How do I get six pack abs as quickly as possible? The ultimate workout

Building a six-pack is a process. To achieve the desired results fast, you need to understand the process itself.

First and foremost, lose the weight as you have to be sufficiently lean for your abs to show beneath your skin. Second, develop the abs through exercise and diet. Finally, to maintain the abs you will need to have a nutrition plan you will be able to work with in a long term.

Let’s start with losing fat 

To decrease your overall body fat, you need to ditch specific foods high in sugar and calories. Avoid junk foods, processed carb, fast foods and soft drinks. It is noteworthy that if you have a lot of body fat, it will be a gradual process. Drastically cutting down on calories can inadvertently harm you.

For a healthier diet eat more of:

  • Vegetables e.g. broccoli, spinach, kales, Brussels sprouts, peas, carrots, etc. vegetables contain healthy antioxidants which protects the body and cells from damage.
  • Fruits e.g. apples, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, peaches, etc
  • Food rich in fibre e.g. oats, barley, nuts, wholegrain
  • Healthy fats such as extra virgin olive oil, fish oils, and avocados
  • Organic lean protein e.g. lean beef, white-fleshed fish, white-meat poultry, egg white, pork loin, low fat milk, frozen shrimp, etc
  • Drink a lot of fluids, the best being water

Aim for a healthier diet

While maintaining a healthy eating habit and the proper nutrition, you can concentrate on an exercise routine to develop six-pack abs.

Anatomy of abs

There are four muscles in the mid-section. They include:

  • The external obliques – it’s the outermost layer of the abs on the side. They run diagonally downwards. These muscles work to flex the spine and compress the abdominal wall/ increase inter abdominal pressure. They also aid the back muscles in rotating the trunk and flexing laterally.
  • The internal obliques – these muscles are underneath the external obliques. They run diagonally up the side. They assist in the rotation of the trunk and flexing laterally.
  • Transverse abdominis – they compress the abdominal content which aids in core stability.
  • Rectus abdominis – it is the six-pack itself. Rectus abdominis muscles paired abdominal muscles which connect vertically. It enables the curvature of the lower spine and the tilting of the pelvis.  They run from the bottom of the ribs to the top of the pelvis.

Start your exercise regime

For efficiency with exercises, start with cardio vascular exercises to strengthen your heart, the cardiovascular system and lose fat.

  1. Sprint on the spot
    –        Run at full speed while on the spot
    –        Do this for 30 seconds

    2.     High knee taps
    –        Assume a standing position
    –        Bend your arms at the elbow to form 90 degrees, stretch them forward and bring them close to each other
    –        Run on the spot ensuring your knees touch your arms alternatingly (i.e. move your arms left to right without altering the 90-degree angle)
    –        Control your breathing, inhale in and out. Do not hold your breath.
    –        Do this exercise for one minute

    3.      Plank knees to elbow
    –        With your body facing down to the floor
    –        Place your forearms straight on the floor to hold up your upper body and support  your lower body up with the toes
    –        Position your forearms to touch at the fingers and form a kind of forward arrow
    –        The distance between the elbows should be more than the shoulder width
    –        Bring your right knee up to touch the right elbow and lower it back to the starting position
    –        Now push your left knee up to touch your left elbow and lower it back to the starting position
    –        Alternate this leg movements and control your breathing
    –        Do 30 reps

    4.     Plank hops
    –        In a bent position facing the floor
    –        Touch the floor with your palms
    –        Support your legs on toes
    –        Hop forward towards your arms and backward to the starting position
    –        Do 30 reps

    After the cardio you can now work on exercises which target the abs muscles. We will start with exercises that do not require any weights or equipment.

