3 REQUIREMENTS FOR 6 PACK ABS
If you don’t have much time or much floor space, this ab workout is for you!
This challenging ab workout delivers ripped core muscles in just 10 minutes a day using only eight exercises. No gym equipment needed. All you need is enough floor space – for the length of your body and a little wider than your body for side-to-side motion.
The term “six-pack” is generic for the rectus abdominis muscle when it’s developed and the divisions between ‘packs’ are visible. You need three things for a six pack.
- A developed rectus abdominis muscle.
- To be lean enough for them to show.
- The right genetics for a six pack.
Genetics? What do I mean by that?
Some people are born with a rectus abdominis that has six divisions. Some people only have four, others have eight. You’re born with as many as you’ll ever have. You can’t turn a four-pack into a six pack. But who cares? Your job is to develop your abs and make look as good as possible.
If you want to take my quick test to see what your genetic potential is for six pack or eight pack abs, check out my 8 Pack Abs vs. 6 Pack Abs article.
Regardless of your pack potential, the routine below will help you build and carve out the abs you were born with!
10 MINUTE AB WORKOUT
This 10-Minute Abs workout puts lower leg exercises first because the added weight of the legs will make you tire out the fastest.
They will be followed by movements that raise both the legs and shoulders off the floor.
We wrap it up with oblique exercises and those where the upper abs feel it most.
Do each exercise for 45 seconds, rest for 15, and then move immediately to the next. If you can’t last for the entire time, do the exercise for as long as you can. Just increase your rest time between exercises.
Set a timer so you can concentrate on the exercise instead of the clock. If you have a timer that gives you a 10-second warning at the 35-second mark, that’s great.
1) CRESCENT TUCKS
This exercise gets its name from the crescent shaped path your feet and legs take as you go from side to side.
Every core muscle will get a massive isometric stimulation from stabilizing your upper body as your legs travel that wide arc.
2) BACKWARD 7s
If you drew a line down the side of the moving leg in this exercise, it would form a backward number “7”.
Move your leg from side to side under control, not too fast. Press down hard into the floor extending your arms to work those often-neglected serratus muscles in the process.
This excellent core exercise takes the leg raise to a whole new level by adding a reverse crunch with legs overhead.
The leg raise uses the hip flexors instead of the abdominal muscles and fatigues the psoas at the expense of the rectus abdominis, which is not the goal of an effective ab workout routine.
The Swiper makes your middle and lower abs work to raise the weight of both legs overhead.
Raise your hips off the floor high enough to “swipe” your hands underneath your hips.
4) SIDE CYCLES, LEFT AND RIGHT
Imagine riding a bicycle while lying on your side.
This move works the oblique muscles, the transverse abdominis and also the rectus abdominis to stabilize your upper body throughout the exercise. Your elbow and knee should meet in the middle: avoid letting your hip flexors do all the work by raising your knee too high.
When you’ve done 45 seconds on the left, rest 15, then flip over to your right side and repeat.
5) MOUNTAIN HIP DIPS
The Mountain Hip Dip is an advanced variation of the Mountain Climber you probably already know, but incorporates a regular plank with a twist.
Rocking your hips to the right and left under control works the transverse abdominis muscle. Get some bonus serratus anterior activation by pushing down with your elbows using the forearm plank position you’re already in.
6) FROG V-UPs
The Frog V-Up is one part leg raise and one part sit-up, and it really works the rectus abdominis to chisel out that six-pack muscle.
Bring your knees up and out as you bring your upper body into the “gap”. The Frog V-Up gets its name from that frog-like leg position you create at the top.
Your upper shoulders, head, and feet should never touch the floor during this exercise.
7) SIDE SCISSOR CRUNCH, LEFT and RIGHT
The Side Scissor Crunch hits your internal and external obliques.
Bring your right knee up toward your chest and meet it with your left elbow. Your torso will be crunching down and to one side. When you finish on the left, switch sides.
Don’t pull on your head and neck too much. The key here is to lightly place your hand on the side of your head and power the movement using only your oblique muscles.
Crunch your elbow to your knee to feel every contraction.
8) CORPSE CRUNCH
It’s easy to see why this exercise is called the Corpse Crunch!
The Corpse Crunch targets the upper abs. Get those shoulder blades off the floor, and at the top of every rep, squeeze your abs for a 1-2 second count before slowly lowering.
Slide your hands down the side of your legs toward your knees to keep your upper body in the right position.
Flex only at the waist, concentrating on the abdominal muscles. Don’t use momentum to raise your shoulders off the floor.
You will really feel your abs burn if you do this properly, especially at this point in the ab workout.
Perform each exercise for as long as you can, up to the full 45 seconds. If you can only do 10 to 15 seconds of each movement at first, that’s OK. Keep trying to increase the length of time that you can do the exercises.
If you need any additional time to rest, you may simply press pause and resume once your muscles have had a chance to briefly recover and you feel you are ready to move on.
Lastly guys, you’ve heard me say before that you’ve got to get your nutrition right if you want visible abs. No ab workout–no matter how good–will work unless you watch what you put in your mouth.
If you’re looking for a complete training and nutrition plan that will help you build muscle and get lean and strong, check out our ATHLEAN-X programs.
- You don’t need much space, time, or any equipment to get an effective ab workout.
- This 10-minute abs workout hits every ab muscle: the rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques, transverse abdominis, and even the serratus.
- The serratus is an often-overlooked ab muscle, located up high on the rib cage.
- These eight abdominal exercises combine elements of leg raises, crunches, sit-ups, Russian Twists, and mountain climbers for abdominal activation and metabolic effect.
- The goal is to do each exercise for 45 seconds followed by a 15-second rest period and then a quick transition time to the next exercise.
- Proper nutrition is necessary for visible abs. Well-developed abs can’t be seen if they’re covered with belly fat.
Jeff Cavaliere M.S.P.T, CSCS
Jeff Cavaliere is a Physical Therapist, Strength Coach and creator of the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs and ATHLEAN-Rx Supplements. He has a Masters in Physical Therapy (MSPT) and has worked as Head Physical Therapist for the New York Mets, as well as training many elite professional athletes in Major League Baseball, NFL, MMA and professional wrestling. His programs produce “next level” achievements in muscle size, strength and performance for professional athletes and anyone looking to build a muscular athletic physique.