train these muscles. Do not forget that you use your abdominal muscles for almost everything active you do. Count your daily activity into your training regime and allow your tired abs some time to rest and rebuild themselves.
- Lose abdominal fat. If you exercise you probably already have some well defined abs, but often you can’t see them because men tend to have a lot of body fat in the abdominal area when they are overweight. Losing a few pounds can help you show off what you’ve already got. There is no use in hoping for a six-pack if you are overweight as a man. You need to lose the fat if you’ll going to show off your musculature in its full glory.
- Do whole body exercises. It is near impossible to have great six-packs without having a generally toned body. Six-packs go hand in hand with strong pecks and muscular thighs. Do your whole body exercises, like our favorite squats, as often as possible to be sure your abdominal muscles are in good company.
Exercises that target the abdominal muscles
One of the drawbacks of training your abdomen is that you often use your back a lot in those exercises. This means that you can do some damage while working for that perfect stomach. This is why, even though crunches and sit ups are the staple of good abdomen training, it is best to focus on less back targeted alternatives that nonetheless yield solid results.
If you are extremely confident about your form you can still do your crunches and sit ups, but here are some great exercises you could do instead, which would keep your back out of harm’s way:
- Leg lifts are a great exercise that will train your abdomen really hard. Keep your legs straight while lying on the floor and raise them together as high as possible without your back leaving the floor. This way your abdominal muscles will raise your legs and get trained.
- While hanging from a metal bar, lift your knees to your chest.
- Use resistance ropes and twist your body around.
- Learn the correct posture and keep your stomach sucked in and tight all day long. This might not sound like an exercise, but this is what your abs are actually for: keeping your posture and saving your back from lots of tiredness. You will feel exhausted once you try this out diligently.
- You can simply tighten and relax your abdominal muscles, while you are working in the office or driving in your car. This is not visible under clothing when done correctly and can become a good habit.
Have a professional trainer show you how to do crunches and sit ups correctly. To have very strong six-packs you won’t avoid these exercises, but be sure you only do as many sets as needed and not more. If you are extremely tired avoid these exercises. It is best to do them first after your warm up, because being tired might make you use your back more than your abs. Remember to warm up and cool down, abs are like any other muscles and need all the usual attention!