Gym users and non gym users alike want 6 pack abs. Many people do crunch after crunch trying to develop abs. I bet you’ve been one of them too at some stage!

What you need to know, is that you will not develop a 6 pack by performing crunches and sit-ups. Developing a flat and toned stomach takes much more. Here are our 7 best exercises to build 6 pack abs:

7 best exercises to build 6 pack abs

1) Squats

No matter what form of squats you do, you engage your core. This full body compound exercise is perfect for developing abs. Holding the weight in front of you engages the core more so than a back squat. Without strong abs, the weight will simply cause you to crumple over. That is another reason why many must train core to build a better squat!

Squat - 6 pack abs

Muscles engaged in a squat

2) Deadlift

By focusing on engaging your core when deadlifting, likewise with a squat, you contract the stabilising muscle groups. Implementing heavy compound lifts, like squats and deadlifts will aid you across the board. Not just your abs. That being said, the heavier and more consistently I’ve deadlifted. The better my abs have got.

3) Hanging leg raise

This is a more difficult one. If you can do them, then great. If not, then find a leg raise alternative. Nothing works your lower abdominal muscles quite like leg raises do. Hanging leg raises are particularly effective as you’re stabilising yourself whilst performing the motion.

Video courtesy of Rob Riches

4) Kneeling Rope Cable Crunch

Kneeling rope cable crunches are great for really isolating your rectus abdominus muscles. You can bring obliques into the movement by driving your elbows towards the knee alternating. Helps to breathe out on the contraction.

5) Woodchoppers – Low to high

For me, the low to high woodchopper is a much more effective motion than high to low. This exercise blasts your obliques. Start with a low cable pulley, take a long step out, then pull down from by your side, across your body, upwards.

6) Decline Bench Situp with Oblique Twist

One of my favourite core exercises right here. Start with your elbows behind your head, drive up, breathing out on the way up, then when you reach the top, twist to one side, return to the centre, then go back down. Repeat, twisting to the other side, to complete the rep. There is a weighted variation where you hold a plate in front of you and twist that to either side.

7) Plank

Go to failure. Add weight. Do whatever you need to do. There are many plank variations. We’ve all done this in PE. Nothing hits stabilising muscles quite like the plank does.

Honourable Mentions

So there you have it, our list of the 7 best exercises for 6 pack abs. We do have some other favourites, so here’s some honourable mentions of those that have just missed out.

  • Russian Twists
  • Straight leg pull up
  • Side Twists
  • Side Crunch
  • Lying bicycles

For more training information please check out our training section

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Categories: Training