    5.     Russian twists
    –        Assume a sitting position on the floor
    –        Lift both of your legs in a way they are inclined at a 30-degree angle with the floor.
    –       This will automatically cause you to slightly bend, with your back forming an angle less than 90 degrees with the floor.
    –        With both your arms touching at the forefingers, touch the floor directly to the side of your hips
    –        Alternate from the left side to the right side
    –        Do 15 reps

    6.     Seated in and outs
    –        Assume a seated position
    –        Hold the floor with your palms about 30cm beside your hips
    –        Hold out your legs slightly off the floor
    –        Pull the legs inwards towards your stomach and bend at the knee as you pull in (squeeze yourself for maximum contraction)
    –        Stretch the legs back out to  the starting position (as you stretch out, your back will also move towards the floor behind you)
    –        Do 40 reps

    7.     Reverse crunches
    –        Lie on the floor
    –        Have your thighs perpendicular to the floor
    –        Make a 90-degree bend in the legs
    –        Lift your head slightly off the ground
    –        Lift your pelvis, bring your knees towards your head
    –        Squeeze your upper and lower body
    –        Return to the starting position
    –        Maintain the legs angle as you make the movement
    –        Do 15 reps

    8.     Leg raises
    –        Lie on a flat surface (it can be a bench or the floor, and in this case I will use the latter) with your body facing up
    –        Put your palm on the floor, and place each hand beneath your buttocks
    –        Slightly lift your head and shoulders off the ground
    –        Your legs’ starting position will be 20 degrees off the ground
    –        Hold your legs straight and tightly together in the starting position, lift them and bring them towards your face.
    –        Bend them back to the starting position (ensure you do not touch the floor)
    –        Inhale as you lift and exhale as you lower them back
    –        Do 15 reps

    9.     Hip raises
    –        Lie on the floor and hold out your legs keeping them straight and tight together
    –        Put your arms straight on the floor beside your body
    –        Lift your head and shoulders off the ground
    –        The legs starting position will be 30 degrees off the ground
    –        Pull your legs towards your face, as you pull fold your lower legs to form 45 degrees with the upper leg
    –        Lift yourself at the hips and push your hip towards the roof
    –        Bring your hip down and stretch out your legs as you lower them back to the starting position
    –        Control your breathing as you make this movement
    –        Do 15 reps

    10. Flutter kicks
    –        Lie on the floor with your body facing up
    –        With your palm facing the ground, place your hands beneath each buttocks
    –        Slightly lift your head and shoulders off the ground
    –        Your legs’ starting position will be 20 degrees off the ground
    –        Move your right leg up and as you bring it down to the starting position, move the left leg up.
    –        Alternate the legs in this movement
    –        Breath in and out during each kick
    –        Do 60 reps

    11. Chair sit-ups
    –        Have your back on the floor
    –        Slightly raise your neck and shoulders off the floor
    –        Lift your legs to form a chair (the front of your upper legs should form a 90-degree angle with your lower abdomen, and bent at the knee, the back of your upper leg should also form a 90-degree angle with the back of your lower leg)
    –        Lift your right hand towards the roof, have the left hand touch the right shoulder
    –        Lift your upper body the highest you can and lower it back
    –        Do 40 reps

    12. Mountain climber slides
    –        Facing the floor, support yourself with your palms. Hand should be perpendicular to the ground.
    –        Hold your legs on your toes and a slippery matt beneath them
    –        Ensure your back is straight
    –        Pull your legs up and tuck your pelvis
    –        Squeeze your abs for maximum contraction
    –        Push your legs back to the starting position
    –        Do 15 reps

    13.  Jumping jacks
    –        Stand with your legs shoulder width apart
    –        Jump up and step out wards followed by a jump and step inwards
    –        As you step outward flip your hands up and clap right above your head and bring them back to your side as you make the jump to step inwards
    –        Do 40 reps

    We will now incorporate weight and some equipment to our routines to improve the intensity of the exercises.

    14. Vertical knee ups
    –        Align two stands by your side
    –        Support your forearms on these stands (vertical)
    –        Lift your knees towards your upper body directing them to the face
    –        Push your knees as high as you can
    –        Drop your legs to the starting position
    –        Do 15 reps

    15.Hanging knee raise
    –       On a firmly fixed vertical bar that is high enough
    –        Hold on to the bar, your arms more than shoulder width apart
    –        Your starting position is with your upper leg lifted parallel to the floor and bent at the knee to form a 90-degree angle
    –        Pull your legs towards your upper body (aim to lift the pelvis up)
    –        At the top, squeeze your upper and lower body (for maximum contraction of the muscles)
    –        Return to the starting position
    –        In the next lift, add a twist to the right side to target the obliques
    –        Do 15 reps

