Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Dear Fun and Fit: What’s the fastest way to get a 6-pack?
Kymberly: The absolute fastest way is to acquire a 6-pack is to find a nice photo and paste it onto your mid-section. Or do some serious airbrushing. Or go to the grocery store and pick up a 6-pack of sodas. Can we go with a medium speed?: Reduce overall body fat through healthy eating habits and cardio workouts, while engaging in abs and resistance training.
The professional in me has to nag a moment and say, “are you sure your goal is just to gain the look of a defined 6-pack? Are you sure you don’t also want to gain core strength, have great movement ability and function, minimize back pain, improve posture and performance?” Cuz’ training all the abs will get you to all those Fab-u-licious Ab-u-licious goals.
But if your primary, super duper, “it’s on my holiday list” wish is to make “The Situation” envious and your torso more defined than a dictionary, then you have to focus on the rectus abdominis. That means stoopid crunches and some other, better moves too, such as seated rotational crunches with a medicine ball DONE PROPERLY and vertical toe touches. And just so you can tell everyone that we deliver more than we promise (and we promise bupkus except to give good advice), try the standing wood chop since you already had to go get a medicine ball.
Alexandra: Hoi, some of those “better” moves need to include getting rid of the Budweiser tumor sitting on top of your 6-pack (secret code for “zap the belly fat”). As my mom always said, “No pudding pop on top.” Okay, she didn’t say that; I made it up. She really said, “If you’re bored, go outside and play.” Which leads to my advice – go outside (or in – gyms are nice) and play. Lose the belly fat and set your inner 6’er freeeeeee!
K: Yes, you can have the most gorgeous abs in the world, but if they are hidden under a layer of fat, you are depriving the world of their view. Or you are really stashing a 12-pack. Either way, the only way you will see your 6-pack is if your body fat is low, low, low. So hit the cardio-o-o. And mix in strength training for all major muscles. Does this advice look familiar? I think so, so, so. Now go rip it up, young master!
Readers: What is your favorite ab exercise that actually helped you reach your goal? Were you relying on those crunches, not knowing better moves existed?
Credit goes to the American Council on Exercise for providing the motion exercises / images. Check out their exercise library at ACE Fitness
6-Pack Abs Photo Credit: Photobucket.com