How to Get More Defined Six-Pack Abs

Updated on September 26, 2016

Floor Exercises for Abs?

Floor exercises, such as crunches and leg lifts, are a great way to strengthen and tone your core and abdominal muscles (refer to the link "Basic Floor Exercises for Abs" at the bottom of this article). However, these exercises can only go so far when it comes to muscle growth. Bodybuilding legend Serge Nubret worked up to doing 2,000 sit-ups every day, and his abs looked great, but achieving numbers like that are usually impractical for the everyday person. If you want larger, more blocky six-pack abs without hundreds and hundreds of crunches, you need to train these muscles as you would others you want to grow, which means challenging the abdominal muscles with more weight. After all, when you want to grow other muscle groups—such as your biceps, quadriceps, pectorals—you challenge them by adding more and more weight and doing shorter sets. The abdominals, in particular, tend to want to be resistant to growth, so they may require even more attention with the following weight-training techniques.

Hammer Strength Machine.
Hammer Strength Machine. | Source

Hammer Strength Machine for Upper and Lower Abs

The most obvious and direct way to challenge the abdominal muscles with more weight is with the use of machines. The Hammer Strength machine is great for working both the lower and upper abs.

  1. When you position yourself in the chair, secure your legs, grab the handles, and crunch. The machine allows you to simultaneously pull down with your upper abs and pull up with your lower abs.
  2. Unlike in other abdominal machines, the bottom half (where you secure your legs) is mobile so that your upper and lower torso can both contribute to the crunch.
  3. Note that this is a more difficult machine to use if your abs are not yet strong, so you might need to work up to it.
  4. You might find another version of this in the free-weights section where you load your own weight, rather than using a pin and stack. You can usually rotate the seat on these to crunch your obliques (side abs).

Nautilus machine.
Nautilus machine. | Source

Using Nautilus for Upper Abs

The Nautilus machine is also a great choice. It mainly focuses on the upper abdominals, so you would want to supplement the exercise with one that works the lower abs. It is certainly effective, however, and great for building up your abdominal strength. It is also one of the more comfortable exercises for beginners.

  1. Simply adjust the seat, adjust the weight, secure your feet, grab the handles, and crunch down.
  2. Try not to let the weights return to the stack in between reps so that you keep constant tension on your abdominals through the set.

Oblique machine
Oblique machine | Source

Working Obliques (Side Abs)

The photo above features a machine that is great for working the obliques, or side abs. The bottom has a handle where you can adjust it for either your left or right side.

  1. Simply adjust the bottom to one side. Adjust the top pads so that they press against your shoulders/upper pectorals and support your upper torso when kneeling.
  2. Kneel on the bottom pad while gripping the top handles. Keep your upper torso locked into place and your back straight.
  3. Use your lower torso and obliques to twist the bottom section that you are kneeling on. Rotate your knees in and out with a full range of motion.
  4. Try not to let the weights touch the stack in between reps so that you keep tension on your obliques through the entire set.
  5. Remember to repeat with the opposite side.

Challenging the Abs with a Cable Machine

If you want to try a more advanced exercise, consider the technique highlighted in the video below, by Scott Herman Fitness.

Ab Pulldown

An abdominal exercise bench.
An abdominal exercise bench. | Source

Challenging the Abs Without Machines

Of course, using machines are not the only way to challenge your abdominals.

For example, you can do leg raises or crunches at an angle with an apparatus like the one pictured above.

  1. Simply secure your legs at the top to do crunches.
  2. Flip your body around and grab the handle in the center (interlocking your hands over your head) to do leg lifts (for more on basic leg lifts and crunches, refer to the article link below).

Source

More Leg Lifts

You can also do leg lifts while hanging on an apparatus like the one pictured above. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Hang straight down, gripping the top bars with your hands.
  2. Or rest your forearms on the pads in the middle while gripping the handles.
  3. Either way, face outward with your back to the machine. Lift your knees as high as you can. You want to try to lift them above your hips so that you are crunching your lower abs. If you simply lift to your hips, your hip muscles are doing more of the work.
  4. For a more advanced version, hold a dumbbell between your feet or use ankle weights.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, caloriebee.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://caloriebee.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)