10 Best Abs Exercises to Build a Six-Pack at Home Without Any Gym Equipments
How to Get a Six Pack Without Any Equipment
Many people find the chiseled look of six-pack abdominal muscles appealing, but not everyone can afford expensive exercise equipment or a gym membership. Luckily, there are a variety of equipment-free abdominal exercises that utilize your own body and gravity as resistance. Follow these steps to get the sculpted midsection you've always wanted, without breaking the bank.
Losing Belly Fat
Assess your belly fat.Excess fat has a tendency to accumulate around your belly.Since abdominal muscles lie underneath this belly fat, you will need to shed excess fat if you want your abdominal muscles to be visible.Thus, unless you are already very trim, chances are you'll need to burn some belly fat first.
- Note that abdominal exercises like sit-ups help build muscle and do burn some calories, but do not target fat.
Reduce your caloric intake.To reduce fat, you must burn more calories than you are taking in. There are a few simple ways to reduce calories:
- Reduce your portion size, but don't skip meals. Not eating for long periods of time signals your body to store fat.
- Stay away from high calorie, low-nutrition foods.
- Specifically, cut out extra sugar. Excess sugar tends to be stored as fat in the midsection.Read food labels and beware of hidden sugars in bread, sauces, dressings, soda, and alcohol.
- To curb your sweet tooth, opt for healthy choices like dark chocolate, honey, and fruit.
- Keep track of your caloric intake by using an online calorie calculator, reading food labels, and/or keeping a food journal. Many apps exist for tablets and smartphones that can help you calculate the amount of calories you should be eating and keep track of how many you are eating.
Eat lean proteins.Protein is an essential nutrient for building muscle, because your muscles are primarily composed of protein.
- The US government recommends that, depending on your body weight and activity level, about 1/4 of your food intake should be lean proteins.
- Your body also burns more calories in digestion of proteins than carbohydrates.
- Healthy options include chicken, fish, and turkey. Vegetarian options include tofu, tempeh, and seitan.
Eat fruits and vegetables.These foods fill you up quickly, and are rich in the vitamins and nutrients you need to maintain an active lifestyle.
- The US government recommends making sure that at least half of your food intake should be fruits and vegetables.The remaining 1/4 of your intake (after protein, fruits, and vegetables) should be grains. Whole grains are best and should make up at least half your grain consumption.
- Foods that are high in Vitamin C, such as oranges, kiwis, and kale help your body turn fat into fuel and balance stress-related cravings.
Drink plenty of water.Staying properly hydrated will improve your energy and mood levels, and will help keep you full between meals.
- Medical studies have shown that drinking two cups of water before each meal leads people to eat less, and reduces consumption of sugary drinks.
- Doctors recommend women should drink about 9 cups of water a day, and men about 13.
Do cardiovascular exercise.To burn lots of calories, you should do 30-60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (exercise that keeps your heart rate up) per day.Coupled with an improved diet, these exercises can help you shed pounds.
- Choose an aerobic activity that you genuinely enjoy. If you enjoy your workout, you will be more likely to stick with it. There are many options for aerobic exercise that don't require a gym membership, such as walking, running, hiking, biking, dancing, and swimming.
- If you don't have time to do a 30-minute workout, there are simple ways to make your daily routine more active. If you work a desk job, use your break time to take a brisk walk outside. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do chores around the house or yard for 20-30 minutes, or walk to your destination instead of driving.
Exercising the Abdominal Muscles
Target all three abdominal areas.To get a six-pack, you must exercise your upper abs, lower abs, and obliques (side abdominals). While you cannot target each area exclusively, each abdominal exercise emphasizes a particular area. The following exercises will help get you started.
Exercise your lower abs.People often find this area hardest to get in shape, so it may require the most attention. Try these exercises to target these muscles.
- Scissors: Lie on your back with your legs raised in the air at a 45 to 90 degree angle, depending on flexibility. Place your hands at your sides, and lower your right leg slowly until it is a few inches above the ground. Return to the original position, and then repeat the movement with your left leg. Continue alternating between legs. Try to do at least 10 reps without pausing.
