Six-Pack Abdominal Exercises

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 24,332
    Fitness Expert Vionna Jones demonstrates six-pack abdominal exercises.

    Vionna Jones: Hi! I am Vionna Jones with Fit in D.

    C. and I am showing you how to have fabulous abs. Now I am going to show you three great exercises for strengthening that outer layer of abdominal muscles, the rectus abdominis, which is what you think of when you think of having six pack abs.

    This first exercise is a variation on the traditional standard crunch that you probably are already used to doing. We will first use the bosu and we'll start sitting on top, you're going to just move down the bosu. So that your lower back is being supported by the curve of the bosu and your tail bone is facing towards the floor. So you dont want your tail bone up .

    You want it towards the floor, lower back being supported. Like a traditional crunch you will put your hands behind your head, resting your shoulders and resting your head and your knees are bent. Abs engaged, pull your belly button in towards your spine and your shoulder blades are relaxed here against the bosu. To begin the exercise, you'll inhale and then exhale, bring your belly button into the spine. You dont have to roll up very far, just until your shoulder blades are off of the bosu and then lower back down. So you inhale and then exhale, belly button into the spine, crunch up, hold it for just a second and then lower back down. You can start with 10 and again work up to 12, 15. You can do two sets of these to begin with. If you feel strong enough, you can add a third set.

    So now we're going to do a variation of the standard crunch on top of the stability ball. I would suggest that everyone go out and buy a stability ball. You can do so many things with this stability ball. Start with good posture, abs are engaged, shoulder blades back. You are sitting nice and tall. Now to walk into position, you just walk your feet out. Abs are engaged and you stop, once you feel that your lower back is being supported by the stability ball. Your hands are behind your head, just like in the other forms of the crunch and you want to rest your shoulders back. Inhale while you are here and now you will exhale. You are going to bring your belly button in towards your spine and again roll up until your shoulder blades are off of the ball and then roll back down.

    So you are crunching just like we did on the bosu and just like you would normally do on the mat. You want to make sure that your tail bone is positioned correctly. If your tail bone is off of the ball, you are not going to feel it as much in your abdominal muscles. So you want to make sure that your lower back is supported and that your tail bone is pointing towards the floor as you do your crunch.

    Our second six pack abs abdominal exercise is called the jackknife. I'll show you three different ways that you can do the jackknife. We're going to start like we did with the boat pose. For beginners, you are going to want to bring your hands behind your body, fingertips are facing towards your toes and your knees are bent, shoulders are back, so that your back is nice and flat. You dont want to be like this at all because then you'll start to feel the strain in your lower back.

    So you want to lean back just a little bit, lean back on the sit bones and lift your feet off of the floor. Then you extend all the way out and then crunch back in exhale. Then inhale to extend out, exhale to come back in. So we're coming out and in. So if you feel okay with doing it this way or you have progressed up to about 15 repetitions on this one, then you can remove your hands from the mat and start to do it in the intermediate step.

    So your arms are next to the body, just like we did for boat pose. Roll the shoulder blades back, abs are engaged. Then you're going to roll back onto those sit bones, lift the feet off of the floor and then extend all the way out and then come back in. You can always start out small, like this, and then make it a little bit bigger each time, that's perfectly fine. Coming all the way back up, make sure the shoulder blades are back, back as nice and flat.

    The third way to do the jackknife is actually to combine the jackknife with the boat pose. So we'll have our knees bent, arms out to the side, roll the shoulders back and engage the abs. Roll back onto the sit bones and you can do say 10 jack knives. This is 5, we will pretend it was 10 and then just hold it here. You can hold it for as long as you can or you can hold it for a specific period of time, 10 seconds. Then you can either end it or do a few more.

    Our next six pack ab abdominal exercise is called Knee Tucks. For knee tucks, all you need is the stability ball. So we're going to start kneeling behind the stability ball and engage the abs. Then we're going to lean over the stability ball, placing your hands on the floor. You're going to walk your hands out until your knees are right on top of the stability ball. Your hands and wrists are going to be lined up right underneath your shoulders. Now your abs are engaged, dont forget. Then you are just going to bring your knees in towards your chest and then push back out. Your hips will come up into the air and then you will extend straight back out.

    You dont want to really move your upper body here at all. So the only thing that's happening is that your knees are coming into your chest and you are pushing straight back out. You are going to come off of the ball the same way that you got on the ball. So no flopping over to the side, no falling on the floor. You're going to walk your hands back, abs are still engaged, all the way back until you are kneeling behind the ball again.

    So then if you want to take this exercise to the next level, we can do an exercise called the Pike. I will warn you though, I would not suggest that you do the pike until you are very, very comfortable with doing the knee tucks. So this time instead of bringing your knees into your chest, you are going to lift your hips into the air. Coming as far as you want the highest level would be to have your toes on the ball only and then lower back down.

    So you can start with a little baby pike, just going a little bit and a little bit. Then each time you try that if you want to go a little bit further up into your pike, you can. Those are three great exercises for strengthening your outer abdominal muscles in getting that six pack. Next, I am going to show you three bonus exercises, if you would like to take your abdominal workout to the next level.