Six (indirect) exercises for six pack abs

A man running
Six indirect exercises for six pack abs

[dropcap]C[/dropcap]runches may be the most popular exercise to directly exercise your abs. Revealing a ripped washboard stomach involves much more than endless reps of crunches. You need to think of the bigger picture and exercise not just your abs but the other muscles in your midsection as well as your whole body. Here are six indirect exercises that help you reveal your six packs abs.

If you look at any fitness model you’ll soon notice that they have a perfect set of six pack abs but they also have well defined obliques, lower abs, pecs, biceps, triceps and legs. Their abs are part of the whole aesthetics package of well developed and symmetrically balanced muscles.

These fitness models train hard and even though they may dedicate a session or two on a weaker part or muscle group, they workout every muscle in their body equally. Otherwise parts of their physiques will be overdeveloped, whilst other – underdeveloped.

When you train all of your muscles equally, you include a range of exercises in your routine to directly workout a particular muscle. More often than not, these exercises will workout other muscles indirectly. Here are six indirect exercises for your six pack abs:


You must have seen all the (funny) pictures on your timeline with guys who have really defined upper body but their legs are really skinny and underdeveloped. That’s because they skip leg day. To you and me, leg day is associated with squats. They are beneficial to your whole body and its muscles, including your abs.

Put the weight in front of your body to shift the balance from your back and target your upper abs too.


This is one of my favourite cardio exercises. It’s very effective and easy to do even in your living room or pretty much anywhere else in your home and/or your university/college dorm.

When you do mountain climbers, your abs get a workout too because your core is flexed to keep your body in plank-like position.


If you think you need weights and other gadgets to condition your body, you are wrong. Your own body weight is enough to do the job. Perhaps one of the easiest and most effective exercises to convince you, is the burpee. It works out your entire body, including your core and abs.

Start in a squat position, kick your legs back and do a push up. Return to the squat position (as quickly as you can) and jump. That’s one rep. Try it out and see how many reps you can do. It’s hard work, isn’t it?


Even though the primary target during dumbbell rows is your back and lats, you end up working your abs too. The reason is the same: your core and abs workout to keep your body in place and prevent you from falling over.


By definition, the one arm shoulder press works out your shoulders but it indirectly targets your abs too. The reason being is that your core (and abs) workout too in order to keep your body in position.


Confession time: I am not the world’s biggest fan of sprints or running but you shouldn’t ignore it. During a sprint, you engage not just your legs and glutes but your core and abs too. Sprinting is very intense and it puts a lot of tension on the muscles involved.

If you need convincing, just look at the abs of any professional sprinter. Their abs are more than impressive and they are built on the track, not by doing crunches at the gym.

[quote_box_center]These are all basic exercises that should already be in your workout program. If they are not, you should introduce them to your routine and make them part of your indirect exercises for your six pack abs.[/quote_box_center]

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