Abs in Depth: Get a Six Pack


Most guys make two mistakes in their quest for the ultimate six-pack. (That is, besides starting their diet “tomorrow.”) They use exercises–crunches, for instance–that work their abs through only a portion of their natural movement, and typically use only their body weight for resistance.

That limits gains, since they’re not working their midsection muscles maximally. This workout is designed to eliminate those blunders by forcing your abs to contract through a full range of motion and adding extra weight–in the ideal order. The end result: You’ll work your abs for the same amount of time but with vastly improved results.

Perform this workout three times per week, resting at least a day between each session. Do the exercises as alternating sets: Perform one set of the first exercise, rest 30 seconds, then perform one set of the second exercise and rest 30 seconds. Repeat three times for a total of four sets of each exercise.

Wrist-to-Knee Curl-up

Lie on the floor on your back with your elbows out at 45 degrees and your fingers touching the sides of your forehead. Bend your knees and hips 90 degrees. Lift your hips and shoulders off the floor and hold them there.

Without pausing, take one second to return to the starting position. That’s one repetition. Repeat with the opposite side.

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps, resting two minutes between sets.

Medicine-Ball Curl-up

Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent 90 degrees and your feet flat. Hold a medicine ball above your head with your arms straight so the ball touches the floor.

Quickly sit up by contracting your abs and forcefully thrusting the medicine ball ahead of your body, as if performing an overhead throw in soccer (but without letting go). Keep your arms straight for the entire move. Lower yourself to the floor as fast as you can and repeat, touching the ball behind your head momentarily.

Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps, resting two minutes between sets.

Swiss-Ball Body Hold

Place a bench and a Swiss ball about three feet apart. Get into a modified push-up position by placing your toes on the bench and your elbows on the Swiss ball. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Roll the ball forward as far as possible without allowing your lower back to sag.

Hold for 30 seconds to two minutes. If you can’t make it to 30, roll the ball closer to the bench. Perform 1-2 sets, resting two minutes between sets.

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