How to Get a Flat Belly with Tight Six Pack Abs for Men

six pack abs fast

Six Pack Abs Fast

If you are wondering how to get six pack abs fast, there’s a good chance you desire visible abdominal muscles for a reason. Maybe you are going on vacation soon and want to be able to take your shirt off. Perhaps there’s someone you are trying to impress but recognize that the flab hanging around your mid-section is unattractive. Finally, you want to know how to get six pack abs fast simply because the rest of your body looks decent – except for your stomach area.

Regardless of your motivations, your desire to learn more about how to get six pack abs fast says that you are ready to do the necessary work.

Sometimes the most difficult part about working out your abs isn’t necessarily the exercises involved; it’s identifying which ab exercises best fit your physiological needs. I’ve been working out my abs for many years now and can tell you first hand that creating the desired six-pack you so very much crave requires hard work, focus, insight and strategy.

This article will explore all things related to abs, including the specific muscles of the abdominal walls, body type in relation to sculpting the abs and 5 effective ab workouts to help your abdominal muscles pop in a way that is visually appealing.

Are you ready? Let’s jump right in!

body building nutrition faqsAbdominal Muscles

Before you can go about the business of finding out about how to get six pack abs, it is vital that you have a good understanding of the muscles that make up the midsection of your body. Don’t blow this information off because the knowledge you will gain here is required as a fundamental building block to creating that ripped look you are seeking.

Your abdominals are part of a complicated network of mid-section muscles that run across your entire central core and involve parts of the back. Unlike the arms and legs, your back depends largely on the muscles rather than bones for support. Many people, particularly guys, tend to store fat around the middle, which presents a challenge if you want to show off your physique.

Four Primary Ab Muscles

What is important that you know in your quest to get six packs abs fast are the four, primary muscles that make up the abdominal section. These include: the rectus abdominis, internal obliques (2 on each side), external obliques (2 muscles) and the transversus abdominals (also referred to as transversalis). These specific muscles allow you to do things like bend forward at the waist, rotate your trunk and bend to the side. These abdominal muscles also help you stabilize your spine and prevent back pain. I will walk you through each muscle group so that you have key knowledge for later on when you start the recommended exercises.

Credit: Fahadmania

Rectus Abdominis

This is probably the most visible of the abdominal muscles. It runs down the length of your abdomen, from the lower area of the chest to the apex of your pelvis. The rectus flexes your trunk, causing your spine to bend forward. The rectus also tilts your pelvis back and is therefore important in maintaining a normal back curve and preventing back pain. You will use these muscles when you are doing crunches or pelvic tilts.

Internal and External Obliques

Your obliques are used to rotate and flex the trunk and bend to the side. These muscles also support the spine. Your obliques are essential for movements involving the transfer of weight, such as hitting a tennis ball or a baseball. You also use them for punching a heavy bag, boxing or discus. These muscles form the sides of your abs and help to twist and bend your trunk. They also help to give you the V-Shape you likely desire.

Transversus Abdominis

These particular muscles stabilize the trunk and compress your internal organs when you lift, stand, sneeze, laugh or cough. In fact, anytime you lift a weight or do any whole body movement, the transversus abdominis stabilizes your midsection. These muscles are developed best when you do large muscle lifts, like squats, deadlifts and bench presses.

get rid of belly fatHow to Get Six Pack Abs Approach

Before moving into the specific exercises you will want to do in your journey to six pack abs, we need to get something straight – diet, cardio and resistance training need to be part of your general approach. If you think you can simply just do a bunch of crunches and magically sport a six pack, you need to think again. It just doesn’t happen that way.

Below I will put up a chart that outlines the ideal requirements for getting your abs to pop out. Most experts agree that if you follow a low fat diet (having no more than 25% of your calories coming from fat) you should trim off enough body fat so that you can start to see all of the hard work you are putting into your midsection.

