Six-Pack Abs: 4 Exercises For A Fabulous Core

Monday, December 18, 2006 - 3:47pm

By Michele Silence, MA

If you’re looking for the most effective abdominal exercises for 6-pack abs take a look here. These four will give you a great core.

Exercise #1: Abdominal crunch

The basic old standby. Lie on the ground or on an exercise ball. With hands placed lightly to the sides of the head, lean head back as if looking towards the ceiling. Place tongue on the roof of the mouth and lift chin towards ceiling. Return to starting position and repeat.

Tip: Think less about how high you can lift and more about keeping the head back and chin up.

Exercise #2: Alternating leg extension

Lying on your back take both knees into the air. Extend one leg out in front of the body while keeping the other knee pulled in. At the same time, cross the opposite shoulder towards the bent knee aiming to touch it. Repeat on the other side.

Tip: Go slow. Rotate the upper body as far as possible toward the leg and then all the way back down to the floor.

Exercise #3: Side crunch

Lying on your side with knees bent, place a weight on the top shoulder. Place bottom arm directly in front of the body for balance. Lift sideways towards hip and lower. Repeat on the other side.

Tip: Avoid placing body weight on the arm that is on the floor. Use the waist to lift and depend on the bottom arm to provide balance only.

Exercise #4: Reverse crunch

Lift hips off the floor while pulling in the abdominal region. Return to floor.

Tip: Lift slowly and avoid swinging the hips. Stop at the top and bottom of the movement each time to make sure you aren’t using momentum.

Abdominal exercises - how many and how often?

Do several sets of 12. If you aren’t tiring the muscle by then, add resistance (place a weight on the body part that is lifting). Abdominals can be worked every day, unlike other muscle groups that do best with a day off in between. Remember to cut the fat in your diet and eat nutritiously though. No amount of abdominal exercises will give you the abs you desire if you don’t watch your diet. More than any other part of your body, your abs reveal how healthy your eating habits are.