- Leg lifts: Lie on your back with your legs elevated a few inches off the ground. Keeping your knees straight, slowly raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor. Slowly return to the original position without letting your feet touch the ground. Repeat the exercise.
- Torso twists: Sit cross-legged and stretch your arms out in front of you with the fingertips of each hand touching the other. Inhale. With your abdominal muscles tight, slowly rotate your upper body about 45 degrees to the right. Exhale. Return to the center and repeat on your left side. Repeat the exercise.
- Note that when doing the leg lifts or scissors, your lower back should remain on the ground at all times.Otherwise, you may suffer a back injury.
Work your upper abs.The upper abdominal muscles are those right below your sternum. They also must be strengthened to achieve a solid six pack.Here are some exercises that target these muscles.
- Crunches with feet on the floor: Lie on your back with your knees bent at a 45 degree angle and your feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your chest or place your hands behind your head without touching it. Inhale as you use your core muscles to lift your head and shoulders off the ground and toward your knees. Your lower back should remain flat on the ground. Then, exhale as you slowly lower yourself back to the ground.
- Crunches with elevated legs: Get in the crunch position, but instead of placing your feet on the ground, raise your legs in the air, keeping your knees bent. Holding your legs still and keeping your lower back on the floor, raise your upper body toward your legs while exhaling. Then, inhale as you slowly lower back to the floor. Repeat.
- Hip lifts: Lie on your back with your arms crossed over your chest. If you are a beginner, you can also place your hands by your side with the palms facing down. Then, raise your legs so that the soles of your feet face straight up. Lift your hips upward off the floor, lifting with your abs. Repeat.
Work your obliques.Last but not least, you'll need to strengthen your oblique muscles. Failure to do so will result in an imbalanced core and a six pack that looks strange or misshapen.Here are some exercises that will help strengthen your side abdominal muscles.
- Side bends: Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your waist, and then slowly bend sideways at your waist, moving your upper body to the right. Return to the original position, and then repeat the movement on the left side. For a more rigorous workout, do this with your hands at your sides and a heavy object such as a jug of water your hand as you bend.
- Oblique crunches: Lie on your back with your legs elevated and your knees bent at a 45 degree angle and hip-width apart. You may find it easiest to rest them on a flat surface such as a bench. Then, place your hands behind your head, and use your core to lift your head and shoulders off the floor, touching your right elbow to your left knee. Return to the original position, and then repeat the movement so that your left elbow touches your right knee. Exhale as you rise up, and inhale as you return to the starting position.
- Oblique twists (Russian twists): Lie down on the floor, bending your knees and placing your feet under a heavy object. Raise your upper body from the floor. Fully extend your arms, perpendicular to your torso, and twist your torso to one side while exhaling. Return to the starting position while inhaling. Repeat, twisting to the other side. For a more rigorous workout, do this while holding a heavy object such as a jug of water, a sack of flour, or a large dictionary.
Do planks.Plank exercises are important for any abdominal muscle workout because they work all the ab muscles together, plus many other muscle groups.To do this exercise, get in push-up position, using your elbows for support rather than your hands. Keep your body in a straight line, making sure that your hips do not sag. Contract and pull in all the muscles around your middle, and do not let your belly drop. Hold for as long as you can.
- Keep your head relaxed and looking at the floor.
- Start off holding this position for 10 seconds at a time, and work your way up to longer intervals.
- To make sure that your body is straight, do this exercise in front of a mirror.
Tracking Your Progress
Keep a food and exercise journal.For any exercise program, a journal is a good way to keep track of your goals and whether or not you are meeting them.
- Keep careful notes of everything you eat and all the exercises you do each day.
- An exercise journal can help you see which areas of your diet and exercise regimen need improvement.
Measure your waist circumference.Since muscle weighs more than fat, these measurements will be more important indicators of your progress than pounds on the scale.
- Weekly measurements of your waist will keep you accountable and highlight the progress you've made.
- For an accurate measurement using an ordinary measuring tape, measure just above your upper hip bone.
- Don't measure over your clothes. Relax your muscles and don't suck in your gut.
