These are the only 2 six-pack exercises you ever need for strong and great-looking abs! But there is a catch…
Some may suggest that you only need two exercises to effectively train a muscle group. Despite the title on top of the page, this is not recommended. Limiting yourself to just two exercises is insufficient because each muscle group often consists of multiple muscle heads and functions that can be individually targeted through exercise selection.
When it comes to the abdominal muscles, there are various exercises that focus on different areas, such as the rectus abdominis and obliques. It’s important to train these muscles not only through their functions but also by targeting specific regions within the core. Surprisingly, you can influence the upper and lower portions of the abs by initiating movements from different starting points. Additionally, incorporating rotational movements can effectively target the obliques, allowing you to create a well-rounded plan.
Instead of selecting only two exercises to develop a six-pack and strong core, it is more beneficial to choose two movement patterns and incorporate three simple exercises (one for each ability level). While not every ab workout needs to include both movement patterns, a comprehensive training plan for your core should at least build upon or include them at some point.
It’s crucial to note that having excess body fat covering your midsection will prevent the appearance of well-defined abs. No matter how effective the ab exercises may be, achieving a six-pack requires a solid nutrition plan to reduce belly fat.
And who came up with these 2 movement patterns that you need to have in your training to have strong and great-looking abs? Jeff Cavaliere. Jeff Cavaliere was the head physical therapist of the New York Mets for 3 years and is now a YouTube sensation. He delivers clear information without noise on his ATHLEAN-X YouTube channel.
The Only 2 Six-Pack Exercises You Ever Need for Strong and Great-Looking Abs
As mentioned above, this is not a list of 2 exercises you will need to have a strong six-pack ab.
The first movement pattern involves initiating the abs’ movement from the bottom up, such as in reverse crunches. To target the obliques, rotation is added to this movement. We begin with bottom-up rotation as it is more challenging due to the additional resistance provided by your legs’ weight.
For beginners, a reverse corkscrew with bent knees is recommended. During this exercise, perform the same movement as reverse crunches, but instead of bringing your knees straight to your chest, bring them up at an angle towards your side. Lift your pelvis off the ground while bringing your knees towards your upper body, then return to the starting position. Repeat the movement, targeting the knees to the other side.
Intermediate trainees should perform the same exercise as beginners but with straight legs, increasing the range of motion. Lift your pelvis off the ground as your legs come towards your upper body.
Advanced individuals will perform the hanging corkscrew, a variation of the hanging leg raise. Hang from a pull-up bar and raise your legs towards your upper body at an angle, as done by beginners and intermediates. Focus on moving your pelvis along with your leg lifts.
The second movement pattern involves initiating the movement from the top of the rectus abdominis down towards the pelvis, while incorporating rotation. Traditional crunches alone won’t suffice. For beginners, lie on your back with your hands behind your head and elbows wide. Instead of crunching straight up, perform circular crunches. Bring your weight to one shoulder blade, lift it off the ground, shift the weight to the opposite shoulder blade, and then have both blades in contact with the ground before repeating. Keep your neck relaxed to minimize the risk of strain.
Intermediate core exercise includes the power over, which is similar to a traditional power-up (a variation of the basic crunch). Reach with one arm overhead to the opposite side while rotating your torso.
Advanced individuals can perform cable crunch pulldowns. Attach a rope to a cable machine and kneel facing away from it, holding the rope ends on either side of your head. Crunch down at an angle to target the upper rectus abdominis and obliques. This exercise, using cable resistance, is guaranteed to increase core strength when performed correctly.
See the video below for proper form and technique when performing these exercises.
In summary, these are the exercises Cavaliere speaks of that you should incorporate, depending on your level of fitness:
Movement Pattern 1:
- Reverse corkscrew with bent knees (beginner)
- Reverse corkscrew with straight legs (intermediate)
- Hanging corkscrew (advanced)
Movement Pattern 2:
- Circular crunches (beginner)
- Power over (intermediate)
- Cable crunch pulldowns (advanced)
Lowering belly fat can bring several benefits to your overall health and well-being. Here are some of the benefits:
- Reduces the risk of chronic diseases: Belly fat is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Lowering belly fat can help reduce the risk of these diseases.
- Improves insulin sensitivity: Belly fat can affect insulin sensitivity, which can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Lowering belly fat can improve insulin sensitivity, which can help prevent or manage type 2 diabetes.
- Boosts metabolism: Belly fat can slow down your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. Lowering belly fat can help boost your metabolism, making it easier to burn calories and lose weight.
- Improves cardiovascular health: Belly fat can increase the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other cardiovascular problems. Lowering belly fat can improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of these problems.
- Increases energy levels: Carrying excess belly fat can make you feel tired and sluggish. Lowering belly fat can increase your energy levels and improve your overall quality of life.
Overall, lowering your belly fat can bring many benefits to your health and well-being, including reducing the risk of chronic diseases, improving insulin sensitivity, boosting metabolism, improving cardiovascular health, and increasing energy levels.