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Build the perfect six pack

Building the perfect six pack - the upper and lower abs - requires abs exercises that really work.

However, in order to develop the perfect six pack doesn't just take upper and lower abdominal exercises. To create a six pack that will be the envy of all your friends requires 2 key elements:

  1. Abdominal strength and definition
  2. A lower body fat level

So, let's tackle the exercises required to create strong and defined abdominal muscles, which after all is half the secret to having the perfect six pack.

Abdominal strength and definition

Creating the perfect six pack requires a combination of the right abdominal exercises, performed 2 to 3 times a week. These abdominal exercises include:

  • Stomach crunches
  • Stability ball crunches
  • Reverse crunches
  • The Plank

These exercises should form the main element of your abdominal exercise routine. We will discuss how to perform each of these abdominal exercises in a moment. But first, in order to build the perfect six pack and strong and defined abdominals don't neglect big compound movements that will challenge you to use all your core muscles and abs to stabilize your body. These exercises include squats, front squats, deadlifts, clean and presses, pull ups, standing shoulder presses - in fact any exercise which sees you lifting a lot of weight whilst you stand.

To see a number of compound exercises in action visit our exercise video demo area.

Anyway, back to those perfect six pack exercises.

The perfect six pack and exercise

As stated, in order to create the perfect six pack, you should aim to perform heavy compound movements.

However, no abdominal routine would be complete without isolating the abs and stomach.

The classic stomach crunch as an exercise which exercises the whole of the Rectus Abdominis - the washboard / six pack area of the abdominal muscles. This exercise sees the performer lie on their back with their knees bent at 90 degrees with their feet on the floor or their lower legs over a bench / stability ball. Then place your hands on your chest and focus on your abs contracting and lifting your upper back from the floor. Hold that position for a count of one, then lower back to the floor.

Performing stability ball crunches or exercise ball crunches is a similar movement, but this time the performer lies on a stability ball and plants their feet firmly on the floor. Again place your hands across the chest and slowly, under control, contract the abdominal muscles to lift the upper back from the ball.

Reverse crunches are just that - crunches that are reversed. This means that rather than lifting the upper back from the floor the performer lifts their legs and then using only the power of their abdominal muscle contraction pulls the knees towards the chest whilst lifting the lower bcak from the floor. Many athletes believe that this movement stresses the lower abs much more than the classic floor or stabilty ball stomach crunch.

Again using a stability ball to perform stability ball reverse crunches requires a strong core and balance. This time you'll need to get into the stability ball crunch position but this time hold onto a piece of inmovable equipment with your hands, lift your legs from the floor and whilst contracting your abdominal muscles pull your knees to your chest.

The Plank is an exercise that doesn't exercise the six pack muscles per se but rather exercises and stresse the transverse muscles that sit underneath and to the side of the six pack Rectus bdominis muscles. To perform the Plank the exerciser should lie flat on their chest with their legs togther and their hands on the floor - as if about to perform a press up. Get into the classic extended press up position - arms straignt and locked at the top - and then hold this position while pulling your stomach in, thus using the transverse muscles to suck your abs in towards your spine. Hold this position for up to 60 seconds, then rest and repeat.

There are many other variations of these classic six pack exercises - more can be found in our exercise video demo area.

The perfect six pack and diet

Someone can have the greatest six pack in the world ... but if it trapped under a flabby belly they will never be seen. So the real key of creating the perfect six pack is to burn off any excess weight from the stomach area.

This means a diet that controls calories and a lifestyle that burns more calories daily than are eaten.

As a rule aim to eat 500 calories less than you normally would and monitor the appearance of your six pack. If after two weeks progress is slow look to reduce your calories again by 500 calories. Repeat this process until your six pack begins to become visible. Once this happens stick to this daily calorie intake until progress stagnates. Once this happens kick your waistband into gear by performing some cardio exercise or more specifically intense interval training sessions to burn even more calories.

And in (relatively) no time at all you'll be sporting the perfect six pack.

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