The elusive six-pack abs we want is the one part of the body more women want more than any other. The good news is that getting that six-pack does not have to be all that difficult. The bad news is there is no way to get it while eating pizza and sitting on the couch all day. There are plenty of ads geared at us trying to sell us the latest miracle fat-burning pill or late-night TV electronic gadget. They claim it will melt pounds while watching television, but the reality is nothing but work and discipline will get you there.
The formula is simple: eat a healthy diet and a solid core workout. You are on your own for the first one, here are our tips for the second!
Here is our guide to a killer core workout in four easy steps. We have put this together, especially for men who want to build a strong six-pack fast and without the need for any equipment. For each exercise, we recommend two or three sets, with a 30-second break between each set.
#1. Bird Dog
To perform your first exercise, you will begin in a tabletop position. This is a core exercise all on its own when you hold your body in place for yoga or Pilates. Bend the knees, so the thighs are perpendicular to the floor, and your shins are parallel to the floor while squeezing your legs together. Start by lifting your right arm and left leg at the same time. As you kick the foot back, flex outward while your palm faces inward open to your face. When you reach full extension, pause for a second, and drop back to the original position. Repeat with the opposite arm and foot. Repeat this left and right exchange for 15 repetitions for a full set. For a challenge, you can even change it up daily.
The sit-up is the ultimate classic abdominal go-to exercise. Everyone should know this one so that we will focus on posture. You lie down with your feet under something stationary like a door or couch. Bend your knees up pointing them straight into the air. Next, place your arms crossed at your chest, not behind your neck, and elevate your body straight up and down breathing in on the ground and out while up. Make sure you do not twist or jerk but move up and down in a fluid motion. While this is a simple exercise, it is also one of the easiest to injure yourself due to poor posture. You will want to do at least 20 per set.
For the jackknife, lie flat on the floor with arms raised above your head and legs flat in your starting position. Begin by exhaling while you bend your waist lifting yourself into a v shape with your arms and legs parallel to each other at about a 35-45 degree angle off of the floor. Finally, lower yourself back to the starter position while inhaling. Repeat this 15 times for a set.
#4. Dead Bug
This exercise is easy to remember since you look like a dead bug. The dead bug is possibly one of the most overlooked and effective ab exercises you can do. It is also easy to do because it is like an upside-down Bird Dog. You begin by lying face up on the floor with your arms above your shoulders. Lift your legs, bringing your knees over your hips with the knees bent making a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back in contact with the floor and breathe along with each repetition. You will then move your right arm above your head while at the same time moving your opposite left leg lowering it even with the floor. Next, return to your position with both arms and legs raised and repeat the same process with the opposite arm and leg. A bonus for this exercise is it trains left-right coordination between the extremities. This also helps improve cognitive function. Repeat this exercise 15 times on each side to complete a full set.
And there you have half of what you need for that killer six-pack everybody wants. You do not need any fancy equipment or expensive trainer, 20 minutes a day dedicated to giving you the results you need. Remember, a strong core is also the key to a better and safer workout for the rest of your body. As you tone that six-pack, the rest is sure to come with it.
About The Author:
My name is John Welborn and I specialize in helping overweight and obese individuals transform their bodies, and lives, reclaim their freedom and confidence, and reach the best shape of their lives. I am the founder of John Welborn Fitness, where I offer my services as an experienced personal trainer and group workouts at my gym in the Fairview / Portland Oregon area. I’m loving every minute of it!