Creating a killer six pack is something that both men and women want more than anything else when it comes to exercise. In this article we are going to create the best ab workout for you to perform while you’re stuck at home.
Abs and the Kitchen
It would be irresponsible of us to write an entire article on building a six pack without at least mentioning the role that diet plays in obtaining a great set of abs. You can have the strongest and most powerful set of abs in the world (and you will do if you follow this workout), but if you’re not paying attention to what you’re putting in your mouth you’ll never see it!
Viewing a six pack is all about having a low body fat percentage. Provided you’ve built some muscle through exercise, the visibility of your abs will come down to how low you can get your body fat through dieting.
To lose weight you’ll either need to increase your calories burnt (through exercise and increased activity), reduce the number of calories you consume (eat less), or ideally a combination of the two.
This will create a calorie deficit, where more calories are being burned than are being consumed. If you think of your body like a bank vault. If you have £1,000 in your bank and every day £100 goes in and £110 goes out, eventually you’ll have no money in your vault. Fat loss works in the same way. Though obviously, we want less fat and more money, so it’s not a perfect analogy.
Most of the time, we recommend following full-body training programs. Either that or you follow an Upper/Lower split, or a Push/Pull split. That would not make for much of an ab workout though, because the exercises would be split across multiple sessions.
So in this we are going to imagine that you are performing a full-body workout 2-4 times per week, and that you are training your abs separately at home. This is the workout you would do.
Ab Workout Exercises
Before we start, it would make sense to give you a brief description of how to perform each exercise. If you need further instruction, then just type the exercise into YouTube and you’ll get a visual example.
Abdominal Crunch: The original ab exercise. Most abdominal exercises are built from this exercise, so it is important you know how to perform it correctly. Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Place your hands by your ears, with elbows flared outwards. Take a deep breath, hold it in your chest and slowly raise your shoulders off the floor until your head is looking straight ahead. Breathe out as you are doing this. Pause at the top and then slowly lower yourself back down.
Long Arm Abdominal Crunch: This exercise is performed almost exactly the same as an abdominal crunch. Except that instead of placing your hands by your ears, you straighten your arms out so that they are straight (yet still parallel to the ground, rather than up in the air). Keep your arms straight so that they are brushing your ears, as you raise your shoulders up off the ground your straight arms should remain static. This places more load on your abs, and increases the difficulty.
Bent Knee Crunch: Again, this exercise starts in the traditional abdominal crunch position. Except this time you place your hands on the floor beside you, and instead of raising your shoulders, you bring your knees towards your chest. Pause when your knees are almost underneath your chin, and then lower your feet back down (slowly) to the ground. Try to keep your back flush with the floor throughout this exercise.
Reverse Crunches: Start at the top of the movement for a sit up (not a crunch). Feet flat on the floor, knees bent, and torso at a 45 degree angle to the floor. You may want someone holding your feet for this, or you can get them wedged under something. Very slowly lower your torso down towards the ground, fight it every step of the way. Once you hit the ground, you can use your hands to raise yourself back up to the starting position.
Plank: Normally, the plank is all about holding a position for as long as you possibly can. We’re going to do things slightly different here. Start in a push up position, hands on the floor, body in a straight line, with toes touching the floor. Then place your elbows onto the floor, and brace your abs (squeeze them). Hold this position for 30 seconds, squeezing your abs, your glutes, your quads as hard as you can. Relax after 30 seconds.
Plank Get Ups: Start in the push up position, then drop down to your elbows. One arm at a time. Once both elbows are on the ground, get back onto your hands one arm at a time. While you do this you’ll want to squeeze all your muscles as hard as possible. Perform this at a fast pace as it is more of a cardio exercise.
Mountain Climbers: Either place your hands on a bench or chair, or you can place them on the floor in front of you. You’ll want to be in a similar position to that of a sprinter before the starting pistol goes off. Place one foot forward and one back. This is your starting position. When you begin, bring the front foot back while simultaneously bringing the back foot forward so that they swap. The moment the feet touch the floor you’ll want to swap back again. Like you’re running on the spot, but with both hands on the bench/chair/floor. Again, this is a cardio exercise first, and an ab exercise second.
The Best Ab Workout
- Abdominal Crunches 3 x 10 reps
- Long Arm Crunches 3 x 10 reps
- Bent Knee Crunches 3 x 20 reps
- Reverse Crunches 3 x 5 reps
- Plank 5 x 30 seconds
- Plank Get Ups 3 x 30 seconds
- Mountain Climbers 3 x 30 seconds