Build Your Own 6-Pack

Everything you need to know about abs.


Primary target: Upper and lower rectus abdominis, obliques

Secondary target: Intercostals

>> Lie on your back on the floor with your legs tucked up so that your thighs are perpendicular to the floor and your lower legs are parallel to it. Clasp your fingers behind your head or cup the back of your head and alternate pulling each elbow to the opposite knee. Concentrate on curling your torso forward with each rep and returning to the start position with the opposite movement.


Primary target: Lower rectus abdominis, obliques, core

Secondary target: Upper rectus abdominis

>> Sit on a bench with a 10- to 20-pound dumbbell (to start) placed between your feet at one end of the bench. Press your feet together and lie back, holding the end of the bench above your head. Raise the dumbbell with your feet by pulling your knees in toward your torso. Extend your legs until they’re straight and withdraw them again. This is a great exercise for your lower rectus abdominis and your intercostals.


Primary target: Upper rectus abdominis, obliques

Secondary target: Lower rectus abdominis

>> Hold a plate either against your chest or behind your head as you perform Roman-chair situps, twisting your shoulder toward the opposite knee on each rep.


Primary target: Core

>> Sit on a bench with your back straight and your hands placed on your knees. Suck your stomach in as far as it will go; keep your chest high. Hold this position for 10 seconds while trying to hold your breath for the duration. Relax and catch your breath before repeating. Each hold constitutes one rep.


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