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How to get Six-Pack Abs

Updated on August 20, 2011

How to Get Great Abs

Let's face it, six-pack abs are hot. Doesn't matter if you are a man or woman, having great abs contributes to your looks. It also helps your posture and your digestion! The lens is all about getting great abs.

Ab Exercise Goals

What Do You Want from an Ab Machine

What are your exercise and fitness goals when it comes to abdominal exercises? Most women want a smaller waist and to lose any love handles or midsection fat that accumulates as we age and/or have children. Men also want to reduce the fat, and often seek the chiseled "six pack" abdominal definition. Many women also look for muscle definition. There are two parts to abdominal exercise. One is the cardio/aerobic exercise needed to remove excess fat from this area. The other is the strength training exercise required to help flatten the belly and develop light or intense muscle definition.

Do You Have a Six-Pack?

Do You Have Six-Pack Abs?

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Cardio or Resistance Exercise?

You need both!

Most of us need both cardio and resistance exercises to achieve the abdominal results we're looking for. As we mentioned earlier, it's the cardio exercise that burns off fat. Cardio exercise, also called aerobic exercise, increases your oxygen intake, your heart rate, and your fat burning metabolism. This kind of exercise consists of almost anything that makes you breathe harder. Traditional examples are jogging, walking, riding a bike, or aerobics classes. Other activities also qualify as aerobic, even sex! It's important to exercise for 30-60 minutes a day at a medium intensity, where you are focused on your aerobic activity (not reading a book while strolling on the treadmill!) This consistency will help you remove any unwanted fat from your midsection.

The other kind of exercise involves using your muscles against resistance. Weight training is the classic example, but you're not limited to free weights. Doing crunches is actually weight-lifting - you're lifting the weight of your torso against the force of gravity by using your abdominal muscles. As you do this, you break down muscle tissue, and when your body rebuilds it (with the proper nutrition!) then your muscles get stronger AND more well-defined. These exercises will help you develop a chiseled, flat, or sculpted appearace.

Diet is Super Important - Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!

Abs
Abs

Many of us that exercise have a six pack - it's just hidden below a layer of fat! It's important to watch what you eat. Sugar and processed foods quickly turn to fat that can be easily stored in your midsection. In order to show off your ripped muscles, you need to focus on whole grains, protein, and unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Limit or avoid white bread and pasta, sugar, and dairy products.

Rectus Abdominis
Rectus Abdominis

Abs - Rectus Abdominis

Know what muscles make up your abs!

It's important to make sure you're working out all of the muscles and muscle sections associated with your abdominals. The first is the rectus abdominis. These are a pair of muscles that run up and down on either side of the center line of your body. This is what you work most when you do sit-ups or crunches

Transversus abdominis
Transversus abdominis

Abs - Transversus abdominis

Know what muscles make up your abs!

The Transversus abdominis muscles wrap around from the side of your body to the front. This is a smaller muscle that can be exercised by purposefully drawing the belly button toward the spine.

Internal Obliques
Internal Obliques

Abs - Internal Obliques

Know what muscles make up your abs!

The internal oblique muscles lies above (closer to the skin) the transverse abdominal muscle already discussed. Both obliques are exercised through motions of bending side-to-side at the waist, or twisting the torso while keeping the hips centered.

External Obliques
External Obliques

Abs - External Obliques

Know what muscles make up your abs!

The external obliques lie closest to the skin, above the internal obliques. They are exercised in the same manner as the internal obliques (described above).

Visit Our Site

We feature reviews for a lot of exercise equipment on our website. My favorite is the Ab Circle Pro. It combines aerobic and resistance training, and works your entire core (abs, obliques, back, upper legs).

Let us know what you think of our lens - or our website. Or the products we like to talk about. We're interested in hearing whatever you have to say.

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    • nature photogra profile image

      nature photogra 6 years ago

      I like your comment that abs are made in the kitchen and not in the gym.