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 abs effectively. Experts advise you to do these five exercises to strengthen your muscles.

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

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

Want to build your abs? Expert advice: Forget the usual crunches and instead take advantage of exercise equipment to build the strength and stability of your abs. Fitness equipment is perfect for focusing on a specific muscle group.

Abs, like any muscle, trainers say the abs get bigger and stronger when you challenge them with progressive overload. While developing a six pack also requires good nutrition, building muscle will help visibly define your abs. Machine exercises such as leg lifts, bench 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 abs, fitness instructor Cliff Wilson told Business Insider.

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

The Palloff press trains the entire stomach

Gym owner Noam Tamir says the bench press is one of the best exercises for the abs. With the bench press, slowly pull an exercise band attached to your side forward with your arms extended 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 raise” is a simple exercise and a favorite of famous athletes like CrossFit star Kari Pearce and bodybuilder Sunny Andrews. With “hanging leg lifts”, you hang from a pull-up bar and slowly raise your legs straight in front of you, so that you 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 abs with leg lifts, but don’t have enough upper body strength to hold the grip? The so-called Captain’s Chair is the solution for you. With padded backrest and armrests, you can easily support yourself during the exercise.

When you do the exercise with slow, controlled movements, you’ll be working every part of your abs, according to fitness expert Tamir. “The exercise is great for helping you define your abs,” he said.

Rowing: the perfect mix of cardio and abdominal training

While most cardio exercises aren’t ideal for building muscle, rowing is an exception. When you row, you get your heart rate up while also tensing your muscles to spur growth, says Tamir.

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 abs.

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

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