Are you dreaming of that perfect body with six-pack abs? They’re most definitely the pinnacle of fitness for many. You might be wondering whether everyone can build a six-pack and what it takes to build it. In this article, we will explore ways in which you can build a six pack and whether or not everyone can get it.
Everyone can get a six-pack. However, the success rate and visibility depend on many factors, such as your genetics and the amount of subcutaneous fat stored in your body. The less excess fat you have around your rectus abdominis, your six-packs will be more prominent. A strong combination of strength training, a healthy diet, and patience can help you get the desired six-pack abs.
Bottom line is that everyone has abs. They’re just hidden under a layer of excess fat. The area that we call our abs is just one big muscle called the rectus abdominis. The six-packs are merely bands of muscles covering this area. Our genetics play a huge role in how fat is distributed across our body, and they also determine whether we can lose enough fat in the abdominal area for these muscles to appear toned and sculpted. Building six-pack abs required rigorous gym efforts and certain lifestyle changes for good.
What Exercises Help You Get a Six Pack?
Before diving into some specific exercises that will help you get that six pack, understand that exercise alone isn’t the answer. Your body fat percentage should be at a point where exercise can aid in the definition and sculpting of the muscles.
Here are some exercises that can kick start the ab definition process when done in proper form and at the right body fat percentage:
1. Oblique Crunches
Lie down with your feet and back on the floor, and your knees bent. Now roll your knees to one side. Your knees should now be touching the floor. You can also use a exercise ball as shown in the video below.
Put your hands either behind your ears or across your chest and curl your upper body towards your knees and away from the floor.
Keep holding this position for a few minutes before returning to your original position. You should do this 12-15 times on each side.
2. Stomach Crunches
These are the easiest to perform, and most fitness enthusiasts are familiar with this move. Lie down with your back and feet against the floor and your knees bent. Place your hands behind your neck or ears as you slowly curl the upper body towards your knees.
Repeat this movement at least 12-15 times.
3. Reverse Crunches
Think stomach crunches but the opposite. So, instead of raising your shoulders, you’re raising your tailbone and buttocks.
Lie down with your back and feet against the floor. Now, raise your legs at a 90-degree angle. You need to pull your knees towards your chest till your tailbone and buttocks are off the floor.
Again, hold the position for a few moments and repeat this 12-15 times.
There is no way you can get a six-pack without doing planks. Start by facing the floor with your four arms and toes on it. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe.
Keep your abdominal muscles firm and tight as long as you can. The longer you can hold this form, the firmer your core becomes. Repeat this at least ten times during a workout.
5. Side Planks
It’s your plank position but at the side. Lie on the side and use your elbow to support your body as you prop it off the floor. Keep your legs stretched and don’t bend them, forming a straight line from head to toe.
Stay in this position for a bit and do this ten times for each side. Make sure your abdominal muscles are tight during the position.
The key to performing all these exercises is to have proper form and focus on your abs and core area muscles. This will reap better overall results. Remember to keep your thoughts on the muscle you’re working on.
A related article you may want to read is The Best 10-minute Abdominal and Oblique Exercises to Do at Home
How Does Body Fat Percentage Affect Six Packs Build Up?
As we mentioned before, everyone has abs. However, not everyone’s abs are visible. They’re usually hidden behind a layer of excess fat. If you want to build sculpted-looking six-pack abs, you need to work to eliminate this layer of subcutaneous fat.
The body fat percentage range for men to achieve ab definition is below 15% and stands between 15-19% for women. Your genetics also play a huge role here. Some people naturally have less fat distribution around the ab area and hence, don’t have to work as hard as others to get a six-pack.
Lifestyle Changes That Help Build a Six Pack
Just working out regularly isn’t the magic answer to getting a six-pack. You have to make changes to your diet, sleep schedule, etc, to see visible results. Let’s look at these in detail:
1. Less Fat, More Protein
It’s no secret that protein helps build lean muscle mass. It keeps you full for longer, so you don’t have cravings for unhealthy food like carbs and fats. Add more lean meat and protein to your meals and cut back on fatty foods. You need to especially stay away from processed and fast food.
2. Don’t Drink Sugar
One of the biggest mistakes we make is drinking our calories. Even energy drinks have a high amount of sugar and if you think fruit juices are any better, think again. If you need sources for hydration, then there is nothing better than plain old water. Be watchful of the sugar content in the drinks you’re consuming.
3. Stay Hydrated
Your body temperature gets raised during a workout, and your body sweats to lower this temperature. As a result, you lose your water stores and can easily get dehydrated. This is why it is important to take plenty of fluids during your time at the gym.
4. Mind over Matter
Focus all your energy, including your mental energy, towards your goals. There is nothing a human being can’t do if their brain is focused and clear. Pay attention to your overall goal – to get the perfect six-pack abs and then work towards that goal.
You should also check out The Ultimate Vegetarian Prep and Grocery List for Weight Loss
What to Avoid To Get a Six Pack?
Just like there are certain things you should do to get a six-pack, there are others you shouldn’t do. Let’s look at what kind of behavior you need to avoid if you want to get those abs looking great.
1. Not having a solid plan.
You can’t be lazy when the goal is to get a six-pack. It requires dedication and consistency. You need to have a solid plan with milestones. It can take you at least 12 weeks to get to the right amount of body fat to start building your six-pack.
This is a long time to be on a calorie deficit, and being lazy and not having a plan can set you up for failure.
2. Failing to program
When it comes to building a six-pack, you can just wing it. You need a rigorous program to get those abs. Whether it’s the gym or the kitchen, you need exact numbers to work with. So, things like:
- How many hours are you spending at the gym
- How much strength training you are investing time in
- How many calories are in every meal
You need to take variables such as these and work them into a proper plan. You can’t just say you workout, and you eat clean. You need to achieve a clear calorie deficit and do certain exercises to achieve your goal.
3. Not tracking performance
What is the point of all that effort if you fail at tracking it and adjusting your goals accordingly? Calorie counting can be one way to do this, but your results need to track. Are you measuring your fat loss? Are you looking at your weight regularly? This practice will help motivate you, but it will also help you adjust your goals as needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How can I get a six-pack in a month?
You need at least 12 weeks to start seeing the definition in your abs. You can achieve this by doing cardio and strength training for six days and following a proper diet.
2. How can I get a six-pack without going to the gym?
Get a six-pack at home by following a strict workout routine. Focus on doing exercises like crunches and planks paired with a protein-rich diet.
3. Is it hard to get a six-pack?
There is no easy way to get a six-pack. Getting a defined six-pack requires the right body fat percentage, consistency, and dedication.
Building a six-pack isn’t equally easy for everyone. Factors such as genetics and body fat distribution can determine how fast you can get results. However, the right amount of focus, lifestyle changes, and routine can get you there. We hope this article helps you achieve your ab goals!