Many people starting out or working out at a gym strive toward getting six pack abs. But how do we get them? That's a huge question I get all the time. We all have abdominal muscles. Some of us have layers of fat over our abdominal muscles. If we truly want to achieve a "trimmed," "shredded," or "lean" core, the only way we're going to achieve it is with a good balance of training and nutrition. 90% of results will come from a proper diet.
Training your core will not determine whether or not you get a six pack. But it will help develop the core musculature underneath any body fat you currently have. When proper nutrition and an appropriate caloric deficit is paired with a solid training program, a six pack will be revealed.
Losing body fat is the key to a "trimmed" or "lean" core. Now how do we lose body fat? I get told all time, "how do I lose my belly fat? I just want to lose some weight around my stomach." Well the truth is, that's not possible. There is NO magical pill, exercise, or trick to losing belly fat.
It all comes down to a caloric deficit and hormone balance. If you continue to burn more calories and consume less than what your body needs, you will lose weight and body fat. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no way to spot reduce body fat. Your body and genetics will determine where it will lose body fat. But as long as you are in a caloric deficit, you will lose weight and lower your body fat percentage.
So what can we do to develop and strengthen our core? There are endless possibilities of exercises than can be done to strengthen our core. In the video below, I demonstrate several exercises than can be done virtually anywhere with minimal equipment. Some equipment that can be beneficial to core training include dumbbells, medicine balls, resistance bands, and ab rollers.
#1 Reverse Crunch
This exercise is simple to perform. Place your hands by your side with the palms down on the floor, or underneath your pelvis. Placing your hands underneath your pelvis provides extra support for the lower back.
Begin by driving your knees in toward the chest, then drive the bottom of your feet toward the ceiling.
#2 Lying Leg Lift
Place your hands underneath your pelvis for lower back support. Then, point your toes and straighten the legs. Raise the legs until they are perpendicular to the ground. To intensify the exercise, lift your upper back off the ground and keep your legs completely straight.
To reduce the intensity, keep your head and upper back on the ground and bend the legs as you lift them.
#3 Flutter Kicks
This exercise is simply a variation of the lying leg lift. Follow all the cues for the lying leg lift. Flutter kicks are different because you'll have to lift one leg at a time. Once again, bending the leg as you raise it will decrease the intensity of the movement.
#4 Scissor Kicks
This is another exercise to target the lower core. Before you begin the movement, draw your belly button towards your spine. Then, move your legs over and under one another after each repetition.
#5 Full Body Crunch
Place your hands behind the head and neck. Then, drive your knees toward your chest as you move your upper body towards your pelvis. This targets both the upper and the lower core.
#6 Plank Knee Drive
Start in a plank position with your scapulae or shoulders above the hands. Keep tightness in the glutes and the core as your drive your knees in toward the chest.
#7 Medicine Ball Full Body Crunch
Before you begin, place a medicine ball in between your knees. Pinch the medicine ball hard with your knees to increase core engagement. Move your knees towards your chest as you raise your upper back slightly off the ground. Be sure to keep the medicine ball tight in between your knees as you do this exercise.
1. You cannot spot reduce belly fat.
2. Training your core will increase development of your mid-section.
3. You need to be in a caloric deficit if you want to get a six pack.
4. A combination of proper nutrition and training is essential for a well defined core.
5. Losing body fat is the key to getting a six pack.
EQUIPMENT I USE FOR MY CORE WORKOUTS
Gym Mat - https://amzn.to/37Z0gr2
Dumbbells - https://amzn.to/2udvUlO