Six pack: These five exercises strengthen your abdominal muscles

Although most cardio exercises are not ideal for building muscle, rowing is an exception.
Marjan_Apostolovic via Getty Images

You should also use the equipment in the gym to train your abdominal muscles effectively. Experts advise you to do these five exercises to strengthen your muscles.

Hanging leg lifts strengthen all your abdominal muscles. If you do not have enough strength in the upper body, you can also do the exercise in the so-called Captain’s Chair.

Typically, cardio exercises are not very good for building muscle. Rowing is different, because here you train your muscles and burn a lot of calories at the same time.

Do you want to build your abdominal muscles? Expert Advice: Forget the usual crunches and instead take advantage of exercise equipment to build the strength and stability of your abdominal muscles. Fitness equipment is perfect for focusing on a specific muscle group.

According to trainers, abdominal muscles, like any muscle, get bigger and stronger if you challenge them with progressive overload. While developing a six-pack also requires good nutrition, building muscle will help visibly define your abdominal muscles. Machine exercises such as leg lifts, podium presses and rows allow you to train with weights and resistance to improve your fitness.

Effective training with a cable machine

Lifting weights helps build muscle. As you increase your weight over time, your muscles will also get bigger and stronger. By using a cable machine for crunches, you can apply the same principle to your abdominal muscles, fitness instructor Cliff Wilson told Business Insider.

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“Abdominal muscles respond to weight like any other muscle group,” Wilson says. Therefore, instead of spending hours training your abdominal muscles, you can save time on your workout by doing short sets of heavier exercises, he said.

The Pallof press trains the entire abdomen

Gym owner Noam Tamir says the pallof press is one of the best exercises for the abdominal muscles. With the pallof press, you slowly pull an exercise band attached to your side forward with your arms outstretched and hold the position at chest height for a few seconds. The resistance trains your entire core and thus also your abdominal muscles. The exercise is particularly suitable because the lateral abdominal muscles as well as the buttocks and back are also trained.

Leg lift for the six-pack

“The Hanging Leg Lift” is a simple exercise and a favorite among famous athletes such as CrossFit star Kari Pearce and bodybuilder Sunny Andrews. With “hanging leg lift” you hang from a pull-up bar and slowly raise your legs stretched in front of you to achieve an L-shape. If you want an extra challenge, you can also hang weights or a medicine ball between your legs. This exercise trains all your abdominal muscles.

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Abdominal support from the captain’s chair

Do you want to train your abdominal muscles with leg lifts, but do not have enough upper body strength to hold the grip? The so-called Captain’s Chair is the solution for you. With padded backrests and armrests, you can easily support yourself during the exercise.

When you do the exercise with slow, controlled movements, you will train all parts of your abdominal muscles, according to fitness expert Tamir. “The exercise is great for helping you define your abdominal muscles,” he said.

Rowing: the perfect mix of cardio and abdominal training

Although most cardio exercises are not ideal for building muscle, rowing is an exception. When you row, you get your heart rate up while also tensing your muscles to boost growth, Tamir says.

During the exercise, you stabilize your body and make the abdominal muscles work. Rowing also burns a lot of calories, which helps you lose body fat to further define your abdominal muscles.

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This article is translated from English by Klemens Handke. You can find the original here.

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