Six Pack Abs Exercises

If you’ve ever tried—or even considered working on six pack abs—you probably realize that it’s no easy feat. Getting great abs takes work, but success will certainly have its rewards. For some great six pack abs exercises to get you going and keep you motivated, read on.

Variable Speed Bicycle Crunch
If you’re focused on abs, you probably know that the bicycle crunch is pretty much the most effective of the crunching or curling-type six pack abs exercises out there. Whereas a typical crunch or reverse curl works primarily the rectus abdominis (your six pack muscle: front and center), the bicycle crunch also effectively targets your obliques.

The internal and external obliques are positioned on each side of the rectus abdominis and wrap around the sides of your torso. They are the muscles responsible for the tapered look, and serrated side-cut of a lean, toned torso.

To add a different element to your bicycle crunches, change up your pace either within or between sets. Slower movements with extra pauses and abs squeezes will emphasize the stabilizing aspect of your abs; while keeping the tempo up will work the flexion-extension side.

Swiss Ball Leg Raises
This one is similar to a bicycle crunch in its emphasis on contraction of the obliques, but positioning your body on an exercise ball incorporates a greater degree of general core stabilization.

Sit on the ball so that your hips and knees form ninety degree angles when you are upright. Lift one foot from the ground, and extend at the knee. Lower your upper body back, and crunch up, keeping your abs tightly contracted; and raise the lifted foot as you squeeze from your body’s center.

For more of a challenge, add another long lever to the movement by extending your opposite arm (opposite of the lifted leg, that is) straight up beside your head. Try to touch extended hand and foot at the top of each crunch. For the maximum six pack abs effect, try to let your hips move as little as possible. Remember: the more stabilizing you have to do, the more your abs will be working at any given moment.

Swiss Ball Tucks
Using the same exercise ball, change your body position so that your hands are on the ground beneath your shoulders and your lower legs (about mid-shin) rest on the ball. If you’re just getting started with serious abs work, it may be enough of a challenge just to hold still in this position.

When you feel stable enough to add another challenge, pull your knees in toward your chest, consciously thinking about contracting your abs and working from your body’s center as you do so. Angle your tucks by twisting your hips, to target one side or the other. Slow down the movement—especially the extension back to your starting position— to really use that ever-important stabilizing factor.

If you’re looking for even more of a challenge, try the scissor: start with your knees on the ball, and twist to one side as you pull the bottom leg in toward your chest. Keep the other leg extended until you return to the starting position.

With these six pack abs exercises, you should be off to a great start toward the body you’ve always wanted. Consistency and hard work will be vital to your success, so get to it and enjoy! You have nothing to lose but your love handles.

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