How to get a 6 pack: Ab challenge workout

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Kevin Mangelschots

Having excess fat in the abdominal region increases the risk of heart diseases and diabetes, among many other health detriments.

That’s why we should make it a point to keep a healthy body weight, regardless what gender, or age you are.

Even more, this ab challenge workout can learn you how to get a 6 pack. This is how.

A woman with orange pants and a white shirt performing sit-ups.

I often hear people say, “well, I do tons of sit-ups and crunches, but I still can’t see my abs”.

Even though these exercises work and will definitely help you to get a 6 pack or a slimmer waist for that matter, there is truth to this statement.

If you want your abdominals to be visible, then got to have a low amount of body fat. You need a slim waist in order, so your abs can show themselves.

In fact, having a low amount of body fat is the single most important thing you can do in order to get your six-pack to show itself.

Fit dark skinned woman cutting healthy vegetables and fruits.

No amount of ab exercises will allow your six-pack and slim waist to show itself if your body fat percentage is too high. Even if you technically have a six-pack underneath that layer of fat. Sure, your core will get stronger by doing the ab exercises, which is a nice bonus. But don’t expect your six-pack to show itself if your diet isn’t in order.

So the simple answer to ‘how do I get a six-pack or slim waist’ is:

  1. Watch your diet and get to a low body fat percentage.
  2. Follow an ab workout program.

Here are some tips if you are interested in tips and tricks to lose weight. I would really recommend you to read those tips carefully and to take your diet seriously. Because getting your diet in order is the single most indispensable part to get a slim waist.

The statement “Abs are made in the kitchen” is totally true. Unfortunately.

The abdominal 'six-pack' muscles

A man posing with a naked upper body.

Your abdominal muscles are composed out of three different muscle groups, which we will specify below.

  • Rectus abdominis

    This is the most essential muscle group to get a six-pack.

    This is the muscle group that gives your waist the typical ‘6 pack’ look because it lies relatively superficially in our waist.

  • Oblique abdominal

    These muscles are located to the sides of the rectus abdominis, This area is often called the ‘love handles’ if you have some fat stored or side abs if you don’t.

    People often times have some fat stored in this place because the abdominal area is the area where the fat is the least hindering in our daily lives.

  • Transverse abdominis

    This muscle group is located beneath the rectus abdominis.

    It is the deepest muscle group of all the abdominal muscles and is thus hard to see. The main function of the transverse abdominis is protecting and stabilizing the spine.

    So even though you might not directly see the transverse abdominis, it’s still a very important muscle group for our physical health.

How to train the six-pack muscles

How to train the rectus abdominis

A man with a bare upper body and red shorts performing sit-ups on a mat in the gym.

  • Sit-up

    Lie flat on your back with both feet resting on the ground and your knees bend. Cross both arms across your chest in front of your body and perform an upwards movement with your torso.

    → Be careful not to come upwards too much. If you come too high from the ground with the torso, your back will start to bend. This overarching places stress on the back discs, potentially leading to an injury. Furthermore, don’t put your hands behind your head, as some people will start pulling their heads when performing the upwards motion of the sit-up.

  • Crunches with legs in the air, knees bent at 90°

    Lie flat on your back with both legs elevated, your hips and knees should both be bent at 90°. Cross both arms in front of your chest and perform an upwards movement with your torso.

    → Be careful not to come upwards too much when performing this exercise. If you come too high from the ground with the torso, your back will start to bend, placing stress on the back discs, potentially leading to an injury. Furthermore, don’t put your hands behind your head, as some people will start pulling their heads when performing the upwards motion.

How to train the oblique abdominal

  • Side sit-up

    A woman doing side sit-ups.

    Lie flat on your back with both feet resting on the ground and your knees bend.

    Cross both arms in front of your chest. Come upwards to your right side by aiming your left elbow at your right knee, and lower your torso again until you lie flat on the ground with your back. Do the same movement towards your left side now. Repeat for as much reps as necessary.

    → Your elbows should not touch your knees because if they do, it means you are coming upwards too much. It’s easier to perform the exercise with the right technique if you aim your elbow towards your knee.

    → Be careful not to come upwards too much. If you come too high from the ground with the torso, your back will start to bend, placing stress on the back discs, potentially leading to an injury. Don’t put your hands behind your head, as some people will start pulling their heads when performing the upwards motion of the sit-up.

  • Side crunch

    Lie flat on your back with both legs elevated, your hips and knees should both be bent at 90°.

    Cross both arms in front of your chest. Perform an upwards movement to your right side by aiming your left elbow at your right knee, and lower your torso again until you lie flat on the ground. Do the same movement towards your left side now. Repeat for as much reps as necessary.

    → Your elbows should not touch your knees because if they do, it means you are coming upwards too much. It’s easier to perform the exercise with the right technique if you aim your elbow towards your knee.

    → Be careful not to come upwards too much. If you come too high from the ground with the torso, your back will start to bend, placing stress on the back discs, potentially leading to an injury. Don’t put your hands behind your head, as some people will start pulling their heads when performing the upwards motion of the sit-up.

How to train the transverse abdominis

  • Planking

    A man planking outside with a shaker standing next to him on the ground.

    Bear your weight on your toes and both your forearms. Your back should be kept straight while squeezing and holding your core tight. Proceed to hold this position.

The ab workout plan

At the end of your workouts, when your main compound lifts are done, add in the ab workout program as accessory work for your abdominals in order to get a six-pack and a slimmer waist.

We will make use of a superset in our workout program in order to increase the intensity to burn more calories and, thus, more body fat.

It’s very hard to place an exact number on the amount of reps you should perform as ab work, because this differs greatly for every individual depending on your training level.

I recommend starting with a low amount of reps and seeing how many reps you can manage. If you succeed, and it feels easy, continue adding some more reps after each workout until it feels challenging.

Image of the word “example” being written with a blue marker by someone's hand.

An example of an ab training program looks like this:

  • 5x sit-ups
  • 5x side sit-ups
  • 5x side crunches with legs in the air
  • 5x crunches with legs up
  • 5x side crunches with legs up
  • Plank for as long as you can in order to make those abdominal muscles burn!

→ There is no downtime in the ab workout program. The abs exercises should all be done as a superset, which means you go from one ab exercise into the other without resting.

So when you finish the sit-ups, you go straight into side sit-ups into side crunches with your legs in the air into crunches with legs up into … you get my point.

Conclusion

It is possible to learn how to get abs at home by eating clean and training hard.

It’s a lot harder in reality, but that’s basically where it comes down to. Some people are genetically blessed with a low body fat percentage because of their fast metabolism, so their abs show just due to being skinny, even if they don’t work out at all.

Most people don’t have this advantage. This means they have to work a little harder in order to get their diet in check in order to lose the excess belly fat.

I would always recommend performing some accessory ab exercises to get your muscles stronger and more toned.