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Abs: Tips to Develop a Six Pack Articles Database Articles by Writer Articles Written by Matt Canning Abs: Tips to Develop a Six Pack

Abs: Tips to Develop a Six Pack

A lot of people make ab training more complicated than it has to be. Ab training is simple, direct and effective if done properly. Below are some exercises listed which will help you develop the abs you want.

The Obliques

The external obliques lie on each side of your torso. The function of the obliques is to stabilize your torso and twist it. Many individuals who exercise their abs avoid direct oblique training because they are developed indirectly through other exercises, but if you are interested in some direct training, the exercises listed below will help you out.

Twisting Crunches

Lie on the floow with your feet across a bench, in the same position you would be in if you were performing crunches. Curl your body up in the same manner you would for crunches, only twist to either side: start by twisting to the left on the first rep and the right on the second rep or vice versa. You should twist as though you are trying to bring your elbow across to the opposite knee without actually doing so.

Side Jacknife

Lie on your right side, with your right leg slightly bent for stability. Keep your left leg down and straight. Put your left hand behing your head and your right hand on your left ribs (you arms come across your body for more stability). Pull with your obliques and lift your left leg straight up and your torso upward, pulling toward each other. Once you are finished your set for one side, turn on your left side and repeat for the right obliques.

Lower Abs

Bent-Leg Hip Raise

Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your heels flat on the ground. Keep your legs and your feet together and raise your hips off the floor and bring your knees up toward your head, with your feet above your head in the top position. Slowly lower your legs to the bottom and repeat the range of motion.

Knee Raise

Lie on your back on a flat bench, your rear end just at the end of the bench, put your hands under your glutes for support, and extend your legs straight out. (2) Bend your knees, then raise your legs as far as possible, pause at the top, then lower your legs again, keeping them bent throughout the entire range of motion.

Hip Raise

Lie on the floor, placing your hands at your sides and your palms facing down, and raise your legs straight up in the air. Using your lower abs, raise your hips off the floor as if you are trying to raise your feet straight into the air. From there, lower your hips back down and repeat the entire range of motion.

Incline Knee Raise

(1) Lie on your back on an incline board, head higher than your feet. Reach back and take hold of the top of the board or some other support.

(2) With your knees bent, raise your legs as high as you can, then lower them slowly, stopping just as your rear end touches the board. Exhale as you lift and inhale as you lower your legs.


(1) Bending your knees makes the movement a little easier and helps to increase your range of motion.

Upper & Lower Abs, Obliques

Bicycle Raises

This movement provides a similar workout as riding a bicycle would. With your feet and legs together while lying on your back, bend your knees and bring your thighs up in the air until they are perpendicular to the floor, with your calves parallel. From there, extend your left leg approximately 45 degrees from the floor. Bring your right elbow up and across your body and simultaneously bring your left knee back so that they almost touch. While you extend your left leg, bring your left elbow up to your right knee.

Roman Chairs

Sit down with your face up on a roman chair and place your feet under the foot support. Lower your upper torso until it's nearly parallel with the floor. Contract the abs and raise your upper torso back to the starting position and repeat.

Additional Abs Training Tips

Tip 1 - Concentrate on abs exercises in which the ribcage and pelvis are squeezed together.

Tip 2 - Since your abs are used to stabilize many different lifts, work your abs at the end of every exercse when your secondary muscles are adequately pre-exhausted. By doing so, you will focus more on using your abdominal strength during the range of motion and get a better pump as a result.

Tip 3 - Try to perform each rep at an intensity level which will allow you to reach temporary muscular failure by the 20th rep. If you are performing more reps than that, your intensity is likely not enough. If you need to, include weights in exercises (such as weighted crunches) to increase the intensity and reach failure after 20 reps.

Tip 4 - Since your abs are smaller than other muscles, you can train them more frequently than other muscles. But don't be fooled - overtraining is a possibility - that said, try to include at least 48-72 hours of rest between each abs training session. But listen to your body - training them more frequently than that may be possible - or maybe not. Apply the instinctive principle.

Tip 5 - Use a variety of abs exercises, such as the ones listed above, to get a fully balanced workout in.

Take care,

Matt Canning

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