How to Get Six Pack Abs Fast at Home
Flat abs symbolize peak physical fitness and in the celebrity tabloids six-pack abs have also become a kind of yardstick for sex appeal. If you want to have flat well define stomach and six-pack abs, you need to lose the excess fat around your abdomen. The chiseled look accomplished with physical conditioning comes mainly from having scant abdominal fat covering the muscles.
It takes training to increase strength, build endurance and develop the abdominal muscles, but to SEE the definition in your abdominal muscles or any other muscle group for that matter—it’s almost entirely the result of low body fat levels. Think of abdominal fat (belly fat) like the deep end of the swimming pool, there is no way you can drain the deep end before the shallow end. It’s the first place you put on fat and the last place to come off.
Good nutrition is 95% and exercise is 5% of your six pack abs success. Consuming most of your calories from processed and fast foods, is going to produce an unhealthy body lacking in nutrients. If you’re eating natural and whole foods you can eat more than if you’re eating processed foods. Make good food choices, on the other hand, and you’re on your way to a leaner you.
In order to have a lean midsection takes a combination of good nutrition, cardiovascular conditioning, and abdominal training. It’s a monumental error to think that 1,000 reps of abs work a day will make your abs finally “pop” when your diet is a disaster and leads to fat storage. It’s not that ab exercises aren’t important. But all the ab exercises in the world won’t help as long as you still have body fat covering the abdominal muscles.
You can’t “spot reduce” with abdominal exercise and YOU CAN’T SEE YOUR ABS THROUGH A LAYER OF BODY FAT ! Forget about doing thousands of reps of sit-ups—it’s a waste of time. The reason people get six pack abs look the way they do is not from endless repetitions, but because they get their body fat down into the single digits (< 5%) with a highly specialized fat-burning diet program.
To lose weight and body fat, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn by adjusting your diet and exercise habits. Most people don’t have their fat distributed evenly throughout their bodies. Each of us inherits a genetically determined and hormonally-influenced pattern of fat storage just as we inherit our eye or hair color. In other words, the fat seems to “stick” to certain areas more than others.
The abs, also known as the rectus abdominis, are bands of muscle connecting the pelvis with the rib cage. It’s these muscles that form a “six pack” when they’re well developed and not hidden under belly fat. The abs get the most press, but they don’t work alone. They function with a group of other so-called “core” muscles, including the obliques, which wrap around the sides of the torso, and muscles that move the spine and pelvis.
The core muscles are important because they connect the upper and lower body; they’re essential for the coordinated movement of the whole body. Strengthening the core muscles can make you more fit for all kinds of activity.
How to Use Cardio for Maximum Fat Burning and Getting Six Pack Abs Fast
The section is a cardio program from a body building fitness professional. So use the suggestion as a guide only for your personal cardio fitness workout. Make sure you also add high intensity interval training (HIIT) to your fitness workout routine. Realize that your body is designed to perform physical activity in bursts of exertion followed by recovery, or stop-and-go movement instead of steady state movement. Recent research is suggesting that physical variability is one of the most important aspects to consider in your training. This tendency can be seen throughout nature as animals almost always demonstrate stop-and-go motion instead of steady state motion. In fact, humans are the only creatures in nature that attempt to do “endurance” type physical activities. Most competitive sports (with the exception of endurance running or cycling) are also based on stop-and-go movement or short bursts of exertion followed by recovery. To examine an example of the different effects of endurance or steady state training versus stop-and-go training, consider the physiques of marathoners versus sprinters. Most sprinters carry a physique that is very lean, muscular, and powerful looking, while the typical dedicated marathoner is more often emaciated and sickly looking. Now which would you rather resemble ?
Furthermore, steady state endurance training only trains the heart at one specific heart rate range and doesn’t train it to respond to various every day stressors. On the other hand, highly variable cyclic training teaches the heart to respond to and recover from a variety of demands making it less likely to fail when you need it. Exercise that trains your heart to rapidly increase and rapidly decrease will make your heart more capable of handling everyday stress.
One example of a high intensity interval training (HIIT) session on the treadmill could look something like this:
- Warm-up for 3-4 minutes at a fast walk or light jog
- Interval 1 – run at 8.0 mi/hr for 1 minute
- Interval 2 – walk at 4.0 mi/hr for 1.5 minutes
- Interval 3 – run at 10.0 mi/hr for 1 minute
- Interval 4 – walk at 4.0 mi/hr for 1.5 minutes
Repeat those 4 intervals 4 times for a very intense 20-minute workout.
There are many ways that you can strategically modify your training variables to assure that you maximize your fat loss and/or muscle building response to exercise. The idea is to make exercise fun and interesting and to do that, you can do other high intensity interval training like running up a hill (hill sprints), cycling, sprinting hard in between jogging (wind sprints), staircase sprints (try mixing stairs sprints with an upper body exercise like pushups or pull-ups).
For health and weight maintenance, he suggested 3 short cardio workouts per week, about 20-30 minutes per session. But for maximum fat loss, he recommended 4-7 days per week of cardio or other physical activity for 30-45 minutes (based on results), at a moderate pace. You can mix up the type of cardio you do, or choose the type you enjoy the most—stationary cycling, stair climbing, elliptical machines, aerobic classes and others.
Strengthening Your Abs
Having relatively weak abs compared to your back muscles can make you more prone to muscle injuries and lower back pain. The back is normally somewhat stronger than the abs, but there shouldn’t be a drastic imbalance between them.
How to Get Flat Six-Pack Abs
Ab workouts alone don’t necessarily produce flat abs. If you have a lot of belly fat, you also need to consume fewer calories than you burn. For weight loss and general fitness, aerobic exercise and strength training are important.