If You Are And you do cardio You Should See Results
Under 15% body fat 3x a week 1-2 weeks
15%-20% body fat 3-4 x a week 2-3 weeks
20-25% body fat 4-5x a week 4-5 weeks
Over 25% body fat 5x a week 6-8 weeks

A Note on Cardio

Cardio exercises for six pack abs means 20-30 minutes of medium to high intensity activity. You can do this outside by jogging or running. You can also do this at the gym using a number of different cardio machines. Recommendations include Stair-Master, Exercise Bike or Treadmill. If you use cardio equipment, make sure you are setting the dial to an intermediate level at a minimum. You should be breaking a sweat at some point during the exercises.

A Note on Diet

Your diet obviously is going to have an impact on your ability to pop out your abs. Generally speaking, try to restrict your fat intake to no more than 10% a day. Your caloric intake however, doesn’t need to be reduced drastically. Since you will be active, your caloric intake should be somewhere between 2000-2400 per day. Be mindful of sweets and if you can avoid them, do so. Finally, stay away from sodas of all types and kinds and stick to water. If you must have something with taste, reach for non-sugar cool-aid.

Weight Lifting and Body Type

Of key importance is knowledge of your body type when building muscle, particularly the abdominals. This will help you design workouts that specifically match your physiological makeup and constitution. Factor this information into your approach to strength training and six pack ab sculpting. And it goes without saying genetics are part of the picture however, they only make up part of the equation.

body building ab workoutExercises for Six Pack Abs

Now that we have walked through the basics of the abdominal muscles and other information, it’s time to explore the specific exercises you should focus on in order to make your six pack ab dreams come true. I will give you 5 exercises you can do at the gym and at home and guide you through the particulars.

six pack abs
Cable Pull-Down Credit: Scott Herman Fitness

1. Cable Pull-Down (Internal and External Obliques)

Get on your knees in front of a high-cable pulley with a rope attached and grab both ends. Draw your hands down by the sides of your ears (palms facing in) or just above the forehead.

Making sure your hands are locked in place, slowly curl yourself downward, first drawing your chin toward your chest, then letting your should and back follow.

Do 2 Sets at 10-15 Reps

2. Hanging Side-Twist Raise (Transverse Abdominus)

Hang from a bar with your hands spaced slightly wider than should width apart. Your legs should hang straight underneath you with toes pointing toward the ground.

Now, rock your pelvis upward and slowly raise your knees up and to the left. Try to touch the right side of your hip to your chest. Slowly lower your legs back down and repeat, this time raising your knees to the right. Lower your knees and repeat.

Do 2 Sets at 8-10 Reps


3. Wood Chop (Internal/External Obliques)

Stand to the right of a high-cable machine pulley with your right shoulder facing the machine. Keeping your feet flat on the floor (toes pointing forward) reach your left arm across your chest and grab the cable handle. Now, place your right hand on top of your left hand. You should look like someone who is holding an axe out to your right side. Pull in our belly button and hold it there for the entire exercise.

Next, keeping your knees slightly bent, slowly rotate your torso to your left as you drawn in your arms across and down. Try to keep your arms as straight as possible until the movement causes you to naturally bend at the elbows. Once your hand is above your left thigh, slowly reverse the motion back to the starting position and then repeat.

Switch positions and repeat the above described process facing the left side of the machine.

Do 3 Sets at 8-10 Reps (both sides)

ab exercises
Teasers. Credit: Pilates1901

4. Teasers (Internal/External Obliques)

Lie on your back with your knees drawn up and your arms down at your sides. Slowly stretch your legs out so they are above the ground at a 45-degree angle. As you raise your upper body off the ground, try to keep that torso at 45-degrees (you should look like the letter V).

Draw your hands up alongside up your legs – without touching – as high as you can toward your feet. Hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly raise your arms up and over your head until they are in line with your upper body.

Now, slowly sweep your arms back down in front of you towards your ankles. Keep your hands close to your legs as you lower both your upper body and lower body down to the floor. Repeat.

