If you’re aiming for a more robust core, focusing on your abs is key. However, the usual crunches might not be the optimal choice. Take a look at this list of the 9 most effective six-pack abs exercises that you probably never tried before.
Simply engaging in abs exercises won’t fully reveal your abdominal muscles. The hindrance to achieving a visible six-pack likely lies in your current body fat percentage. If attaining a six-pack is your objective, initiating a caloric deficit to reduce body fat is the initial step.
Throughout and following your fat-cutting phase, concentrate on strengthening your midline. This is where Max Posternak’s list of highly effective abs exercises come into play.
Max Posternak, the visionary behind Gravity Transformation, is dedicated to providing advice and training tips for those seeking fitness improvement and weight loss. With over 5.5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, Max has become a go-to source for fitness enthusiasts.
9 Most Effective Six-Pack Ab Exercises You’ve Never Tried
In a video, Max Posternak shared an insight into a series of unconventional ab exercises that might not be in everyone’s routine. Commencing with the decline barbell boat row, Max advises sitting on a declined bench with a barbell or body bar in hand. It’s recommended to have a partner hand it over for ease, but if alone, standing it vertically next to the bench works too. Elbows bent, the bar is held close to the body or hips, avoiding locked elbows. Leaning back until the upper body aligns with or is slightly below the knees, Max suggests mimicking a kayak paddling motion for a set time under tension, around 30 to 60 seconds.
Transitioning to the raise leg ab stack, Max instructs using risers under aerobics steps, arranging them above the head while lying down. Legs raised, knees bent, and shins parallel to the floor, Max demonstrates grabbing a riser, crunching up, and placing it on the shins. Repeat until all risers are stacked, then reverse the process, crunching up and removing one riser at a time. This exercise, resembling drop sets, intensifies as more risers are stacked, providing a challenging yet effective ab workout.
Moving on to the TRX multiplanar knee tuck, Max outlines starting by sitting facing the TRX, with feet under the straps, crossing them so that the right foot is in the left strap and vice versa. Flipping over to a push-up position, maintaining a straight line from heels to head, Max emphasizes tucking the knees into the chest while focusing on curling the hips. The exercise involves repeating this movement to each side for 10 to 20 reps, engaging the entire core.
Max introduces the hanging L-sit leg lift as a more advanced exercise. Hanging off a pull-up bar with legs raised in an L-sit position, Max advises tilting the upper body back while raising the legs until they meet the bar. Lowering the legs and rotating the body back to the starting L-sit position completes one rep. Max acknowledges the misconception that regular hanging leg raises primarily work the hip flexors, emphasizing that starting in an L sit and curling the hips into the chest targets the abs more effectively. For those finding it challenging, Max suggests bending the knees.
Next up we have the power rope medicine ball slams, requiring a medicine ball with a rope and a concrete wall. Standing close to the wall, facing away, Max instructs holding the rope with both hands and slamming the ball side to side. The aim is to go back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds, providing an intense oblique workout. But if you don’t have a medicine ball with a rope, fear not, as Max also shows an alternative in the video with a regular medicine ball on the ground.
These exercises promise a unique and effective approach to ab training, ensuring a comprehensive workout for different muscle groups.
You should also try inclined pulse up as an exercise that adds a unique challenge to more traditional pulse ups. Performing it on an incline, whether on a decline bench or a regular bench set at an incline, involves lying back, grabbing onto the pad behind the head, and pointing the feet straight up toward the ceiling. The emphasis is on driving the hips and legs straight up in a nearly straight line, avoiding the feet and legs going over the head.
Moving on to landmine Russian twists, Max contrasts them with the more familiar landmine 180s. In the Russian twist version, one starts on the ground with feet and upper back slightly elevated, turning the barbell from side to side while keeping the legs relatively straight. Max suggests regressing the exercise for beginners by performing it with feet on the ground.
Max then introduces resistance band pikes, a lesser-known exercise that requires Val slides or furniture movers and a resistance band. Anchoring the band to a sturdy object, stepping inside, and placing Val slides under both feet, one walks forward into a pushup position. Sliding the feet towards the hands while raising the butt toward the ceiling, and returning to the starting pushup position constitutes one rep. A modified version involves a Val slides knee tuck with the resistance band.
The final exercise Max presents is the hollow body rock, a simple yet effective move. Starting by lying on the back and raising the feet and upper body slightly above the ground with hands above the head, one rocks back and forth for a specified time interval, such as 30, 60, or 90 seconds, depending on the fitness level.
In short, the exercises are:
- Decline Barbell Boat Row
- Raise Leg Ab Stack
- TRX Multiplanar Knee Tuck
- Hanging L-Sit Leg Lift
- Power Rope Medicine Ball Slam
- Incline Pulse-Up
- Landmine Russian Twist
- Resistance Band Pike
- Hollow Body Rock
And before you go try all of these exercises and assume you will get your belly fat transformed into a six-pack machine, you need to remember one thing. Abs might be made in the gym, but they are revealed in the kitchen. Even with a solid six-pack, a poor diet can mask the definition with a layer of fat.
To see how to perform each of these 9 most effective six-pack abs exercises you’ve neve tried before, watch the full video below.
How Often Should You Train Your Abs?
The frequency of training your abs depends on various factors, including your fitness goals, overall workout routine, and individual recovery capacity. However, if you are targetting specifically your abs during a workout routine, a general guideline is to aim for 2 to 3 times per week.
Here are some considerations to help you determine the frequency that suits you best:
- Recovery Time: Like any muscle group, the abs need time to recover. Overtraining can lead to fatigue and decreased performance. Allow at least 48 hours of rest between intense ab workouts.
- Overall Workout Routine: If you have a comprehensive workout routine that engages your core in compound movements (such as squats and deadlifts), you may not need to specifically target your abs as frequently. On the other hand, if your routine lacks core engagement, more frequent ab workouts could be beneficial.
- Intensity of Workouts: The intensity of your ab workouts matters. If you’re performing high-intensity exercises or weighted ab workouts, you may need more recovery time between sessions.
- Fitness Goals: The frequency may vary based on your goals. If you’re aiming for core strength and stability, 2 to 3 times a week may be sufficient. However, if you’re focused on aesthetic goals like developing a six-pack, you may choose to increase the frequency.
- Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body responds to ab training. If you experience excessive soreness or fatigue, it may indicate the need for more recovery time. Conversely, if you feel that your abs can handle more, you might consider increasing the frequency gradually.
Incorporate variety into your ab workouts to target different areas of the abdominal muscles. Remember that visible abs also depend on factors like nutrition and overall body fat percentage. It’s essential to strike a balance between consistency, intensity, and adequate recovery for optimal results.