10 Tips That Build Six Pack Abs with Exercise and Diet

Everyone wants "Six Pack Abs." While it's not always easy to get strong, sexy abdominal muscles, you can find your inner six pack, or at least a strong, toned, and flat belly, when you combine healthy eating, with a solid fitness routine that includes endurance, strength and specific exercises for your abs and core.​

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Healthy diet for better abs
Healthy diet for better abs. Patricia Granlund/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

The first step to finding your six pack is to clean up your diet. If you want to see your ab muscles, you need to decrease your overall body fat. Get rid of processed "junk" foods, sugars and processed carbs. Eat more vegetables, nuts, and fruits, organic lean protein and healthy fats, such as olive oil, fish oils, and avocados. Try eating several small meals each day and avoid late night snacking. Eat some protein for breakfast, lots of vegetables, fruits, and fiber and drink water rather than calorie-laden beverages. Don't cut calories drastically or you could inadvertently lower your ​metabolism. Bottom line: eat more high quality, nutrient-rich foods and eat fewer empty, processed calories.

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If you want to get fit faster and burn more calories in less time, don't spend all your time in the so-called fat-burning zone. Instead, add some High Intensity Training (HIT) to your workouts a couple times each week. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, you can burn more calories in less time with short, high intensity exercise. You can also boost your overall cardiovascular fitness with this type of training. Be sure to slowly ramp up your intensity, however, or you could wind up with an injury.​

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Aerobic exercise is one of the safest ways to burn lots of calories over a long period of time while you maintain heart health and tone muscles. Simply modifying your diet or reducing your calories without exercise will lead to initial weight loss, but you'll likely reach a plateau and you may also lose muscle. A personal exercise plan that has a solid base of cardiovascular exercise will help you maintain exercise for the long-term, help you get past weight loss plateaus and can help you maintain your muscle mass. So get out for a nice long walk, a hike, a bike ride or a swim on a regular basis. Park the car and walk for most of your errands and just get moving more often.

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Strength training is an essential part of most fitness routines, but if you want a six pack, building more muscle can help. Strength training with weight lifting not only helps build muscle, boost metabolism and increase muscle definition, but it is a great way to burn lots of calories in a short time. Strengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments also helps reduce strain on the joints which ultimately can help prevent many sports injuries.

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Once you've reduced the layer of body fat to the point where you can find your six pack, performing specific ab and core strengthening exercises will make them much more visible. Once you understand how to safely exercise your abs, you'll find core exercises are most effective when the torso works as a solid unit and both front and back muscles contract at the same time, and you perform multi-joint movements.

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How to do it:

The plank can help you find your six-pack. Learn how to do it properly and maintain a straight line from ears to toes. Hold it for 10 seconds and over time build up to 30, 45 or 60 seconds.

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The bicycle crunch is another great core exercise that engages many muscles at once to help work the core in every possible way. Add this to your ab routine if you don't already do it.

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The Vertical Knee Raise (or Captain's Chair) exercise does require some gym equipment, so check around your health club and give it a try.

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These days everyone probably has an exercise ball at home, so there is no reason not to try this exercise.

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One of the best ways to get six pack abs is by playing sports that burn the fat and engage the core naturally. Athletes who play sports that naturally engage both the upper and lower body in powerful, repetitive movements have a great six pack as a by-product of playing a sport they love. Why not get your six pack while having fun?

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