Are you tired of a protruding gut and unsightly love handles when you want a six-pack? Now is the time to consider changing your lifestyle to eat better and exercise more.
An article published by the National Institute on Aging says that not only can exercise get your body in shape, but it can also make your daily tasks a little easier.
Eight Exercises to Sculpt Your Six Pack
Do you eat a healthy diet where you eat fewer carbohydrates and eat more protein? It’s just as essential that you hydrate properly. If you want to do more to sculpt your ab muscles, here are some exercises to consider:
1. Basic Sit-Ups
What would high school gym class be without sit-ups? Along with push-ups, sit-ups are iconic exercises that you learned as a kid. Use that knowledge to strengthen and tone your ab muscles and eliminate the love handles you despise.
- Lie flat on the floor or a mat.
- Bend your knees but keep your feet on the ground.
- Support your neck by placing your hands behind your head. You can also cross your arms over your chest.
- Now, engage your ab muscles by pulling them in toward your backbone while gently inhaling.
- As you exhale, bring your chest off the ground until your shoulders are a couple of inches from the floor.
- Try to keep your chin up and your neck as straight as possible. Hold this second position for up to three breaths.
- Lower your body slowly back to the first position but keep your abs engaged for the next rep.
- Remember to stay mindfully breathing the whole session. Repeat these steps for at least 10-15 repetitions.
Try to keep your neck straight and supported with your hands so you don’t strain it. Also, perform the moves at a slow and smooth pace for optimal benefits. Don’t bring your shoulders up to high, or you can strain your back.
You will need barbells of appropriate weight and protective gloves. You needn’t be a champion weightlifter to reap the benefits of deadlifts. While lifting barbells from the ground help build muscle mass and strengthen your arms and core, they also benefit your six pack.
As your body gets used to the exercise, you can increase the barbell weight for more challenges.
- Stand in front of your barbell with your feet aligned under each shoulder and your toes under the bar. You can angle your feet or position them straight. Try to keep your heels flat on the floor. Aim to keep your head and back in a neutral position.
- Now, exhale deeply while bending into the squatting position. Although your back may arch slightly, you don’t want your spine or shoulders to be rounded.
- Position your grasp on the bar right outside of each knee. Your grip can be overhand or underhand, whichever is most comfortable. Some barbells have curves for proper hand placement.
- Use your upper leg strength to push upwards and lift the barbell as you exhale. It’s imperative to remember not to raise your hips and use your back for this lift.
- The maximum lift height for a deadlift is thigh level. You won’t be lifting the barbell any higher like an overhead press.
- Lower the barbell to the floor back into the starting position. It’s normal to feel the tension in your legs, shoulders, and six pack when you lift. However, stop immediately if you feel any pain in your back or hips.
- You can start with 3-5 repetitions and increase.
Weightlifting exercises like deadlifts can burn fat and give you a ripped six pack. When you eat fewer carbohydrates and more protein, you will notice even more benefits.
3. Cycling Crunches
This fun exercise blends the classic crunch with cycling motions. Not only will your six pack get a good workout, but it can strengthen your legs and eradicate those irritating love handles.
- Lie flat while bending your knees. Keep your feet balanced on the floor with your hands supporting the back of your head.
- Breathe in to contract your ab muscles and feel them supporting your spine.
- Smoothly pull your shoulders back and raise your knees to form an approximate 90-degree angle.
- Bring your feet up from the mat.
- As you slowly exhale, bring your right knee up towards your right shoulder while you
- Straighten your left leg. Both legs should be lifted higher than your hips.
- Feel your six pack engage as you rotate your torso to touch your left elbow to your right knee, making a bike pedal motion.
- Keep breathing mindfully as you alternate to the left side, bringing your left knee up toward your shoulder to touch your right elbow.
- Continue these steps for 10-15 repetitions and three to four sets.
Try not to strain your neck as you rotate your torso. If you can’t touch your knee to your elbow, extend it as far as you can without pain.
4. Ab Wheel Rollout
According to a study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, ab exercises like this can increase your muscle endurance. Wheel rollouts benefit your arms, six-pack, and oblique muscles.
It would be best if you had an ab roller for this maneuver. You can also utilize a barbell.
- Kneel on both knees on your exercise mat. Position your ab roller in front of your body.
- Lean your torso down and grasp the ab roller handles on both sides.
- As you exhale, tighten your core, and slowly roll the wheel forward. Keep going until your arms are straight and your body is parallel to the mat.
- Maintain your ab muscles tight, and bring the wheel back to the starting position, while keeping your back straight.
- Aim to do 10-15 repetitions.
You can gauge how far to stretch your body by what makes you feel comfortable.
Here’s another great ab builder for all fitness levels. You don’t need any equipment, and you can modify it as needed. Squats benefit your back muscles, hips, upper legs, and abs.
- Stand on your mat with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- As you inhale, tighten your abs, and smoothly bend your knees until your body is in a squatting position.
- Try to keep your head up and your torso straight. You can also stretch your arms out to keep balance.
- Bring your body slowly into the starting position without locking your knees. Try for 1-3 sets of 10-15 reps.
Feel free to modify this exercise by using a sturdy chair.
6. Exercise Ball Rollouts
If you want to have a “ball” while sculpting your ab muscles, this is the exercise for you. It works like the ab wheel rollout, except you use a stability ball.
- Kneel on your mat and position the ball within arm’s reach in front of you.
- Make a loose fist in your hands. Rest your forearms and hands-on top of the ball, keeping your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Your body and back should be straight.
- Now, use your hands to roll the ball forward while your arms and body stretch straight out.
- Look straight ahead and move smoothly and slowly. Stretch out until your chest almost touches the ball or as far as you can reach. Take 2-3 breaths in this position.
- Reverse the steps slowly as you bend your elbows and roll the ball back to you in the starting position.
- Keep your abs engaged and your hips straight.
Stability balls come in different sizes. Pick the size that’s most comfortable for your skill level. The larger the ball, the easier the exercise.
7. Cable Rows
Cable rows are a popular exercise that can strengthen your shoulders, arms, and sculpt your six-pack. You can adjust the weights according to your skill level. You may also notice benefits for your forearms.
If you don’t have a rowing machine, you may sit on your yoga mat and use dumbbells, mimicking the rowing motion.
- Sit comfortably in the seat of the cable row machine and grasp the handle with both hands.
- Pull the handle toward you as you lift the weight.
- Try to keep your spine straight and keep your ab muscles engaged.
- Don’t lean forward as you bring the weights back to the starting position.
- Keep this up and down rowing pattern while keeping your hips flexed, back straight, and abs engaged.
- Your goal is between 10-15 reps.
As you become stronger, adjust the weights for more resistance. Stop immediately if you have pain in your shoulders or back.
8. Toe Touches
Even an exercise as simple as touching your toes can bring you the results you want in your ab and back muscles.
- Stand normally on your mat with your feet facing forward until your ankles almost touch.
- Inhale as you slowly bend to touch your toes or as far as you can reach. Keep your abs tight as you bring your body back to the starting position.
- Try not to curve your back as you bend.
Stretch only as far as you can comfortably. You can up the resistance by touching the floor instead of your toes. You will trim your waistline as well as increase your flexibility and balance.
Final Thoughts on Sculpting a Six Pack
If you want a six pack and to go with a new leaner body, then you need to incorporate an exercise regimen. You must hydrate your body to replace any fluids lost during the workout. In time, your body will feel better, and your self-esteem will also improve.