Let’s get real: six-pack abs are the glamour muscles of the core. To that end, the sheer number of six-pack abs workouts is an indicator of how much people just want a cut tummy. But having a stomach that has ridges is not a barometer of health. In fact, in many ways, it is quite the opposite. To have six-pack abs you need to have somewhere around the order of 6% body fat. Sounds good, right? Not exactly. Extremely low body fat (that’s below 5%) can put a strain on the body’s system, causing testosterone to drop, the immune system to struggle, brain fog, splotchy skin… the list goes on. For many, all of that effort just to be extremely hot might not be worth it.

It is high time you get it into your brain that there is no magical fix that can help you get a six-pack in a week. It needs hard work and dedication. Start with these basic steps: 

1. Go On A Diet

Everyone has abs, as it is a part of human physiology. The only reason people are not able to see their abs are for two reasons:

a. They have a lot of body fat covering it

b. They do not have developed abdominal muscles

Let's cover the first part here. The reality is that you need to be on a diet to bring your body fat percentage down. At the same time, you would want to preserve the muscle mass you already have.

To calculate the number of calories you need to eat for fat loss, simply multiply your body weight in pounds by 13.

To preserve your muscle, have one gram of protein per pound of your body weight.

If you weigh 160 lbs., this would mean:

a. Calories = 160x13 = ~2100 calories

b. Protein = 160 grams

2. Do Weight Training

You need to lift weights to hold on to your muscle when you lose fat. 

Make sure that you are doing compound exercises aka exercises that engage your core, and are moving more than one muscle group at a time so that you build your core.

ou can also include direct ab training with and without abs to build them further ahead.

3. Lose Around 0.5 To 1% Of Your Body Weight Every Week

You will get started on a diet once you plug in those numbers from step #1 and start losing weight. Then, there will be two questions:

a. How much weight to lose?

b. How fast to lose it?

To reveal a six-pack, you need to have around 10 to 12% body fat. So, until you reach that number, you will have to dig deep. To find your body fat number, you can use a lot of tools like online calculators or Inbody machines.

Ideally, you should be losing around 0.5 to 1% of your body weight every week. If things are faster than this, you could eat some extra calories.

Abs workout 1: Unilateral powerhouse

This one is great for targeting the deep core muscles and emphasizes good posture.

Do three rounds of the following workout:

  1. 20 Dumbbell Renegade Rows

  2. 20 Single-Arm Dumbbell Overhead Press with a twist (each side)

  3. 8 Split Squats (each side)

  4. 30 Dumbbell Suitcase Walking Lunges (each side)

  5. 8 Single-leg Squats with Dumbbell Lateral Raise (weight in the hand of the working leg), each side

  6. 15 Single-leg Deadlift with Upright Row (each side)

  7. Side plank with 15 dumbbell flyes, each side


Abs workout 2: No-crunch workout

There’s so much stabilizing going on here, your entire core will be burning way more than your abs do after a hundred crunches.

Do three rounds of the following:

  1. 20 Lying Bicycle Crunches with Overhead Dumbbell (hold the weight just off the ground, but don’t let it touch)

  2. 10 Pushups

  3. 1-minute Side Plank

  4. 20 Supermans

  5. Side Plank with 15 Dumbbell Flyes (each side)

  6. Forearm Plank Series: Hold a plank for 15 seconds in each position:
    – Forearm plank
    – Right leg lifted
    – Left leg lifted
    – Right arm back to hip
    – Left-arm back to hip
    – Right arm and left leg lifted
    – Left-arm and right leg lifted
    – Forearm plank


Abs workout 3: Cardio core shred

Get your blood pumping (and the calories burning) with this high-energy workout.

Do three rounds of the following circuit. Rest for one minute between sets:

  1. 20 Skater Lunges

  2. 20 Mountain Climbers

  3. 20 Burpees

  4. 20 Knee-to-Shoulder Knee-ins (alternating sides)

  5. 1-minute Side Planks

  6. 20 Knee-to-Opposite-Shoulder knee-ins


Abs workout 4: Plank variations

Because holding still in a simple forearm plank for eternity is both boring and counterproductive, most people lose form after a minute, causing strain on their back. This routine keeps you moving so you keep seeing results sans the back pain. Bonus: No equipment needed.

Do the following plank series twice, resting between series:

  1. 15 Forearm Side Plank with “Thread the Needle” (curl top arm under and back up), each side

  2. 10 Pushups to Straight-arm Side Plank

  3. 1-minute Side Plank

  4. Forearm Planks with 20 Toe Taps (do all 20 with one foot then switch sides)

  5. Forearm Plank with 20 Side-to-Side Hip Dips

  6. 20 Knee-to-Shoulder Knee-ins

  7. 20 Knee-to-Opposite-Shoulder Knee-ins

  8. 15 Forearm Side Plank with “Thread the Needle”


Abs workout 5: Standing abs workout

You don’t have to take all your core work lying down. Do three rounds of the following circuit:

  1. 20 Dumbbell Chops (each side)

  2. Plank with 20 Knee-ins (do all on one side, hold the last one for 5 breaths, then switch)

  3. 8 Forward Lunges

  4. 8 Single-leg Squats with Dumbbell Lateral Raise (weight on the same side as a working leg), each side

  5. 12 Dumbbell Overhead Press (hold one weight in both hands by the bells), each side

  6. 20 Dumbbell Swings (hold from one bell with both hands; swing like a kettlebell)


So, go do the work and follow a plan instead of finding the next quick-fix for six-pack abs.