The Best Ab Workouts For Six-Pack Abs: A Complete Guide

young man wearing sport wear and doing plank position while exercising on the floor at the gym. Plank it

Achieving well-defined, chiseled six-pack abs is a fitness goal that many exercise enthusiasts aspire to reach, but few accomplish. Despite making considerable efforts, it can be quite hard to work one’s abs to the point where they match the physique of fitness professionals. While there is no magic pill or shortcut you can take to obtain these coveted abdominal muscles. There are several effective ab workouts routine you can follow to help you get there.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best ab exercises designed to carve out your abs and help you showcase the results you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Abdominal Anatomy

 young woman doing ab workouts at home

Before you dive into an abs workout routine, it’s a good idea to understand the anatomy of your abdominal muscles. Your body’s core is comprised of several muscle groups, including the rectus abdominis (the muscles that become a six-pack), the obliques (the muscles along the sides of the abdomen), and the transverse abdominis (the deepest abdominal muscles). An effective ab workout routine targets each of these muscle groups, and in doing so, it helps achieve balanced strength and definition.

The Best Ab Workouts

When it comes to discovering how to get abs, setting up the right abdominal exercises is a must. The best core exercises work all of your abdominal muscles, and over time, help develop the visible muscle definition so many individuals desire. 

Let’s cover a few stomach workouts you can add to your routine so that you can be well on your way toward six-pack abs.

Planks

A man doing ab workouts on the floor.

Planks are a great way to tone and strengthen your entire body, including the muscles of your abdomen. This exercise has a few variations you can try if you want to cater your workouts to your individual needs.

  • Standard Plank: Begin in a push-up position, then move to where you’re supporting your weight on your forearms rather than your hands. Keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels, and engage your core muscles. Hold for 30-60 seconds.
  • Side Plank: Lie on your side, propped up on one forearm. Lift your hips off the ground and keep your body in a straight line, engaging your core. Hold for 30-60 seconds on each side.
  • Plank with Leg Lifts: Start in a standard plank position and lift one leg off the ground, keeping it straight. Hold for a few seconds, then switch legs. Repeat for 10-15 reps on each leg.

Suspended Leg Raises

Suspended leg raises are a great addition to ab workouts for men and women alike, though they require the use of gym equipment to execute. Hang from a pull-up bar and keep your arms shoulder-width apart. Engage your core and lift your legs until they are parallel to the ground, then slowly lower them back down. Try to do 10-15 reps.

Russian Twists

Young female athlete doing Russian Twists exercises with weight plate at health club

Russian twists are simple and effective exercises to add to your core workouts. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat (or raise your legs parallel to the floor for a harder workout). Lean back slightly, keeping your spine straight and core engaged. Hold a weight or medicine ball with both hands and slowly twist your torso to the right, then to the left, without moving your hips. Aim for 10-15 reps on each side.

Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks are great for core workouts at home because they don’t call for any special equipment. Practically anyone can perform this exercise technique. To start, lie on your back with your hands placed flat under your glutes for support. Lift your legs off the ground a few inches and alternate kicking them up and down in a fluttering motion. Keep your legs as straight as possible and aim for 20-30 seconds between breaks.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers make effective ab exercises, and once again, they’re quite easy to do because they don’t require any gym equipment. To try this move, start in a push-up position, with your hands directly under your shoulders. Drive one knee towards your chest, then quickly switch legs, as if you’re running in place. Keep your back straight and continue alternating legs at a pace you can manage for 30-60 seconds.

Crunches

Young attractive sporty woman doing crisscross exercise

Crunches are perhaps one of the most well-known ab exercises, and for good reason. They make great ab workouts for women and men, and they can be combined with other exercises to take them to the next level. To do crunches, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head or crossed over your chest. Lift your shoulder blades off the ground, keeping your spine and neck straight and engaging your core, then lower back down. Aim for 15-20 reps.

Staying consistent and dedicating adequate time to your workouts is important when it comes to sculpting six-pack abs. Incorporate these ab exercises into your workout routine, and pair your regimen with ab stretches, a balanced diet, and regular cardiovascular exercises for optimal results. Remember that progress takes time, so be patient but remain persistent on your journey. Before too long, you’ll have the sculpted abs you’ve always wanted.

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