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6-Pack Abs and the Science Behind Them 2019

The phrase, “Abs are made in the kitchen!” actually holds a lot of truth, and we’ve all heard it, but not everyone believes it. Before you can get that shredded 6-pack, you first need to understand how you can achieve it from a scientific viewpoint. First up, let’s understand that everyone has some form of a 6-pack. Sure, it might be hidden or shaped differently, but the amount of abdominal definition and the quality of it is reliant on a few, simple, key variables:

6-Pack Abs and the Science Behind Them 2019 

Body Fat Levels

This is the overall amount of body fat your body has. For many people, this figure is too high, and you’ll never be able to reveal your 6-pack unless this is lessened. You can have the world’s best (hardest) abs, but if your body fat content is too high, you’ll never see them (nor will anyone else).

Abdominal Muscle Mass

Once you have become lean enough, you can do additional ab work, and the in increased ab muscle mass will lead to an improvement in ab definition and thickness.

Genetics and Abdominal Structure

Some individuals tend to store less body fat around their midriff and might seem to have been handed some excellent ab genetics, giving them a very-worthy cover model, or 6-pack look. But not to worry, even if that doesn’t sound like you, my system works for all body types.

Stubborn Areas and Body Fat Storage

Many people store surplus fat around their stomach area. This, in turn, requires them to diet a little harder and to reduce that stubborn fat around the belly, (midriff or core). For a high number of people, the primary focus should be shedding (or stripping back) body fat. This is more crucial around the belly. Some have sufficient ab muscles (core) to give them a head-turning 6-pack, already. All they have to do is become lean enough for it to show. There are many lean athletes and members of the general public who never train their abs, and despite this, we can still see they have great 6-pack abs, especially when they are lean enough for it to be noticeable. In this title, we’ll learn that our primary concern ought to be an overall fat loss, and more specifically, fat loss in the belly region. Once you become leaner and can start seeing your 6-pack, then you can add some ab-specific work to help increase your abdominal density and thickness.

Body Fat Level How Much Is Required?


With a body fat percentage below 14%, men can start showing their 6-pack form. Yet, under 10% body fat gives a broader, cover model look, allowing for a more-defined 6-pack, while revealing the lower abs, also.


Women tend to find they store more body fat than men in general. Once they hit the 20% mark, they can likely start to see their ab outline. This can turn out to be further defined and even more obvious around the 16% mark. Many women can get under 14% body fat when they use the best training methods, because fat is stored around organs for protection, during child birth, especially. The universal 10% body fat rule that most individuals/trainers endorse is perfect. You can go for more or less later, depending upon how you feel, and what seems right for you. We’ll take a look at how we can achieve 10% body fat a little later in the title. Due to how the body stores fat, some men (for example) might be around 12% total body fat with great visible abs, while others might need to get to around 8% body fat. Much of this depends on an individual’s genetics and where their body might store stubborn fat. For a number of individuals, it’s the legs, while others it’s the arms, chest, or abs (belly region). We all store it in definitive places. If the majority of your fat is stored on your stomach and you find you are lean in all other areas, you simply need to diet longer to get a great looking 6-pack. Regrettably, these are genetics and those we are unable to manipulate. With this in mind, we must be aware of what we already have, and what we must do to reach our goals. The training and diet schedules will give you some insight on this, soon.

6-Pack Abs and the Science Behind Them 2019 

Understanding the Core Musculature Musculature

To fully understand the training of your abs, it is critical to appreciate the anatomy and the muscles which go to make up your abdomen. A vast number of people possess a false understanding of what it takes to make a 6-pack, and to primarily focus on exercises which target the rectus abdominis. In fact, most people only focus on the “visual” aspect of their abdominal wall and are not aware of the numerous purposes the abs perform, which include:

  • The overall protection of the internal organs which reside in the abdominal cavity.
  • The strength and stabilization of the spinal column.
  • Aiding in regular breathing and other bodily functions.
It is imperative to know that there are 5 chief muscles which create the abdominal

.1 Rectus Abdominis

The rectus abdominis muscles are what we have generally come to know as the “abdominals’ or “abs.” These are the muscles that become visible when your body fat levels are low enough, and you are then known as someone who has a 6-pack! These ab muscles are the outermost of the core muscles. These run from the center of your rib cage, running down vertically toward the pubic bone. Crunches and regular sit-ups are some of the most commonly used exercises to help strengthen your rectus abdominis. These exercises are easy and straightforward to perform and are also perfect for the majority of beginner-level workouts. Advanced ways of performing crunches use stability balls, or they can be performed while you are weighted, which really makes those abs burn.
 Obliques These are comprised of two parts, and these are the internal and external obliques. Each of these runs along both sides of your core.

