Young man doing crunches
Six (direct) exercises for six pack abs at home

[dropcap]H[/dropcap]aving a defined six pack could be a challenge. That’s because how good your abs look depends not just on the exercises you do but on your body fat as well. To lower your body fat, you need to be on a good diet and do regular cardio sessions. To build your six pack abs, you need to exercise them and leave enough recovery time between sessions.

Here are six direct exercises that you can do at home to target your abs and midsection muscles.

1. CRUNCH

A lot has been said and written about crunches and their impact on your six pack. Even though doing endless reps of crunches every day alone is not going to give you a washboard stomach, they are still one of the most popular and easy exercises for your abs. Crunches target the upper section of your rectus abdominis and form part of many six pack abs workouts.

2. REVERSE CRUNCH

When you exercise any of your muscles, it is important to think about symmetry and aesthetics. Include exercises that work out upper and lower; inner and outer; left and right part of the muscle or muscle group. The reverse crunch targets the lower part of your rectus abdominis and therefore addressing the balance between the upper and lower parts of your rectus abdominis.

3. TWISTING CRUNCH

The twisting crunch, quite literally, adds a “twist” to your abs workout. It targets not just your rectus abdominis but your internal and external obliques as well. It’s similar to a regular crunch but instead of bringing both shoulders off the ground, you lift one shoulder towards the opposite knee (right shoulder – left knee; left shoulder – right knee).

4. SIDE CRUNCH

The side crunch is another exercise that targets your internal and external obliques as well as your rectus abdominis. It’s based on the regular crunch (lie flat on the floor, knees bend over your hips, ankles together).

Instead of bending your knees over your hips, you bend them and lean them to one side on the floor. Lift both shoulders off the ground as in a regular crunch. Do several reps on each side.

5. SPLIT-LEG CRUNCH

The split-leg crunch targets all three major muscles in your midsection – rectus abdominis, obliques and transverse abdominis. The transverse abdominis (TA) is often overlooked because it’s a muscle you can’t actually see. It lays underneath your rectus abdominis and its role is to hold your internal organs in place.

Lie flat on the floor with your legs straight apart in the air. Raise your shoulders to touch the toes on your right foot. Pause for 2 seconds and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

6. SCISSOR-KICK

The scissor-kick targets the lower part of your rectus abdominis as well as your transverse abdominis. Lie flat on the floor. Keeping your back flat on the floor, raise your legs (a few centimetres or a couple of inches). Do scissor-like movements raising each leg to about 40-50 degrees in the air and then lowering it back. Keep both legs off the floor throughout the exercise.

These exercises help you tone your six pack abs by directly targeting your rectus abdominis and the muscles around it (obliques and transverse abdominis). You can do them as an extension to your regular workouts or add them to your abs routine.

[quote_box_center]In either case, don’t overdo it. Three times a week with enough recovery time between sessions is plenty.[/quote_box_center]

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