Mass in the abdominals is based on the amount of muscle fibers that are there genetically, because you can’t pump up your abs beyond a certain genetically predetermined size.
There are any number of exercises that, along with a balanced fitness regimen and a healthy diet, could help you get strong, flat abs. No ab exercise is perfect.
1) Flat Abs Exercise: Traditional Crunch and Sit-up
The traditional crunch could be called the plain vanilla of ab exercises, but it works and is worth knowing how to do properly.
Most guys with gladiator-quality abs have put enough effort into physical training to know the difference between a crunch and a sit-up.
The difference between a crunch and a sit-up is where you bend. To do a sit-up, you literally sit up from a prone position, bending at the waist until you touch your elbows to your knees. To do a crunch, you squeeze your abdominal muscles to bend your rib cage toward your pelvis, as if you are trying to sit up but can’t because an imaginary strap is holding down your abdomen and hips.
Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Place your hands loosely behind your head and spread your elbows out so that your shoulder blades squeeze together. Keeping this posture, contract your abdominal muscles, lifting your upper body without arching your back. The lower back should stay flat to the ground. The hips and legs should not move. Stop at the point where you can’t go any farther, hold it, and then slowly relax, returning to your starting position.
Get it right:
Go slowly, and focus on good form. Doing crunches too fast could make your form sloppy and strain your back muscles.
A set of 15-25 crunches or sit-ups is enough, the big mistake that people make is they try to do hundreds.
2) Flat Abs Exercise: Reverse Crunch
You can do the crunch in reverse by keeping your upper body flat on the ground while lifting your legs and lower torso, instead of the other way around.
Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Spread your arms out to the sides of your torso, palms down. Keep this posture while bringing your knees back and feet up so that your bent legs make a 90-degree angle. Keep your legs at that angle while you lift and roll your hips back toward your rib cage. Your upper body and head should stay flat on the ground, with your outstretched arms balancing the weight of your legs. Take it as far as it will go without moving your arms or upper body, hold the position briefly, then slowly let your legs down.
Get it right:
Don’t let your knees wobble out of line with your hips. More of the effort focuses on the abs than related muscle groups when the legs are centered.
3) Flat Abs Exercise: Bicycle Maneuver
A study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) compared the effectiveness of various ab exercises to the traditional crunch. The bicycle maneuver stood out among the 13 exercises tested by researchers at the San Diego State University Biomechanics Lab. Researchers used electrodes to measure activity in the muscles of people exercising. Compared to the traditional crunch, the bicycle maneuver produced about two and a half times as much activity in the rectus abdominis, and nearly three times as much activity in the obliques.
Here’s how to do this exercise:
Lay flat on your back and place your hands loosely on the sides of your head. Raise your legs, bending the knees at a 45-degree angle, keeping your lower back flat to the ground. Then move your legs as if your feet were pushing the pedals of a cycle. As you “pedal,” touch your elbow to the opposite raised knee — right elbow to left knee, left elbow to right knee.
Get it right:
Don’t hold your breath. Breathe evenly throughout the exercise.
4) Flat Abs Exercise: Stability Ball Crunch
Crunch exercises can be more effective when done on a big inflatable ball called an exercise ball. The ACE-commissioned study of ab exercises showed that crunches done with the aid of an exercise ball generated 39% more activity in the rectus abdominis, and 47% more activity in the obliques than a traditional crunch done on a floor mat.
Sit on an inflated exercise ball, feet flat on the floor. Roll down on the ball, so that the middle of your back rests at the top of the ball. Hold your thighs level with the floor, knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows pointing outward, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Contract your abdominal muscles, curling your chest toward your pelvis. Keep your lower back in contact with the ball and your feet firmly set on the floor. When you’ve taken the crunch as far as you can, hold it a moment, then slowly relax, returning to the starting position.
Get it right:
Use a properly sized ball for your height. A ball 26 inches in diameter is recommended for men 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet 2 inches tall.
A more fully inflated, harder ball makes for a more difficult workout. A properly inflated ball should give slightly under your weight.
5) Flat Abs Exercise: The Plank
There are many variations of this exercise, which as the name suggests, involves a rigid, straight posture. A basic plank exercise is similar to a push-up. It’s an important ab exercise to start with because it helps people become aware of their core muscles. Holding your body rigid, you can feel how those muscles keep you from collapsing.
Lay on your stomach with your arms bent, keeping your forearms flat on the floor, palms down. Your elbows should be in line with your shoulders and close to your sides. Bend your feet forward so your toes grip the floor. Stiffen your torso and legs. Slowly raise up your whole body, keeping your legs and torso in a straight line, without letting any part sag or arch up. Hold the position and then lower yourself back down.
Get it right:
If you feel any lower back pain while doing this exercise, stop right away.
6) Flat Abs Exercise: Pilates
Pilates isn’t a single exercise. It’s a fitness system that involves many different exercises and routines that can be done on exercise mats or with a special machine. Many people practice Pilates with a certified instructor at a health club or private studio, but instructional books and videos are also available for doing it at home.
7) Flat Abs Exercise: “As Seen on TV”
You’ve probably seen TV ads for ab exercise devices. Studies have shown that some of these devices were more effective than the traditional crunch, while others were about the same or less effective.
The researchers also tested the Power Wheel — a small treaded wheel with handle grips. They found one technique using the Power Wheel to be the most effective of 12 exercises tested. That technique, called the “roll out,” involved gripping the wheel and rolling it forward from a kneeling position.