Get the six pack you always wanted and undestand exactly what you need to do to get it and maintain it once and for all. First we’ll teach you what you abdominal muscles look like and what their job is. We shall also cover how muscles work and how they develope. You need to know these basic fundamentals to get to grips with the skills needed to maintain your look. Once you understand things as a whole, you will have the knowledge to make your sets work better for you and maintain the level needed to keep improving.
How to get a six pack mindset
The words “Six Pack abs” and “easy” don’t often go together. Most people think getting a six pack needs to be hard, painful, and even punishing. In fact, the way most people design their exercise program, makes it hard, painful, and punishing!
Here’s an example of the typical way that people initiate an exercise program, the “I want it now” method. After reading and hearing from his friends about how good their six pack abs make you look, Terry says, “Hooray, I want to look good, so I’m going to get a six pack, and I’m going to get in shape right now!” Even though he hasn’t exercised in years, he heads down the gym with the goal of getting a six pack body all the women want.
The first minute or so, he’s ecstatic, admiring his reflection in the windows and mirrors he passes and he feels sleek, tough and proud of his new resolve. This will be a cinch, he tells himself.
Yet it isn’t. Half hour down the Gym working his sixpack seems to last forever. Terry starts to feel his abs and lungs tire; after three or four minutes he starts to lag and tries lighter sets of abs crunching. But soon even this is too hard. His heart’s pounding and he’s covered in sweat. What had started out as a feeling of triumph and possibility sours as he tries to push on for that next six pack crunch.
Oh, well, he thinks, / guess I wasn’t meant to be fit, I’m a failure at yet another activity. By the time he arrives home, he’s abandoned his fledgling exercise program, which was alive for less than an hour.
In our quick-fix society, Terry’s error is a common one. Had he instead set a goal to take is slowly or even started to do lighter crunches, and done this successfully, everything would have been different. And he would have reached a goal instead of “failing,” and he would have been excited about the next goal.
How do six pack muscles work
The Six pack muscle is contracting muscle tissue are made up of thousands of parallel, cylindrical muscle fibers that run the length of your abs, you might have upto 300k fibers in your six pack alone tightly packed. The muscle fibers are made up of small protein filaments known as myofibrils, and the myofibrils are made up of much smaller protein again called actin and myosin. The sliding action filament theory of six pack muscle contraction illustrates how actin and myosin slide over one another, which causes the myofibrils to shorten in length, which in turn causes abdominal muscle fibers to constrict.
Learn how to get a six pack
what if you succeed in burning away that fat only to find that the muscles underneath are more washout than washboard? Most gym goers who’ve been watching their navels are already familiar with, and sick of, the crunch, so what else is there to work the abs?
Roman chairs come in a variety of shapes but they all look distinctly uncomfortable and have two basic features in common. The first is a padded bar to tuck your lower Legs under and the second is a larger pad to take the weight of your lower body, bum or groin, depending which way up you’re facing. There may be other bits and bobs to the chair in your gym – it may be at a 45 degree angle, or have handles, or a flat foot-plate, but these are mere frills.
NOW WHAT DO I DO?
There are two basic ways of using the chair: face down, which gives you a great back hyperextension (and an unrivalled view of the floor), and face up, which also gives you a great back hyperextension (and an unrivalled view of the ceiling). Notice that word ‘hyperextension’. The point of the Roman chair is that it makes your muscles work through a wider range of movement than usual, and if you have a weak back this could be dangerous.
Make sure you’re nicely warmed up and then assume the position. Lie face down, with the backs of your calves tucked under the padded bar, your elbows bent and your hands on your ears. Now smoothly bend your body forwards and extend your shoulders down towards the floor. Equally smoothly bring your body back to horizontal, and then arch upwards so you are lifting your shoulders and chest high off the horizontal. This will work your back muscles but you will also quickly realise that you have to tense your stomach muscles (and your buttocks) to maintain the position. That’s a rep. Try ten to twelve more.
Your abs won’t really show until you’ve burnt off the fat that’s covering them and for men that means getting down to around 15 per cent body fat or lower, 25 per cent or lower for women. There’s no such thing as spot reduction, so you can’t burn fat off one place on your body just by working that area, which means that real abs work is done on the treadmills and aerobics studio floor. What you can do, however, is tone up those muscles to help reduce back strain, improve balance and prepare for the day when, butterfly-like, they emerge from your wobbly chrysalis. To help with that it’s best to start with a little bit of anatomy.
Instructors in ab attack classes (or legs, bums, turns – whatever your gym calls them) often refer to upper and lower abs. This is slightly misleading since they’re really referring to the upper and lower sections of the same muscle, the rectus abdominis (the celebrated six-pack). The classic crunch works the upper abs; leg lifts, heel taps and bicycle kicking work the lower. To complete the picture you should also work the obliques down the sides which pull your waist in and help shape the stomach, and the transversus which lies deep beneath the abs and gives strength and shape to your whole midsection.
What we want
What most of us want when it comes to abs is tone rather than size or strength and a lot of that comes not from how developed the six pack muscle is, but how taut it is. The key to tautness is keeping those six pack abs contracted throughout exercises, and indeed throughout the day. One approach is to tie a piece of string around your waist (under your clothes of course) so that if you let your belly out it will touch the string. The idea is that it becomes a subconscious reminder and whenever your belly touches string it makes you pull it in, effectively exercising your six pack abs all day long.
Ever wondered why you do abs exercises at the end of combination workout classes, like BodyPump? The idea is that if you did them before you’d run the risk of working out with tired six pack muscles which could lead to bad posture. That’s a lesson worth taking into you: own individual workouts too, especially if you are going to be doing anything like squats, lunges or free weights where proper posture is what is what you rely on to prevent putting your back out.
Six pack muscles don’t have the ability to bulk up like other muscles so don’t worry about working them too hard. You can work them too often though – light abs work can be done daily but after a hard session they need a day off just like any other part of your body if they are to repair damage and grow stronger. Remember that it’s while you rest that you get stronger and grow few six pack muscles.