The external obliques being located along the side and front of your abdomen, while the internal obliques are situated underneath the external obliques, but they run in opposite directions. Each of these is used for bending (flexion) and rotation. When both of your obliques are contracted at the same time, you come to notice a forward flexion within your body. It is also possible to contract each oblique individually, and this results in a lateral bend of the body (leaning to one side). The obliques play a significant part in your stability and help make it possible to perform lateral (sideways) and also rotating movements. More importantly though, they prevent your torso from turning on its own. When you are aiming to develop a lean, muscular, and fully-functional physique, the obliques need to be trained, and the best, most-effective exercises are ones where you perform twists or rotations with your body. Exercises which incorporate these movements are the oblique plank crunch, or Russian twists. 

1. Transverse Abdominal Muscles

The TVA (transverse abdominal) muscles sit behind your obliques and run from the navel up toward the rib cage. They are also wrapped around the spine and the pelvis which helps in the provision of protection, and overall stability. The TVA muscles consist of two, cross-wise muscles on both sides of the body that are connected together by a fascial sheet. This, in fact, makes them one solid muscle. It is also one of the deeper, situated, core muscles. It is the function of your TVA to help stabilize the spine and pelvis. The TVA also plays a significant role in any deep breathing procedure. It is also used when we throw up or a cough, and when women go into labor. The muscles will also contract when you are performing any heavy lifting, and when doing this, it acts as a natural weightlifting belt inside the body. Other people who engage their TVA are musicians (who play wind instruments) or anyone who inflates balloons and moves heavy objects. To quickly find where this muscle is located, all you have to do is exhale 

1. Quadratus Lumborum

"Square Loin." This is the translation of quadratus lumborum (QL) from Latin to English. The translated name offers us a much more unobstructed view of where this actual muscle is located. The QL is a thick, quadrilateral-shaped muscle which is found at the back of the abdominal wall. Due to its location, it is often considered to be a part of the back muscles. Interestingly enough, the QL is much broader below than its breadth above. The most crucial function it performs is that it connects the upper and lower body. This section reaches from the top of the pelvis all the way to the lowest rib, and also to the sides of the spine. In addition to connecting these upper and lower parts of the body, the QL aids in stabilizing the hips and spine, while helping with regular breathing. The side plank is a fantastic ab exercise to train this muscle. If you wish to increase your intensity of this type of plank exercise on your QL, just lift your arm and leg (which you are not leaning on) while performing the side plank. This requires a little more balance and places much more weight on the QL, while still making it harder to perform the exercise, too, and as a necessity. 1. Psoas Major

This is part of the hip flexors. The psoas major, together with the other hip flexors, pulls your thigh and torso toward each other. The psoas major is the most significant and most active muscle in this muscle group. This muscle runs from the bottom of the lower spine to the inner thigh, and by crossing the hip joints. This makes it the ‘deepest sat’ of all the core muscles. The psoas plays a huge role as the principal stabilizer in particular exercises. These include the “Olympic lifts,” but it is likewise noticeable in daily actions such as walking or running too. Any activity which requires the movement of your legs will involve the psoas muscle to a certain extent. With this in mind, the ultimate way of training your psoas major is by performing any workout routine which incorporates leg movements. One of the most common being the hanging leg raise. This is a fantastic way of engaging all of your core, because your psoas major and the remainder of your hip flexor muscle groups, all get exercised. If you find that the hanging leg raise is too tricky, try to raise your knees toward your abs, or you can even try lifting your legs while laying on your back. There is another exercise which mimics the hanging leg raise. This is called the leg throw down. However, this movement will require the

assistance of a partner who needs to “throw your legs.” Tip: The psoas has a habit of being vastly overactive. This is especially the case if you sit for long periods, or if you have a desk job. Consequently, to avoid any excessive forward leaning which might occur in larger lifts, such as a squat, first, perform some stretches which help relax the psoas before lifting. Safety first, always.

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