How to Get 6-Pack Abs Without Crunches or Sit-ups

man chestMany people think that in order to get those flat and chiseled abdominal muscles is to lie on the floor and do crunches. What they do not know is that you can actually gain muscle mass, especially on your core, without even having to perform a single sit-up.

The secret is a combination of squats and deadlifts that not only stimulate strength gains but also train your ab muscles harder than many traditional core exercises do. This results to a leaner, stronger midsection without a single ab exercise. The process can only take six weeks to complete, but you can continue with the plan to maintain your muscle mass.

The plan

For six weeks, lift weights for three days a week while alternating between the two workout patterns that will be illustrated later and resting at least a day between sessions. For instance, if you do Workout A on Monday and Friday and Workout B on Wednesday of this week, then schedule Workout B for Monday and Friday and Workout A for Wednesday of next week.

During the first three weeks, start with five sets of five repetitions of the first exercise in the workout plan, resting two minutes between sets. After which, do the next three exercises in the workout list as a circuit, completing a single set of each exercise before progressing to the next move. Do eight to 10 reps of each movement in the circuit, with a 60-second rest between sets. Repeat the circuit for a total of three rounds.

On your last three weeks, perform six sets of three reps of the first exercise in either workout plans, resting two to three minutes between sets. Then, do the next three exercises as a circuit as you did during the previous three weeks, except that you will be completing 10 to 12 reps of each exercise and resting 60 seconds between moves. Do a total of four rounds.

Workout A

Chin-up – Hang from a chin-up bar with an underhand grip, with palms towards you when holding the bar. Your hands should be spaced about shoulder-width apart and keep your arms straight. Pull yourself up as you keep your elbows pointing down, making sure your chin goes above the bar. Then, simply drop to the starting position.

Dumbbell step-up – Stand facing a bench as you hold heavy weights at your sides. Lift one foot, place it on the bench, and tend press your heel into the bench to push your body up. Then, raise your opposite knee until it is bent 90 degree. Return to the starting position, repeating the procedure using the other foot placing on the bench first.

Dumbbell squat to press – Stand holding dumbbells at your shoulders with your palms facing each other. Lower yourself into a squat until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Push back up and press the weights overhead. Return to starting position.

Dumbbell row – Stand while holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides with palms facing each other. Bend forward at the waist until your back is almost parallel to the floor while keeping the natural arch of your back. Pull the weights up to your rib cage and then lower them back down.

Workout B

Barbell front squat – Hold the barbell while standing with an overhand grip, your palms towards you when you hold the bar. Bring your elbows forward so the bar rests across the front of your sholders with your palms up and elbows high. Then, slowly lower your body and press back to a standing position. Keep your thighs parallel to the floor or lower as you squat.

Dumbbell incline bench press – Lie facing up on an incline bench with your feet flat on the floor. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your chest with straight arms and palms facing each other. Then, slowly lower the weights all the way down to the sides of your chest. Pause, and then push them back up.

Barbell Romanian deadlift to row – Stand while holding a barbell in front of your thighs. With your knees slightly bent and your back arched, push your hips back to lower the bar to your shins. At the squat, draw the barbell up towards your rib cage, with your elbows pass your torso. Then, lower the bar and return to the starting position.

Cable PNF – Stand to the left of a cable station. Grab a low-pulley cable handle with your left hand, then pull it up and across the body so that at the top of the move your palm faces forward. Your arms should be straight and to the left of your shoulder. Bring the cable back down, then pull it again to repeat the procedure. Finish a set before doing this exercise with your other arm.

Ab blaster

Shed off extra pounds by sprinting for 60 seconds then resting for two minutes before running again. Repeat this procedure for three reps, gradually increasing as weeks pass. Do this twice a week, preferably during the days when you do not lift weights. You can also cycle, run the stairs, or use the cardio machine of your choice.