Nothing looks better than having perfect six pack abs! Ask any girl and she’ll tell you the same thing. A super developed midsection with defined v line muscles is a true sign of dedication and that is why most people will never have true six pack abs. In order to to achieve six pack abs you have to really be watching what your eating otherwise you will have a nice layer of fat covering up those abdominals.
However there will come a point in time when you’ve dieted hard and performed lots of ultimate fat burning workouts. It is at this point that you will have very little fat on your body but if you weren’t training your abs properly chances are they won’t look quite as sharp as you hoped.
This is where we got to rev up the core workouts and build some visually stunning razor sharp abs. But before I get to that I am going to show you guys what you should NOT be doing.
1. 1000 crunches – Have you ever seen the movie American Psycho? Well in the movie Christian Bale’s character boasts about doing 1000 crunches in a row. While this is impressive, it is also complete waste of time. People seem to think that the abdominals are like some alien muscle group that is completely different from the rest of the body. The truth is that the abs are no different and once an exercise becomes easy than it is time to increase the resistance or find a more challenging variation. Besides who wants to be doing 1000 crunches? That’s just lame.
2. Weighted Side Bends for Obliques – One of the most essential factors for building the perfect male body is increasing your shoulder to waist ratio. So the last thing we want to do is make the waist any bigger than it already is. Well that’s the problem with doing weighted side bends. It tends to add muscle in the WRONG AREAS (the obliques). So my advice is to drop this exercise altogether.
3. Neglecting your lower back – Most people spend crazy amounts of time training their abs yet they don’t even bother doing one set for their lower back. Well when you neglect a very important muscle group your just asking for injury. Therefore it is a MUST to include back extensions, bird dogs and superman’s into your core workout.
Now that I cleared that up lets get to the workout!
The workout is going to be broken up into 5 sections: Transverse Abdominals, Lower, Oblique Stability, Plank, Lowerback. This ensures that we do a complete core workout.
You’ll notice that I didn’t include a section for the upper abs. This is because training the upper abs is hard on the back. Anytime you do trunk flexion your putting your spine in a bad position. In addition I don’t feel that training the upper abs is even necessary. Look at gymnasts – they have some of the best stomachs in the world yet they do absolutely no exercises that involve trunk flexion.
Best Ab Workouts
1. Transverse Abdominals
The TVA (transverse abdominals) is probably the most important muscle to work of the abs. The TVA is like your inner weightlifting belt muscle. It supports your spine and keeps your core strong and rigid. People with weak TVA’s are more likely to get injured and chances are there stomach droops out. Gymnasts have extremely strong TVA’s and thus there abs look spectacular. Here are the best exercises for training your TVA.
- Ab wheel rollouts from knees – eventually you can build up to doing these from standing
- TRX Body Saw
- Dragon Flag
note: anytime your doing an exercise for your TVA make sure your back is flat and rigid – never let your back arch.
2. Lower Abs
Developing your lower abs are essential for a well developed core. The following are some of my favorite lower ab exercises that really help you develop a solid v line.
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Leg Raises on a Dip Bar or Captains Chair
- Hanging Knee Raises
- Knee Raises on a Dip Bar or Captains Chair
- Lying Leg Raises
- PULSE UPS – this one kicks but
3. Oblique Stability
Doing an isometric oblique stability exercise is great at firming up the obliques without adding muscle. The best exercises for the obliques are
- Side Planks
- Renegade Rows
The plank is a tremendous exercise for building 6 pack abs. One of the reasons is that your abs are contracted in a neutral spinal position. So in essence your teaching your abs to be activated and contracted without having to bend forward like your doing crunch. This will help your abs look way sharper while in your normal state. Ex: walking down the beach. My favorite Plank variations are:
- Regular Plank
- Plank with forearms on stability ball
- Plank with feet in TRX suspension bands
5. Lower back
This is where we got to injury proof the back. The best lower back exercises are:
- Hyper Extensions (back extensions)
- Reverse Hyper Extensions
- Bird Dogs
Now lets put this into a workout:
Razor Sharp Abs Workout:
1. Pick an exercise from the first group and perform 3 sets of 6 reps slow and controlled
2. Pick an exercise from the second section and perform 6-15 reps and superset it with pulse-ups like I do in this video:
3. Pick an exercise from the third section. If your doing renegade rows perform 3 sets of 3-6 reps per side. If your doing a side plank do 3 sets for time.
4. Perform 2-3 sets of max hold for time.
5. Perform 2 sets of 20 reps of one of the exercises and superset with Bird-dogs
- Perform this workout 2-3x per week