The Six-Move Six-Pack Circuit To Build Abs At Home

If carving out a six-pack was easy, everyone would have one, so we’re not going to try to kid you into believing that there are any shortcuts to a chiselled midsection. It’s also true to say that six-packs can’t be made in the gym alone – you need to back up your exercise with a…

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If carving out a six-pack was easy, everyone would have one, so we’re not going to try to kid you into believing that there are any shortcuts to a chiselled midsection. It’s also true to say that six-packs can’t be made in the gym alone – you need to back up your with a smart approach in the kitchen if you want to get lean enough to reveal your stomach muscles.

However, doing the right kind of exercises is undoubtedly an essential part of building a stronger, more defined core and this six-move circuit is full of the right kind of exercises. By that we mean moves that push you out of your comfort zone and attack the abs from all angles, so you ’t end up with a two- or a four-pack instead of the full half-dozen.

This is a home workout so you don’t need a huge amount of equipment, but you do need a set of dumbbells for some of the moves. If this is the prompt you need to invest in a pair, the ideal pick are hexagonal dumbbells that provide a stable base for the weighted T-raise exercise in this circuit.

How to do the workout

This session is made up of six moves, which you’ll do as a circuit in order from 1 to 6, sticking to the reps and rest details described. After completing all the reps of move 6, rest for three minutes, then do the circuit again. Do four circuits in total. To work your abs harder for a more effective session, engage your entire core before the first rep of each set so that the muscles are fully firing from the beginning to the end of each circuit.

Six-Pack Circuit

1 V-sit

Targets core

Reps 10 Rest 10sec

Lie with your fingers by your temples and feet off the floor. Draw your knees in towards your chest as you crunch your torso up so your elbows go past your knees. Lower your feet and upper back towards the floor, but don’t let them touch it before you start the rep.

2 Straight-leg raise

Targets Lower abs

Reps 10 Rest 10sec

Lie on your back with your hands by your or your sides. Keeping your feet together, raise them as high as you can, while keeping your legs straight. Maintain the tension on your lower abs as you slowly return to the start position.

3 Weighted crunch reach

Targets Upper abs

Reps 10 Rest 10sec

Lie flat on your back with your knees bent, holding a dumbbell above your chest in both hands with arms straight. Crunch upwards, pausing at the top of the movement, then lower back to the start.

4 Weighted seated Russian twist

Targets Side abs

Reps 10 Rest 10sec

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet raised, holding a dumbbell in front of you. Twist to one side, then to the other, then return to the middle. That’s one rep. Aim to keep your feet off the floor throughout.

5 Weighted T-raise

Targets core

Reps 10 each side Rest 10sec

Start in a press-up position with a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your core tight, lift one weight and rotate your torso to point it straight up. Your head should follow the weight. Reverse the move to the start. Alternate your lifting arm with each rep.

6 Mountain climber

Targets core

Reps 25 Rest 3min

Start in a press-up position. Without letting your hips sag, draw one knee up and bring it across your body towards your opposite elbow. Return to the start, then repeat with your other leg. That’s one rep. Keep reps fast but controlled.

Photography: Glen Burrows. Model: Daniel Ventura

More Abs Workouts

If you’re looking to sculpt a six-pack then having a variety of abs workouts in your armoury is helpful to keep your training interesting. Here are a few more options to try.

Circuits For Upper Abs, Lower Abs And Obliques

This trio of circuits work the abs from different angles to focus on the different parts of your core in turn, so you can be sure no muscles get left behind. While there are no weights involved in the workouts, you will need a pull-up bar to do the hanging moves involved.

See the workouts

Four-Move Abs Workout

There are only four moves in this workout, but you’ll be doing three to four sets of each – just what you need to train those abs. Note that this workout requires access to a cable machine, so it’s one for the gym. There are also some workout tips to help you along the way.

See the workout

Dumbbell Abs Workout

The only equipment needed for this workout is a dumbbell, and it doesn’t have to be a heavy one because you’ll be doing a high number of reps of each move to maximise your muscles’ time under tension.

See the workout

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