Sculpting a strong, chiseled six-pack goes beyond looking ripped at the beach. (That's an added bonus!) Strengthening your core makes it seamless to perform everyday tasks and activities, the Mayo Clinic explains. A strong, muscular core easily allows you to bend down to pick something up, reach for the highest shelf, and even boost your golf swing. A weak core can result in bad posture, injury, decreased endurance, pain in your lower back, and tiredness. That's why performing core-strengthening exercises is so important. In order to help you get in the best shape possible, we chatted with an expert who breaks down one of the best ab workouts for men to achieve killer abs and increased core strength.
Tonal coach Ackeem Emmons tells Eat This, Not That!, "The best way to build a strong core is to strengthen every part of it. The big misconception is that our core is just the rectus abdominis, or the six-pack in front. The proposed workout below targets the external obliques and transverse abdominis."
Emmons recommends performing the below exercises for an allotted amount of time so that men of all fitness levels can go at their own pace. Complete the below workout for three rounds; 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest. Break for 40 seconds after each round.
Keep reading to learn about one of the best ab workouts for men to sculpt a chiseled six-pack, and next, don't miss Simple Yet Effective Exercises for Instant Abs That Trainers Love.
1. Jackknife Crunch
The jackknife crunch kicks off this productive ab workout for men. To set up, lie down on a mat, and extend your arms and legs out so they're completely straight. Keep a neutral spine. Take a deep breath out as you slowly crunch up, using control to bring your arms and legs up to meet each other. Breathe in as your legs and arms slowly descend back toward the mat.
(Emmons notes that when working on Tonal, you can swap out this move for the pullover crunch.)
Next up, it's time for bicycle crunches. This bodyweight exercise will really fire up your core, MasterClass explains. To set up, you'll lie flat on a mat with your left leg extended and raised off the floor. Your right leg should be bent close to your chest with that shin parallel to the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Then, crunch your left side up to your right knee, switch sides, and continue to alternate as if you're pedaling a bicycle. Keep your elbows wide.
(Emmons notes that when working on Tonal, you can swap out this move for the standing chop.)
3. Reverse Crunches or Resisted Leg Raise
If opting for reverse crunches, PureGym explains this exercise will fire up your lower abs. To set up, lie flat on your back, bend your knees, and keep both feet flat. Your arms should be placed on each side of your body. Then, bring your knees up to your chest as your glutes, hips, lower back, and shoulders come off the floor. Use control to bring your shoulders and hips back to the starting position.
4. Hollow Body Hold
The hollow body hold wraps up this ab workout for men. According to MasterClass, you'll begin by lying down on an exercise mat with both arms fully extended behind your head. Both legs should be extended, too. Make sure your lower back maintains contact with the floor. Then, bring your shoulders and arms up off the floor, and raise your legs a few inches off the ground as well. Keep your chin tucked, and activate your core as you hold this position.