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Getting ripped is something that we’d all like to do. Who can honestly say that they don’t want to have a body like a movie star and muscles to match?
Acquiring a 6 pack is one of the main aims of fitness fanatics’ world-over. It’s a trophy of sorts, a sign of your dedication to bettering yourself (and let’s face it, they look good too).
Fortunately for you, developing a 6 pack is something that anyone can do if they stick to a healthy diet and work out on a regular basis.
Here’s the 10 best exercises to get those washboard abs you’re so desperately after, remember to develop a routine beforehand, plan out the time you’ll hold each position and stick to a certain amount of reps for each exercise:
1. The Twist and Crunch
The crunch is considered a fairly standard work out technique now. To really get the definition and tone that you want in a 6 pack it’s best to mix-up your crunches. That’s why the majority on our top 10 list are variations on the crunch.
The twist and crunch is simple and effective, it can be accomplished anywhere (within reason of course). Simply lie down on your back, keeping your hands up by your head as per usual with a crunch. Keep your legs up in the air, parallel to the floor and twist your hips gently by contracting your oblique muscles.
We’ll start off on the left so, twist, make sure you hold this position and then touch your left knee with your right elbow. Slowly return to your original position whilst breathing accordingly. Then simply repeat on the opposite side.
2. The Reaching Crunch on Ball
Yoga ball, Swiss ball, fitness/work out ball – whatever you call them they’re great for exercising and perfect for getting those killer abs. You’ll see them quite a bit in this list as they’re so important if you want that 6 pack and provide much needed back-support.
This exercise is quite an easy one, simply lay on the ball so that your back is parallel to the floor (or near enough) and ensure that your feet are shoulder-length apart and planted firmly on the ground.
Point your arms directly upwards and straighten them out. Much like when you’re doing a crunch, contract your abs and reach upwards. Hold this position for a previously decided amount of time.
I’d recommend just a few seconds if you’re starting off but work your way up to a longer time the better you get. Lower yourself down slowly once your time is up and then repeat.
3. The Jackknife
This is an age-old exercise that’s been around for quite some time now. There’s a reason for that, it’s because of just how effective it is and how fast the results pay off.
Despite being so effective this exercise is really simple, just lay down on the floor (or a mat if you have one), then raise your arms above your head and lift up your legs as far as possible.
If you’re in good shape already you should be able to touch your toes but don’t worry if you can’t, you’ll soon be able to if you stick to this list.
Same as before, slowly return to the position you started off in and then repeat until you’ve completed all of your reps.
4. The Windshield Wipers
Another easy but highly effective exercise next. Keep the mat out for this one and any subsequent positions were you’re required to lay down.
Lay on your back in a ‘T’ position, arms spread out and legs straight down. Then lift up your legs as straight as you can get them without being uncomfortable.
Move your legs slowly from side to side, as close as you can get them to the floor, in the manner of a ‘windshield wiper’.
This is one of the many moves on the list that strengthens more than one muscle and has many benefits beyond the obvious 6 pack you’ll acquire.
5. The Reverse Crunch
The reverse crunch requires a bench or similar structure to lay down on. Don’t attempt this on a flimsy bench or something that could easily fall apart – as you don’t want to injure yourself.
Laying down on the bench you must bend your knees a little and grab on to the bench behind your head, this adds much needed stability as you’re about to bend back further.
Raise your knees and legs towards your chest and try to touch your elbows, hold this position and then slowly lower your legs back down.
If you’re having trouble completing this exercise then don’t worry, some people find it hard, it’s best not to push yourself to much if you’re worried about any damage to your body.
6. The Side Crunch on Ball
This position requires the fitness ball again (or whichever name you’ve decided on for yours), just lean sideways on the ball with your hip – your torso and shoulders shouldn’t be touching the ball.
It’s best to support yourself by pushing your feet against a wall during this exercise, no point harming yourself or your pride by falling midway through!
Hold your hands up by your head and contract your stomach muscles, moving your torso sideways (upwards) and holding, before gently lowering yourself.
7. The Front Plank on Ball
This move requires both the ball and a bench. It’s a great exercise to start off on if you’re just warming up but it also provides some brilliant results if you’re dedicated.
Just rest your elbows flat on the bench whilst your feet are balanced on your fitness ball. Contract your abs and tighten up your stomach, raising yourself so that you’re parallel to the floor.
Ensure that your back is as straight as possible and hold your position. Slowly release and repeat until your reps are over.
8. The Woodchop
Despite sounding and looking like a waste of time this exercise can prove to be massively effective when done right. You’re going to need to be at the gym, as this requires a multi-purpose pulley machine.
If you’re lucky enough to own one of these machines yourself then practice this exercise often to strength your abs as much as possible.
Grab the grip attachment at shoulder height with one of your hands (after placing a suitable weight on the machine). Take a few steps away from the device so as to build up some tension.
Stand with your feet straight and shoulder-length apart, grab on to the grip with your other hand so both are holding on tightly and pull the pulley side to side (in a wood-chopping motion). Repeat on both sides.
9. The Leg Raise/Hip Raise
This is very similar to the reverse crunch, so set yourself up same as with that exercise. Essentially this is exactly the same except instead of bringing your knees to your elbows keep your legs straight.
Raise your legs and hips from horizontal to as vertical as you can, perhaps even slightly beyond vertical so they’re coming back down towards your head.
Hold and release slowly, lowering your legs down to their original position whilst keeping a firm grip on the bench behind your head.
10. The Russian Twist
This is another exercise that will require you to be at the gym, or to own a decline bench. Simply sit on the bench with your legs firmly underneath the support pads.
Leaning back slightly you’ll have to place both your hands in front of you, palms together and arms straight, pointing directly ahead.
Rotate as far as you possibly can from left to right with your arms held in the same position as best as possible. This exercise is less about precision as it is movement.
Continuously move left to right whilst building up speed, do this for 60 seconds of so.
Create a set to practice in the gym utilizing this list and you’re sure to have those abs in no time. Always remember to be safe and ensure you don’t damage your body at any time during your exercises.