Want A Six Pack? 7 Best Ab Workout Exercises You Need To Know
Are you looking to sculpt a six-pack? If so, you’ve come to the right place. I will share 7 of the best ab workout exercises for getting those dreamy abs.
There are many different ab workouts, but these seven are the best ab exercises for getting that ripped six-pack.
Getting abs isn’t easy, but with these ab workout exercises and a healthy diet, you’ll be on your way to a six-pack in no time.
How Do I Get Abs?
You might be asking yourself, “How do I get abs?”
Unfortunately, getting a nice six-pack doesn’t happen overnight.
You need to work out your abdominal muscles consistently and eat a healthy diet to get abs. Ab workout exercises alone won’t give you a six-pack if you eat unhealthy foods.
Abdominal muscles are hidden underneath the layer of fat in your belly. Losing weight with a proper diet with a calorie deficit will help reduce belly fat. With less fat, the underlying abdominals will have a chance actually to be seen.
You need to make sure that you’re doing awesome ab workout exercises that target all of the different abdominal muscles. Like any muscle group, abs need to be worked from various angles to develop fully.
Abdominals are muscles, which means they can grow in size like other muscles. A combination of less fat and larger muscle tissues are the keys to success for getting a shredded stomach.
These seven workout exercises target all of the different abdominal muscle groups so that you can get a ripped six-pack.
What Are The Best Ab Workout Exercises For Getting a Six-Pack?
What’s the best ab exercise?
Let’s look at the 7 best abs workout exercises you can do to get the abs you want. This list comprises direct and indirect exercises for fully rounded ab growth and development.
Direct exercises are considered the best ab workouts because they target the abs directly through movement. These movements will cause direct stress and pressure on the abs throughout the exercise.
Indirect exercises will be movements that do not directly target the abs but require muscular core strength to complete, which is a different type of stress on the muscle. Indirect exercises are sometimes overlooked when building great abs but are just as beneficial to full ab development.
Let’s start with direct abs exercises.
Leg scissors might not sound like much of a workout, but trust me, you are in for some wonderful ab work.
The leg scissors are an excellent exercise for targeting the lower abs. The lower abs are often forgotten when doing ab exercises even though they are just as important. So the leg scissors become a valuable asset to your ab workout exercises routine.
This exercise is performed when you lie on your back, your arms to the side, and your hands palm down on the floor. With both legs in the air in a straight line, slowly lower the left leg towards the floor without touching the floor. The stress of keeping the foot hovered about the ground is where the money is at in this movement.
Lift that same leg back up and now repeat with the right leg. As you lower the legs, make sure to keep the legs straight.
This is not an exercise that should be done fast. Instead, count 3 seconds down and 3 seconds up to get the most benefit from the movement.
The following exercise is the barbell squat. It may not be commonly thought of as one of the best abs workouts, but it is a core training beast.
This full-body exercise targets the quads, glutes, and hamstrings but also requires a lot of core stability to perform correctly.
You are starting position with the barbell (weight plate optional) across your shoulders and back and your feet flat; shoulder-width apart, slowly lower into a squat.
Keep your eyes forward and your back straight, and engage your core muscles to maintain balance. Count to three as you descend into the squat and then explode with a quicker movement back up.
When standing straight, keep a little bend in your knees. Locked joints can lead to injury. Also, when exploding back up, keep the pressure on your feels for maximum stability.
Your legs will get most of the glory on this exercise, but make no mistake, your core and abdominal muscles work overtime to keep your body upright.
The oblique v-ups made a massive comeback in the mid-2000s thanks to P90X, which included the exercise in the program. And for a good reason. The oblique V-Up combines balance and core strength and is one hell of a workout.
The oblique V-Up’s are an excellent exercise for targeting the oblique muscles, which are the muscles on the sides of your waist, just below the rib cage on each side.
This exercise is performed by lying on your side with both legs extended with the knees bent and then simultaneously raising your upper body and legs off the ground. If you are lying on your right side, your left hand will go behind your head, and your right hand will be flat on the floor.
As you rise, you will push your left elbow towards your rising knee, which will cause your oblique muscle to contract. Once contracted, lower the legs and body back down to the floor and repeat. Make sure to flip over and do your other side as well.
This movement does take a bit more balance than the other moves on the list, but that’s just an extra workout bonus.
Crunchy Frog is another famous remnant from the Ab Ripper-X part of P90X.
And again, there is a reason it appeared on that program. It’s an ab shredder and another dynamite lower ab exercise.
Crunchy Frogs exercise is an excellent exercise for upper abs workouts. This exercise is performed by lying on your back with both legs in the air, then slowly raising your head and shoulders off the ground. At this point, your sitting position resembles a V formation.
With the arms extended outward, bring your knees towards your chest. When contracted, wrap your arms around your knees as if you are hugging them. Stay in the V sitting posture and repeat the movement.
