Trying to get six pack abs so you can have the summer bod of your dreams? No need to look further because this article will help clear up any questions you have about those six pack abs. To understand how you will make a plan customized for you, to get to that six-pack, you’ll need to look in the mirror. Having a six-pack consists of just two things: having low enough body fat or belly fat, and having large enough ab muscles to see.
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- Body fat: For most, this is the most important when it comes to having a six pack. See we have a layer of fat that sits between our skin and our muscles, this is called subcutaneous fat. To have a muscle show, there has to be very little subcutaneous belly fat between the skin and that muscle. The best way to do this is by being in a calorie deficit by burning more calories than you eat. Once you’re in a calorie deficit you’ll notice weight loss typically goes from top-down meaning first your face, then arms, then finally your stomach will tone up. By the time you have a six-pack, you’ll look toned all around with proper core exercises!
- Ab Muscles: Even if you have low body fat you may still not be able to see your abs. This is because the muscles just aren’t big enough to see. To do this you have to master keeping your abs tight with the #1 ab exercise, the deadbug. Here’s a picture demonstrating the exercise. Be sure to push your stomach into the ground, then you will reach with your opposite leg and arm to the ground while maintaining the tight stomach for optimal performace of your abs muscle group.
By doing this you will be working the deepest part of your core strength, your transverse abdominis (TVA). While this isn’t a visible ab muscle by being able to control it you will be able to work your visible abs much harder to build strong core muscles. Those visible ab muscles, your rectus abdominis, will work much hard if you can keep your TVA active with abdominal exercise. Just try doing crunches while pushing your low back into the ground the whole time, it works your abs much harder and you’ll definitely feel it. Now the best exercises to get the abs showing are listed here: ab wheel (standing or kneeling), hanging/lying leg raises, dragon flag, side plank, woodchoppers, plank variations (trx plank, sandbag slides, rkc plank, etc…), stability ball crunches, and figure 8’s. REMEMBER for these to be most effective your stomach must be tight the whole time, like when performing the deadbug.
That’s all there is to it. To recap: assess in the mirror to see if your body fat is low enough for abs, if not then eat in a deficit, if you are but can’t see them, then learn to deadbug first, and then execute your favorite ab exercise or core workout