Want to get a six-pack? Step one: do this home workout for six-pack abs four to five days per week to build muscles. Step two: follow a low-carb diet and manage your insulin resistance to reveal your abs. Home abs workouts don't get much simpler than this: five abs exercises + one determined individual = sixpack abs heaven.
We all want to have a six-pack but haven't got the time to work out. Thanks to this home workout for sixpack abs, all you need is five spare minutes a day and a bit of persistence to sculpt those washboard abs. Better still, all of the below abs exercises are bodyweight only; none of the best home gym equipment is required here (although the best dumbbells might come in handy).
Getting a six-pack is not just about doing abs home workouts but also following a proper diet plan. Insulin resistance is often why your abs won't show but going on a special diet, such as the keto diet and intermittent fasting, can help control insulin levels more efficiently.
That said, much like any other muscle in your body, abs need plenty of exercises to grow. You don't need to train abs every day to get a six-pack but finding the balance between frequent workouts and rest is key to getting more muscular abs.
Abs are part of your core muscles, and a strong core can help you lift heavier and improve posture (and comfort levels). To learn more about why training the core is essential, check out T3's roundup of the best core exercises.
Want to grow muscle? Eat your protein
Most people know that protein is essential for muscle growth and recovery but did you know that protein can also help you lose weight? Protein takes longer to break down than carbohydrates, especially when supplied from natural sources, such as lean meat, fish, nuts, leafy greens, eggs etc.
Even for muscle building, you don't necessarily have to chug down gallons of protein shakes a day but supplementing can be a convenient way of getting enough protein in your system without having to cook all the time.
The best protein powders are low on sugar and high in protein and having one after your workout can aid muscle recovery. The same goes for the best protein bars: if you must snack on something, leave the sugary chocolate bars in the supermarket and have a protein bar instead.
How to do this home workout for sixpack abs
There are five exercises and each should be performed for 40 seconds, followed by a 20-second break. For the duration of each block, go as hard as you can without compromising form. If you notice that your form is falling apart, try slowing down but don't stop until the end of the 40 seconds.
This 5-minute abs workout might be a fast one but in order for it to be effective, we had to include some intermediate and even hard abs exercises. We are not trying to cut corners here: this abs workout might take only five minutes to complete but by the end of it, you will feel all your abs pumping and aching.
This exercise works pretty much your whole body, but especially your abs, obliques, shoulders, arms and basically your whole upper body for stabilisation.
You start off in the standard push up position. To perform a mountain climber, pull your knees up to your chest, one at a time, in quick succession. You want to keep your body in a push-up position all the way through the exercise, so don't bob your hips up and down as you tuck your knees in.
Try to do mountain climbers as fast as you can without compromising on technique. It is a high-intensity exercise, after all. You'll see that even 20 seconds of mountain climbers can be very tiring.
To perform a proper Russian twist, sit down on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Clasp your hand together and lift your feet off the ground, using your core to balance.
Rotate your torso to one side, controlling the movement with your obliques, then back to the other side. Russian twists don't have to be fast; the longer it takes to stay in the rotated position, the longer your obliques are activated.
For added resistance, you can hold either the best dumbbell or the best kettlebell in your hands as you twist and lift your legs off the ground. For a lower impact version, leave the feet on the ground and lose the weights.
Flutter kicks will really work your lower abs. You'll also need your whole core to be engaged to keep your legs up in the air and moving. To perform flutter kicks, you need to lay down on the floor – if you are working out on a hard floor, consider using the best yoga mats – with your arms extended down the side of your body. Lift both legs up and hover them over the ground just slightly.
Then, start kicking! You need to move your legs up and down simultaneously in a fast but controlled motion without placing them down on the ground again. Pretty much what you would do in the swimming pool doing front crawls but on your back and on dry land. Keep your spine neutral by looking up and not at your legs and keep pushing until the time is up.
Planks are plenty hard enough for most but this plank variation cranks up the difficulty level even higher. With the standard plank, you 'only' have to hold the pose for as long as you can but with a hardstyle plank, you need to flex all the muscles in your body, working them way harder than usual.
From an onlooker's point of view, hardstyle plank looks similar to standard planks: you go down on your forearms and toes and hold your body straight, parallel to the ground. The difference with hardstyle plank is that you pull your elbows and toes toward the centre of your body, without actually moving them.
Granted, you probably won't be able to hold a hardstyle plank for 40 seconds but what you can do is hold it for 5-10 seconds first then gradually increase the length over time. For the rest of the 40-second block, you can hold the standard plank.
Ab kick ups
The starting position is similar to flutter kicks: on your back and arms extended on your side. From here, you want to lift both of your legs up in the air and as you reach the apex of the lift – legs are pointing up – you want to lift your pelvis off the floor and 'kick up' in the air, contracting all the abs in one move. Lower the leg back down and repeat.