Tips: Use a floor-mat or padded surface for this exercise. You should know these are not easy to do and that it will take time to master the teaser.

Do 2 Sets at 3-6 Reps

5. Corkscrew (Internal/External Obliques & Transverse Abs)

Lie on your back with your knees drawn up, arms down along your sides or under your behind to take pressure off lower back. Extend your legs straight with your feet together, your feet pointing toward the sky.

Keeping your head and shoulders on the floor, slowly rotate your feet (or legs if they are bent) clockwise as if you are drawing a circle in the air. Now bring your feet back to the center. Pause and then rotate counterclockwise.

Now bring your feet back to center again. Repeat for 8 circles on both sides.

Do 3 Sets at 8 Reps (for each side)

muscle goatee

Other Six Pack Exercises

There are a host of other exercises you can do to help develop and pop your six-pack. The key of course will be consistency. Here are some other abdominal ideas:

  • Ball crunches
  • Regular crunches
  • Bicycles
  • Reverse crunches on bench
  • Side bridges
  • Ball pikes
  • Roman Chair
Other Ab Exercises
Other Ab Exercises

Six Pack Ab Poll

This poll is designed to assess your motivation for wanting to obtain a six pack. My assumption is that most guys want to develop the abdominal muscles because they want to show off their midsection. This of course relates to vanity – which isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to personal health.

To access the poll, visit this link. Your vote is completely confidential.

Celebrities with Six-Pack Abs

To help motivate you on your quest to building a six pack you can be proud of, I have compiled a list of celebrities that have at some point appeared in a movie or TV show with a six-pack. Bear in mind that some of these stars have more pronounced muscular development than others. Also, many celebrities work with a personal trainer to achieve the look you see in television and in movies.

Air brushing of course helps in the case of print magazines.

six pack abs celebs male
Male celebrities who have shown six pack abs

Celebrities with Six-Packs

Alex O’Loughlin
Scott Eastwood (See Post)
Chris Evans
Jared Leto
Zac Efron
Marco Dapper
Chris Hemsworth
Liam Hemsworth
Shemar Moore
Enrique Iglesias
Will Smith
Colton Haynes
Jesse Metcalfe
Henry Cavill
Kellan Lutz
Jude Law
David Beckham
Matt Dallas  
The Hulk  

alpha myths
Abdominal myths


Six Pack Abs Myths

Many people who strive to develop a six pack set of abs erroneously believe a bunch of myths. Most of these myths float around gyms and come from surprising sources, like personal trainers. Common myths include thinking you have to work out your abs daily to develop abs. Remember that the abdominal muscles are not unlike other muscles in your body. If you want them to grow and pop, you need to give them a chance to rest.

Another myth is that you need to avoid all fats in order to sport a six pack. This, too, is misinformation. The reality is that your body needs a certain amount of fat in order to function properly. Finally, there is an ab myth floating around that suggests that you need to do a thousand crunches a day to develop a six pack. Again – this is false. As long as you consistently train your body, including your abdominals 3-5 times a week, coupled with a healthy diet, you will eventually see some type of result.

Six Pack Abs Final Thoughts

I encourage you to learn everything you can about how the abdominal muscles work on your quests for obtaining a six-pack. You might want to consider picking up a book like Six Pack Abs 365 by Geoff Neupert. Remember that in order for you to build the abdominals of your dreams, it takes time and patience. Don’t expect results overnight. Most guys give up on their dream too soon. Pace yourself and be mindful of overtraining syndrome. I hope you found this post helpful. 

Thanks for visiting Men’s Culture.

About John D. Moore 391 Articles
Dr. John Moore is a licensed counselor and Editor-in-Chief of Guy Counseling. A journalist and blogger, he writes about a variety of topics related to wellness. His interests include technology, outdoor activities, science, and men's health. Check out his show --> The Men's Self Help Podcast