The 5 Top Exercises for Razor Sharp Abs By Shane Dwyer
When it comes to getting a six pack, you should focus on what I like to call the "holy trinity" of abs. And that is diet, cardio training and weight training.
Unfortunately, too many people think that getting a rippling midsection has all to do with doing thousands and thousands of crunches. And while I do recommend exercising the abdominal muscles as part of any good workout program, you will notice that not a single crunch or leg raise makes the top 5 exercises for razor sharp abs.
And here's why.
Getting a six pack is all about getting your bodyfat levels down to around 10% or less. And doing crunches won't directly help you with that. Despite what you may have heard around the gym, there is no such thing as spot reduction.
When you burn fat, it comes from all over your body regardless of what muscles you've been working. So while you shouldn't be stopping your crunches, you should be doing them as part of your workout plan, not expecting them to get all the work done for you.
You'll notice that the top 5 are all compound exercises, which means that they don't just work a couple of muscles, but they work large groups. This is important because when large parts of your body are put under stress like this, your body responds by flooding your body with growth hormone, which is great for burning fat (that's the stuff Stallone used to get ripped for his latest Rambo movie).
Here are the top 5 exercises you must be doing if you want to get ripped.
1. The Squat
This is known as the king of all exercises for a reason. And once you perform it for the first time, you'll feel exactly why. No other exercise will work your body as hard as the squat and I have two stories that demonstrate that quite well.
A few years ago I got a friend to finally come to the gym and to test him out I got him to squat for the first time. He did well and after three sets he was tired.
At the end of the workout, we were walking down the steps out of the gym (there were only 2) and his legs actually gave way on him. You will never hit your legs that hard with leg extensions.
Also, the squat is the only exercise that has ever made me throw up. And it wasn't because I was brand new. After working out for around a year, I went to a friends house to do a workout and after a few strip sets ended up rushing to his toilet.
Those stories alone show you how tough this exercise can be, which is precisely why you need to be doing it if you care about your six pack.
2. The Deadlift
This is another exercise that you must do if you want to get a set of abs. And just like the squat, it's hard to perform. If you're doing it right, it will take a lot of effort.
And this is why you need to be doing it. The more stress it can put on your body, the more fat burning hormones your body will release and the better off your midsection will be.
You might notice that not many other people perform this at the gym, but this is only because of it's difficulty. Getting a set of abs won't be easy, which is why very few people have them, so if you're not prepared to put in a little work, you shouldn't even begin.
3. Bench Press
This is another great exercise and one that you should have no trouble performing. After all, you don't have to be in a gym very long to see plenty of guys line up to get on the bench.
Don't just limit yourself to the barbell bench press though. If you've never tried using dumbbells, give them a shot. They allow you to use a larger range of motion, which hits your chest even harder than usual.
And don't forget the incline or decline presses. They are a little trickier to perform, but can be a useful change to implement in your workouts.
4. The Parallel Bar Dip
This is one of my personal favorites and once you give it a shot, I think it will be one of yours too. It involves large groups of upper body muscles, so it's up there with the bench press for upper body strength and muscle development.
And because it involves a lot of muscles, you'll be able to quickly go from assisted dips to full body weight dips to weighted dips. Forget girly tricep exercises, give these a shot instead and see if you can notice the difference within a few weeks.
5. The Pullup
This is another exercise that you should definitely be using. It's a great way to build your upper body strength and flood your body with those fat burning hormones.
It is tough and if you're not very fit already, you'll need to use a machine that can assist you. But if you push yourself hard and make an effort to progress a little each time you workout (ie either do one more rep or increase the weight a little) you'll soon be doing body weight pullups without any trouble.
Try switching up your grip to change the emphasis on your muscles. You'll find that an underhand grip is much easier, so it might be good to do it that way if you're unfit, then graduate to the overhand grip once you've built your strength up.
Ok, so make sure you take note of all of those exercises. If you haven't been doing at least some of them and you haven't been losing as much fat as you want to, then you'll know a few things you can do to speed things up.
These exercises all require more effort on your behalf, but that will translate to results once you leave the gym. So get in there and give them a go.
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