As you have read in my previous posts, ripped abs cannot be obtained by doing endless repetitions of sit-ups and crunches. You have to lose the body fat around your midsection, and that is obtained through a combination of weight training, aerobics, and healthy dieting. Nevertheless, you should still make ab exercises a regular part of your routine for the sake of keeping your core strong. You don’t need bulky equipment to give your abs a killer workout. In fact, there are plenty of six pack exercises you can do at home using little to no equipment.
1. Russian Twist
This works out your upper and lower abs as well as your oblique. Position your body so that only your buttock is touching the floor. Bend your knees and cross your legs. Hold a dumbbell, kettlebell, or medicine ball in your hands and swivel your body to the left and right. Your feet and back should not touch the floor at any point in this exercise. Use enough weight to reach muscle failure within 15 reps or less.
2. Ab Wheel
An ab wheel can be purchased at your local sporting goods store for $10. It’s a whole new way of strengthening your core without lying on your back. Once you get good at it, it will become as easy as sit-ups. When you reach this level, increase the intensity by performing the reps while standing. Being able to do even just one rep standing is a true feat of abdominal strength. You can slowly build up to it, though, by doing partial reps and extending the range of motion as you get stronger.
3. Abdominal Hold
Here’s an exercise that focuses on isometrics rather than repetitions. Sit on a chair with your butt at the edge. With your hands on the edge of the seat and the fingers pointing outward, lift your buttocks off the chair with your thighs parallel with the floor or higher. Hold for as long as you can; this comprises of one set. Rest for one minute before beginning the next set.
Note: During the exercise, keep your back as straight as possible because it will be tempted to hunch over to relieve some of the pressure on your abs.
4. Leaning Camel
Here’s an unconventional ab exercise with an equally unconventional name. Get on your knees and hold a dumbbell, kettlebell, or medicine ball. Keeping your spine straight the whole time, slowly lean back until you feel like you’re going to fall over. Tighten your glutes and abdominals to propel your body back to the starting position.
5. Janda Sit-Up
Yeah, I know, it says in the title that the exercises would not include sit-ups. Janda sit-ups, though, can be best described as sit-ups 2.0 and is worth a mention due to the added resistance. For the most part, the exercise is done like a regular sit-up. Here’s the twist: you’re going to have a partner place his knees on your feet while also grabbing your ankles and pulling them away from you. This takes away momentum from the hip flexors, thus forcing your abdominals to do all the work. If a partner isn’t available, you can also place resistance bands over your calves as demonstrated in the video.
To make the exercise even more challenging, do the exercise with your feet on the floor while your back is elevated several inches on a plank or aerobic stepper.
Try Them Out
Sit-ups are lame, and being able to whip out a thousand reps – while impressive – will not strengthen your core the way you can from adding resistance. These six pack exercises to do at home will target your midsection from different angles and keep your routine from becoming repetitive.
Finally, and I know I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but it’s worth reiterating: abs of steel is achieved not through ab exercises but through a combination of cardio (think HIIT) and a healthy diet. It is important that you customize a meal plan suitable for your body type and particular fitness goal.
So Now What?
Check out my program The Simple Shredded Solution for more information about burning fat and building muscles.