View Full Version : How to get a nice set of abs (six pack)

October 24th, 2003, 01:26 AM

I was wondering if anyone knows the best way to get a good looking set of abs? My swim instructor says she got hers from doing butterfly (butterfly is hard for me to do). Is there any other way besides the butterfly? What about the breaststroke? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.


October 24th, 2003, 08:24 AM
Hi: My niece has a great set of abs...she does "belly dancing," really, it's a great abdonimal workout, and also runs most every day, about three miles a day. Supposedly, core strength, and therefore closer to a "six pack," can be developed by kicking butterfly on your back, several times a week. Also, having parents (genes) with certain characteristics helps one develop certain types of bodies! And the rage is also to workout balls, medicine and the newer larger ones, for "core" strength. Me, I'm working on pushing away from the table :-) JP

Tom Ellison
October 24th, 2003, 09:00 AM
And here I thought we were supposed to eat the table....

October 24th, 2003, 11:15 AM
Our Pilates class does a lot of work with the ball... its tough in the beginning.

October 24th, 2003, 12:18 PM
abs are all diet. if you've got fat around you gut--well, you're gong to have to diet to get the fat gone.

if you don't need to diet, and you're low body fat in the first place, then there are several things to develop abs.

The best abs I see in the gym come from hanging in stirups (by the arms), and pulling the bent legs up to chest, or pulling straight legs up and out to parallel the floor. Also, the bent legs pulled up to touch opposite knee to opposite shoulder works the obliques (they may not literally touch).

The roman chair is a good alternative if there are no stirups to hang from.

Also folks work with a weighted ball, in which someone will throw them the ball while on an inverted bench, and toss it back. People's faces look as if this is torture.

Sitting at a half cruch while holding a 5 pound weight plate and "driving" as if your turning the stearing wheel back and forth back and forth is also a killer.

Also, 200 crunches a day would do it. Abs are all diet though, for sure. I've got great ones--under all this fat!


November 2nd, 2003, 12:31 AM

In the most very basic sense, there are three factors that contribute to how your 'abs' look. One of these factors is simply genetics which can not be modified. You can not change who your parents are. The other two are; the amount of energy your body is storing as connective tissue (CT)(aka. fat), and the size/mass/cross-sectional area of the abdominal musculature.

First, to modify the amount of energy your body is storing as CT you just need to work with the equation: energy in = energy out + storage. The two variables you can really control here are energy in, and energy out. However, some of the supplement folks will suggest that certain products can change how much energy you store as CT. Modify these accordingly. This is what jerrycat was getting at. Your abs may be great, but because they are covered with CT, no one can see them.

Second, to increase the cross-sectional area of the abdominal musculature, you need to provide stimulus for these muscles to grow. This means giving them work. In the swimming world, I feel that butterfly kick (particularly on your back) works the abdominal musculature most efficiently.

To get the most 'bang for your effort' so to speak, evaluate yourself. If you have a healthy supply of CT, then you may get the best results by simply reducing the amount of CT you carry. To do this, modify the energy balance equation above.

If you do not store much energy as CT, then you may get the best results by working on the abdominal musculature itself.

On a personal note, I swim quite a bit of fly and fly kick. I will swim over 1000 meters full stroke fly on a fairly regular basis. The only kick I do is dolphin kick (mostly on my back). I do not have 'great looking abs'. Yet I have known guys/gals who hardly did any fly, but because of any of the other factors listed above, their abs were like washboards.

I hope this helps.

November 2nd, 2003, 06:51 AM

For about ten or fifteen dollars you can purchase a funny little devise that I refer to as "the wheel". It's basically a small 6" plastic wheel with short handles on either side. The idea is to get on your knees, bear weight on the wheel with your upper body, and then roll forward until you are flat out on the floor. Then you roll back up to the kneeling down position.

It's a killer exercise, and amounts to a whole lot of sit-ups on each roll. The arms also get a super workout too, particularly the swimming muscles. I'm sure that any "gym source" might have these in stock.

November 2nd, 2003, 12:37 PM
$9.95. Available at: www.thesportsauthority.com
Look under "Exercise" and then go to Abdominal training.

November 3rd, 2003, 08:16 AM
oh my gosh, that wheel is the hardest thing ever to use. it is sooo effective.

I still cannot go all the way down. when I first bought that thing I could only go down a small bit...and the next day, wow, was I sore!

ab work is something I just hate. really, i hate it. that wheel enables me to do it in the shortest amount of time possible. three sets of 10 leaves me feeling it for days. doing 3 sets a couple times a week is all I need to be conditioned in the ab area. i swear that thing is the greatest invention for abs--and way better than the standard crunch or sit up. plus it's only like 10 bucks or so!

happy monday everyone!
jerrycat :D

Damage Inc
November 7th, 2003, 05:25 PM
Try doing underwater buterfly kicks. Swim with arms extended in front and swim like a dolphin using the whole body to move forward. I do 4 or 5 kicks, do a breaststroke pull to break the water surface, take a breath and go back undrwater to continue. Do one lap at a time, catch your breath and repeat.

November 9th, 2003, 10:10 AM
Barry is right. I do the underwater dolphin kick with just a quick scull to the surface to breathe. If you are doing the kick right (using your torso) it will work abs a bunch.

November 12th, 2003, 11:58 AM
You can also try dophin kick on your back on the surface. I do 300-800 meter per day. Killer!

November 12th, 2003, 02:04 PM
I found the best way of all...