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How To Get 6-Pack Abs

Jun 4, 2008
One of the most common goals that fitness enthusiasts have is to develop 6-pack abs, especially among men. Many women, too, are motivated to sculpt their abs (perhaps not to the same degree of men) along with losing weight and burning fat.

But why is it that so many people have such a hard time achieving the 6-pack or the toned abs that they so desire? Well, it boils down to 2 main factors - training and diet.

Let's first tackle the diet issue. It's important to keep in mind that you can never out train a bad diet. Many athletes seem to think that they can get away with eating whatever they want because "they need" the calories. That's nonsense.

This type of mentality, especially if adopted by recreational exercisers, can be detrimental to your pursuit of a 6-pack.

To visually see the tone of your abdominals your body fat needs to be about 10% or lower. Most active individuals score in the teens and thus require a little bit more work in their training and especially in their diet if they wish to achieve their goal of washboard abs.

You can exercise all you want and do thousands of sit-ups each day to little effect if your diet is out of whack. I will cover the fundamentals of a 6-pack healthy diet in a future article but for now I'd like to show how you can better your chances by choosing exercises that maximize your body's fat burning potential while strengthening your abs and core.


When it comes to training the first thing to realize is that abdominal exercises have little effect on your ability to see your abs. Every person inherently has the same amount of muscles. The only difference is whether or not you can see them. Both you and I have the 8-pack rectus abdominus muscle (most people think it's just a 6-pack) - that's our human anatomy. But whether or not you can see yours depends on the amount of fat you have covering these abdominal muscles.

Sit-ups and crunches have little fat burning effect simply because they are small, limited movements that involve a small group of muscles. If the goal is to burn fat (and it is!) then the key to fitness training lies in your ability to choose exercises that burn a huge amount of calories. These are exercises that require large muscles.

For instance, squat presses, lunges with biceps curls, and step-ups with shoulder presses are all great examples of movements that use a huge amount of muscle. Try them and just watch how your breathing and heart rate immediately go through the roof.


But if you're bent on focusing on your abs then let me give you some helpful pointers to get a great abdominal burn in your workouts. Just remember through - ab-specific exercises won't get you any closer to your goal. But here goes.

Assuming that you have no history of lower back pain the key to challenging your abs is to work them to fatigue and constantly challenge them with new and exciting exercises. Repeating the same boring exercises over and over is not an effective way to train.

One of my personal favourite abdominal "props" is the BOSU ball. The BOSU ball challenges your core and abdominals like nothing you've ever experienced before. Its inherent instability requires your deeper core muscles to constantly work to keep you balanced while you attempt to perform the movements at hand.

A simple set of crunches on the BOSU ball is much different and more effective than doing them on the floor. One of the keys to core and abdominal training is muscle activation. Any time you perform exercises that recruit more muscles (ie. greater muscle activation), the greater the "burn" you're going to feel and the stronger your abs and core will become.

So having said that here's a sample 5 exercise BOSU ball core workout for you to try:

NOTE: BOSU ball is placed so that the flat surface is against the floor - rounded side facing up. All exercises should be performed to fatigue.

Click here to see what these exercises look like.

Hovering Back Extensions
Alternating Jackknife
About the Author
Fitness Expert, Yuri Elkaim helps millions of busy health conscious individuals lose fat while sculpting lean muscle with just 3 short enjoyable workouts a week. Watch his new You Tube Video for all the exercises from this article! And as a special bonus, you'll receive a FREE special offer to receive one of Yuri's FREE Fitter U fat-burning workouts to help you create a smokin' lean and fit body!
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