    16.Rope crunch
    –        With your rope plugged in at the top of the bar
    –        Kneel to the floor and hold on to the rope with both hands
    –        Lock your hands to the forehead
    –        Bring your head down in a curved movement
    –        Push your elbows backwards
    –        And pull towards your belly button (be sure to squeeze)
    –        Relax your muscles as your return to the starting position
    –        Exhale all the air out on every pull and inhale while releasing
    –        Do 15 reps

    17.Side crunch
    –        As opposed to the rope crunch, the side crunch targets your external and internal obliques.
    –        Kneel on the floor, the bar with the stretch line cable to your right side
    –        Stretch out your arms to hold on to the stretch line handle
    –        Your arms will be to the right-hand side direction locked to the side of your head
    –        Pull the stretch line downwards, squeezing into the lower abdomen and forming a curvature
    –        Exhale all the air out on every pull and inhale while releasing
    –        Do 15 reps

    18. Abs wheel crunch
    –        If you do not have an abs wheel, you can improvise with a barbell and some plates
    –        Kneel to the ground with your barbell in front of you
    –        Hold on to the bar with both hands
    –        Roll out the bar as far as possible bringing your hips down to the ground
    –        Pull back up
    –        At the end of the pull, do a crunch and exhale to maximise on the contraction
    –        Do 15 reps

    19. Bench pull ups
    –        Tilt your bench in a way that your upper body will be raised
    –        The more inclined it is, the greater the core strength you will build
    –        Lie on the bench
    –        Hold to the back of the bench on each side of your head
    –        Incline your legs off the bench
    –        Lift your buttocks off the bench
    –        Thrust your hips towards the ceiling
    –        Squeeze the core as you exhale
    –        Slowly lower yourself back
    –        Go as low as you can without touching the bench
    –        Do 10 reps

    20.Declined bench crunches 
    –        Seat with your buttocks at the end of a declined bench and your feet on the bench
    –        You can add resistant weight on the legs
    –        Slightly bend your legs at the knees to avoid putting pressure on your back
    –        Lower your upper body to the position where it is parallel to the ground
    –        Exhale as you lift yourself back up to the starting position and crunch before going back down
    –        Do 10 reps

    Mistakes that you should avoid

To achieve great results fast, there are things that you should avoid doing while exercising:


  • You will arguably hear many discussions on whether crunches work to give you that six-pack abs or not. Some will say you should avoid doing the crunches all the same. But understanding where you go wrong when pulling out the move is the difference between the crunch being effective or not. When doing a sit up plank, always ensure your head bends forward towards the knees and not upwards towards the roof. Also do not stretch on your head with your hands. Relax the hands and focus your strength on the abdominal muscles. When you tilt towards the knees, to form a curvature, the top most part of the rectus abdominis is brought closer to the lower part. The shortening of this distance gives a greater contraction to the muscle, tightening the core and thus achieving great results.
  • When doing the hanging knee raise, do not assume a standing position as your starting point. Lifting your legs from a standing position uses more of your hip flexes muscles other than the abdominal muscles. This movement makes the hip flexes tight and pressure applied between the hip flexes and the lower part of your spine will give you back aches.
  • When doing the reverse crunches, maximise on bringing your legs towards your head as opposed to towards the roof.
  • When doing the rope crunches, do not bend the whole of your upper body (i.e. from your shoulders to the pelvis). As you do this, you will notice that there is absolutely no movement on the rectus abdominis muscle. Always ensure there is contraction between the stratum to the belly button.
  • When doing the abs wheel crunch, do not hold your hips in a stiff position. Some people will hold the bar out with their thighs perpendicular to the ground and only engage the upper body in movement. Well, this is wrong as you are not engaging the core which is our target. Ensure you move your hip, such that your whole body is parallel to the floor.
  • Avoid rushing through your reps. Many reps won’t give you those six-pack abs, but the quality of the reps you do will. Go through each rep focusing on the muscle you are working on and aim to do the next rep better than the earlier. Have adequate rest in between sets. Do not settle for less but for the best.