One of the most common questions people ask fitness trainers is “How can I get a six pack?”. So, we asked the Register of Exercise Professionals for their top six tips on how to get six pack abs.
1. To understand the basics it's useful to know what a ‘six pack’ is. Those six bumps you see defining the taut tummies of fitness models are the rectus abdominis muscles. Genetics or how your muscles are naturally formed will play a significant role in how well your six pack will show through.
2. The main key to developing a prominent six pack is reducing body fat along with hard training. Intense bursts of cardio training (e.g. intervals) will increase metabolism (i.e. burn more calories even after training) and get the six pack look!
3. Exercises that use lots of big muscles will be much more effective than isolating small muscles. Full body movements such as deadlifts, press ups, and squats will get your ‘core muscles’ really working. Creating intra-abdominal pressure is one of the key functions of the rectus abdominis.
4. Doing big movements will get those core muscles working harder than most isolation abdominal exercises like crunches. That said, it is good to ‘hit’ the core muscles after you have completed your big movements as part of your balanced training programme. A few crunches (not too many!) and sit-ups on an exercise ball will really target that six pack stomach area.
5. Getting your diet right is probably just as important, maybe even more essential, than exercise. You don’t want your six pack stomach to be hidden by a layer of fat! Eating little and often will aid your aim of increasing your metabolism.
6. Let’s end with a ‘do not’! It is not effective or good for you to do hundreds of abdominal crunches every day. This is more likely to give you a bad back and manipulate your body into poor posture. Without good posture your six pack will never show.
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