One thing is for sure: it's never too early to finding out how to get a six pack (opens in new tab), ready for the summer! Even if you haven't got loads of time to spend in the gym or at home flexing them obliques, you'll be happy to hear that this 3-exercise abs workout can be done at home in 15 minutes, using minimal equipment. Will it be easy, though?
And before you ask "Where is the catch?", there really isn't any. If you drop your body fat percentage under a certain threshold (13% for man and 18% for woman) and do this circuit every day (or almost every day), you'll have the six packs of your dreams in no time. Going on keto diet for weight loss (opens in new tab) or intermittent fasting also for weight loss (opens in new tab) could speed up the process if you are in a hurry.
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You'll only require one thing, apart from will power, to do this workout: an ab roller (opens in new tab). These inexpensive yet very effective devices can be purchased everywhere and won't take up much space in your drawer either. There are loads of different versions available, our favourite are the SKLZ Core Wheels (opens in new tab), these handy rollers can work your shoulders as well as your abs, all for a very low price point.
And if you bought an ab roller, make sure you try the best core workout (opens in new tab) we put together as well to train the whole of your mid section, not just the abs. Those in a hurry can try this 15-minute six-pack home workout. This kind of core work will help you alleviate back pain and improve your sleep, too.
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Eat your protein
Abs are made in the gym and revealed in the kitchen, as the saying goes. You can't have a well-sculpted abdominal area if you don;t build the muscles and you won't see those muscles if you don't eat right.
Man are especially susceptible to building fat reserves around the waist area first, so if you are a man and want to have a six pack, you better start dieting sooner rather than later.
Also, since we are building muscles, you might want to increase your protein intake too, to aid the muscle building process and recovery. You can either have protein shakes or high protein snacks, but you can also up the protein intake by eating healthier and introducing more greens like kale and broccoli into your diet.
Warm up and warm down
Warming up your muscles with some light cardio – that can just be some stationary jogging or knee ups – can not only get your heart rate up a bit, but it can make exercising less tiring, too.
Stretching and relaxing tense muscles after the workout is also very beneficial. Although you can't use a foam roller (opens in new tab) on the abs as well as being high load-bearing muscles, it is still a good idea to stretch when you work out.
Hamstring stretches, using resistance bands (opens in new tab), can improve your posture and reduce back pain, by making your more flexible.
IMPORTANT: if you have any medical condition or experiencing pain of any sort – especially back pain – please consult a medical professional before you start working out. Some of the below exercises put a lot of stress on your lower back and core and if you are ever unsure how to perform them, get a PT or a trained athlete to show you the correct form.
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3 exercise abs workout routine
Abs are high load-bearing muscles so you will need to bomb them properly for them to take notice and get bigger. Keep short brakes between sets, 30 seconds tops, and go for higher reps than usual, anything between 12-20 per set would work fine.
1 Ab rollout
Muscles worked: abs, lower back, shoulders. triceps, lats
Sets/reps: do 3 sets of 12 reps
To perform an ab rollout, you go down on all fours with your feet lifted off the ground, so you are on your knees and your hands holding the ab roller.
Then, you gently push the roller away from you until your nose almost touch the ground. Once there, you pull the roller back to the original position.
Ab rollouts require a lot of core strength but they are certainly more fun to do than planks, for example. It looks deceivingly easy to do the exercise, yet it is one of the most challenging abs exercise to do correctly.
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2. Mountain climbers
Muscles worked: abs, obliques, quads, hamstrings, delts, biceps, triceps
Sets/Reps: Do 3 sets of 30 seconds
This exercise works pretty much your whole body, but especially your abs and obliques, your quads and hamstrings, 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're tucking your legs 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 30 seconds of mountain climbers can be very tiring.
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3. Russian twists
Muscles worked: abs, obliques, core, lats
Sets/Reps: Do 3 sets of 12 reps
To perform a proper Russian twist, sit down on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Clasp your hand together and then lift your feet off the ground, using your core to balance.
All you need to do is to move your fists from one side of your body to the other, over your knees. pretty simple, right? Do 12 reps on each side in each set with only 30 seconds in-between sets and you'll feel the pain soon enough.
For added resistance, you can hold either a dumbbell (opens in new tab) or a kettlebell (opens in new tab) in your hands as you twist. Or, if you have somewhere to tether it, you can use a resistance band (opens in new tab), too.
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