One of the significant benefits of the Crunchy Frog is that it requires the core to stay engaged the entire time to keep your upper and lower body elevated.
It might be a silly name, but the Crunchy Frog is serious business.
The next exercise is the plank. Planks are a bit boring. You don’t really DO anything in a plank position except stay in a straight line.
But your abs don’t think planks are boring. Your abs love when you do planks.
Planks require nearly every muscle in your body to hold position, with your core muscles doing most of the heavy lifting by keeping the abs engaged. In a plank, your core is tasked with preventing your body’s weight from sinking to the ground—no easy feat.
And this is going to involve full-on core training. This exercise is performed by lying on your stomach with your legs extended and then raising your body off the ground, supported by your forearms and toes.
You should keep your feet close together, but you can also place the feet shoulder width apart for an alternative.
Now literally, don’t move. Keep the entire body straight and maintain a good posture. Stay in this straightened position for as long as possible.
You’ll be shocked at how hard doing nothing in a plank can be.
The next ab workout exercise is yoga. Yoga takes some of the same concepts of the plank but adds movement into the equation. This slow grind of twisting, stretching, and holding gives your core and stomach muscles an abs workout that looks deceiving but will have you sweating in short order.
Yoga requires a strong core, making your ab muscles work overtime. This is an excellent exercise for overall fitness and well-being but requires core strength to perform correctly.
There are much different yoga poses that you can do to target the core muscles.
The last exercise on our list is the traditional crunch. This is an upper ab workout burner.
This exercise is performed by lying on your back with both legs in the air, knees slightly bent, hands interlocked behind the head, and then slowly extending your head and shoulders a few inches off the ground. You aren’t trying to rise like you would traditional sit-ups, ultimately.
Instead, go high enough to get your shoulders off the ground or until you feel your upper abs crunch in the movement.
Also, don’t pull on your head with your hands to get your shoulder blades off the ground. Instead, let your core muscles do the work to elevate you.
Crunches are great exercises to do at a faster pace, so feel free to ramp up the speed on these.
Better Abs Workout, Direct Or Indirect Exercise?
There isn’t such a thing as better when direct (targeted) ab workout exercises or indirect ab exercises.
Instead, think of them as different and have different purposes and benefits.
Direct exercises target specific muscles in an ab workout. This helps those particular muscle groups develop by getting all the attention from your training.
On the flip side, indirect exercises take more of a universal approach. Indirect abs exercises will work for several muscle groups at the same time.
The benefit of this is that each muscle group gets some bit of attention. The negative would be that with indirect exercises, the gains are spread out among several muscle groups versus
How Long Will It Take To Get Abs?
When it comes to getting abs, no one answer fits everyone.
It depends on your body type and how much fat you have to lose. If you are relatively lean and just looking to tone your stomach, you may see results in as little as a few weeks. However, if you carry a lot of excess weight around your midsection, it may take longer to see results.
The best way to get abs is to focus on direct and indirect ab workout exercises.
Mixing both allows you to target all the muscles in your core for full development. Remember to focus on form and breathing during each exercise, and don’t forget to rest between sets.
With consistency and patience, you will see results.
Do I Have To Exercise To Get Abs?
It might surprise many people, but getting abs does not require exercise.
There is a saying, “abs are made in the kitchen.” A proper diet that leads to a caloric deficit will lead to weight loss.
This is true regardless of their workout regimen.
Whereas a person could do ab workout exercises all day, if they have weight to lose around the mid-section, they will never be able to get a six-pack. It’s there, buried underneath the fat.
Interested in growing your chest too? Check out our article “5 Unique Chest Exercises to Build a Bigger Chest.”
So Then, Why Do I Need Ab Workout Exercises?
Like any muscular workout, proper stress on any muscle can lead to muscle growth. Muscle growth will lead to a more defined and developed muscle presence.
So if a person can increase their muscle size while at the same time losing excess fat around the stomach, the abs will appear faster.
Other Ideas For Abs Workouts
Are you looking for other workout ideas to help you get the abs you want? Here are some other ab exercises you can try on your mission to find your best ab workout exercises.
- Seated Russian Twist
- Reverse Crunch
- Lying Leg Raise
- Knee Tucks
- Workout Videos (e.g. P90X, Insanity, etc.) targeting
Final Thoughts On The Best Ab Workout Exercises
I hope you enjoyed this article on the best ab workout exercises for getting a ripped six-pack. Remember, no specific training or workout routine will get you abs overnight. There is no quick fix or magic pill to bring you the abs you want.
Getting abs takes time, patience, and consistency. But, by adding these ab workout exercises into your routine and following a healthy diet, you’ll be on your way to getting the abs of your dreams.
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape in a quest to better himself and those around him focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.