Take before and after pictures.Since we look at ourselves in the mirror every day, it can be hard to notice our own overall progress without pictures.
- Take a photo of yourself every two weeks and compare it to the previous photographs. The changes you see will help keep you motivated.
QuestionHow do I get an 8 pack?
Personal TrainerPersonal TrainerExpert AnswerSit ups and leg raises from a hanging position are highly effective at building the muscle bulges between the tendons of the rectus abdominus, which define an eight pack.Thanks!
QuestionHow much time will it take?
Personal TrainerPersonal TrainerExpert AnswerThe amount of time it takes to get muscle definition in the abdominal area depends on your starting body composition. Assuming you have little fat covering your torso, performing ab exercises 3 times a week, will show results in 4-8 weeks. To see the definition of the tendons between the rectus abdominus muscles, you must have very little fat covering that area. In fact, you may have well defined muscles in the abs but they will not show if there is any fat covering them.Thanks!
QuestionCan a child develop a six pack?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerBy child, do you mean below the age of 12? Yes, some children can, in fact, have a six pack.Thanks!
QuestionHow much time will it take to get six packs by doing these exercises?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt varies. Doing it well with a good diet, rest and consistency can take as little as three months. It may sound long but once you get there, your body will show its progress.Thanks!
QuestionHow long will it take for me to get a six pack?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis depends on your metabolism, diet, reps, initial body fat, and genetics. If you are fairly low on body fat and just have to gain muscle, it can take 2 to 3 months of working out a few days a week. If you have some extra pounds of fat, you should do cardio to lose the fat before you do abs. This is because the muscle gain will not burn the fat, but will create muscle beneath it, thus pushing out the fat and making it appear as though you have only gained more fat.Thanks!
QuestionHow long would it take to complete all of these thingswikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDoing a large number of crunches and sit-ups each day, you'll start to see results in a couple of weeks.Thanks!
QuestionShould this be painful?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you should feel a burning sensation in your muscles while exercising. If your muscles are sore, give yourself a day or two to rest.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I'm doing a lot of work but not seeing results?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt can takes months. Just keep going no matter how long it takes. Eventually you will see results and you will be super happy with your body.Thanks!
QuestionDoes jerking off help to build abs?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, it does in fact. If you jerk off in a uplifted crunch position, it will burn fat 10 times faster than regular crunches.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I properly do crunches?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTo properly do a crunch your legs must be bent at an acute angle as you lie on the floor. When you come up you should roll up and feel like your torso is making a "c" shape, then you roll back down. You can do sit ups, planks, and/or pushups (not limited to these three) and make sure you consume enough carbs to have the energy to push yourself and make sure you eat as much as you workout.Thanks!
To get a six pack without any equipment, first do exercises that target your lower abs, like leg lifts and torso twists. Next, work your upper abs with crunches and hip lifts. Then, strengthen the oblique muscles on the sides of your core with exercises like side bends and oblique twists. In addition to working out, eat lots of lean protein and reduce your overall caloric intake to get rid of belly fat.
- Cardiovascular exercises and proper meal quantities can help you get a six pack as well.
- Mix up your workouts. This will keep your body guessing, and prevent you from getting bored and giving up.
- You need to do cardio to lose the layer of fat protecting your 6 (or 8) pack, so don't only focus on building your muscle but also on losing more fat.
- Your obliques are one of the fastest growing muscles and hardest to keep toned so do side planks to keep them toned as well.
- If you are trying to lose a significant amount of belly fat, focus your efforts on diet and aerobic exercise first. Once you have lost the weight, begin doing abdominal exercises. This will help prevent the wasted effort of building abdominal muscles underneath a layer of fat.
- To avoid hurting your back, perform all abdominal exercises on a mat. If you do not own a fitness mat, use a blanket or two.
- Do not overexert yourself. The goal is to feel a burn in your muscles, not pain.
- When doing lower-abdominal exercises, make sure to keep your lower back on the ground to avoid back injury.
- Talk to your doctor before beginning a new diet and exercise regimen, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
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Video: Get a Six Pack Without Sit Ups or Crunches - Dr Alan Mandell, DC
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