Six-pack abs

Six-pack abs


Six-pack abs are a goal for many people, and having a good abdominal muscle tone helps to support your back and maintain a correct posture. In this article we will talk about a simple introduction about the abdominal muscles, what does getting six-pack ABS depends on and two examples of training.

What are the main muscles of the abdominals? 

The rectus abdominis muscle

Also known as the "abdominal muscle" or simply the "abs", is a paired straight muscle, is the muscle that gives the abdomen the "six-pack" appearance.  In the abdomens of people with low body fat, these muscle bellies can be viewed externally. They can appear in sets of as few as two to as many as twelve, although, six is the most common.

However, there are no upper and lower abdominals even if at a functional level the choice of the type of exercise may involve a stimulus that can be placed in a different way (for example crunch and reverse crunch), but the muscle is the same.

This muscle, generally made up on average of 50% of white fibers and 50% of red fibers, can be trained well by alternating sessions with more repetitions without load, with sessions with fewer repetitions with load; Having said that, for purely aesthetic purposes, the training to be preferred is undoubtedly the hypertrophic one. The aesthetic "quality" of the rectus abdominals is obtained with good hypertrophy and high definition. However, it is not enough to model only the rectus abdominis; we must also act on the obliques and the transverse.

The obliques

The obliques are fairly easy to hypertrophy and can be trained with greater repetitions in torsion movements with natural load; it is not advisable to train them with high loads because they could widen the waistline. 

The transversus abdominis muscle

The transversus abdominis muscle, is a muscle layer of the anterior and lateral (front and side) abdominal wall which is deep to (layered below) the internal oblique muscle.  A good tone of the transverse is essential to keep the abdomen flat. It can then be solicited by carrying out a couple of seconds of forced exhalation in the phase of maximum contraction during the crunch. 

What does having six-pack ABS depend on?

Genetics, nutrition and training.

  • Genetics: many factors depend on genetics, including the appearance of the abdominals.
  • Nutrition: a healthy diet  is always important for our body. if you want to obtain six-ABS, it is important to follow a balanced low-calorie diet (especially in subjects with localized fat in the abdominal part) .
  • Training: it is important to perform the exercises correctly; quality is preferred over quantity. It is advisable to focus on the whole body, not only on the abs: anaerobic and aerobic training are both important; remember that having a good muscle tone helps to reduce body fat and helps in the visual effect.

Examples of abdominals exercise routines

The routines should be adapted to the subject and her/his training experience. Below we will show two examples, remembering that it is always better to contact a personal trainer.

  • Example 1
1) Crunch 2 x 20 (with 2 seconds of forced exhalation in the phase of maximum contraction), 90 seconds rest between one series and the next; 
2) Side plank 2 x 30 seconds, 90 seconds of rest between one series and the next;


  • Example 2
1) Reverse crunch on bench 2 x 20 (with 2 seconds of forced exhalation in the phase of maximum contraction), 90 seconds rest between one series and the next;
2) Plank 2 x 30 seconds, 90 seconds rest between one series and the next;        

It is advisable to do abdominal exercises at least 3/4 times a week and to vary the exercises often.