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If you want to get six-pack abs, you need to do two things. The most important is to get rid of the belly fat so that the muscles of midsection become visible. The second is you should increase the size of the abdominal muscles so that they are going to pop out more.
While the first is mainly about nutrition and fat burning training, the second is about the types of abs exercises you do for size. We are going to focus on these here so you can create your abs workout for mass.
Abs Exercises for Mass – How?
If we want to build a bigger chest, arms, or back, what do we do?
Switch to more advanced exercises that give higher resistance, or we use heavier weights. Of course, you will be able to do fewer reps, but because of the increased load, the muscles grow big.
Now, the same is true for the abdominal muscles. Although we think they function differently than the other muscle groups of the body, they behave the same.
So, the question is how to get more resistance.
There are lots of ways.
1. Do weighted abs training
If you feel a traditional movement does not support your development anymore, even if you do sets with high reps, you can use weights to make it much harder.
You can use a barbell, dumbbells, weight vest, kettlebell, medicine ball, weight plate, or abs workout machine such as the cable crossover.
Let me give you some examples.
If you feel sit-ups, crunches, v-ups, Russian Twists, and the other typical abs exercises on the floor are not as beneficial as they were used to be, grab a weight. There is no need to use heavy workout equipment. A few extra pounds will do.
Can you keep the plank for many minutes? Get a weighted vest or put a plate on your back.
The barbell is an exciting yet powerful way for the core training. You can do standing exercises such as farmer’s walk, twists, rotating presses. I love these moves because of targeting the entire core at once. I usually do this workout.
In my opinion, instead of using the “special” ab machines at the gym, it is much better to use the cable crossover. The former devices control the movement too much, and that is not natural (secondary stabilizer muscles are not activated, for example).
Cable crunch, cable palloff press are effective moves to build defined and big ab muscles. Plus, the crossover machine because of its flexibility lets you target the lower, upper abs, and obliques much better. Here is the list of ab exercises with the cable machine.
Note: Be careful! Always use a weight that you can comfortably handle so you can perform the exercises correctly. Keep in mind that ab workouts with weights put more stress on your joints, particularly on your lower back.
2. Do Advanced Bodyweight Exercises for Abs
If for some reason, you do not want to use weights, you can still do hard bodyweight training instead.
Typically, the hardest calisthenics exercises are the ones when we lift the lower body. A good example is the hanging leg raise. It is a compound exercise that works the core totally, plus your back and arms. Still, find it easy? Switch to front lever or windshield wipers. Have you tried the dragon flag? Each of them is an excellent exercise to gain the size of your abs.
If you are skeptic, try this massive abs workout.
There is one strength training equipment that I have to mention, the cheap and straightforward, ab wheel. The ab rolling move is a perfect bodyweight exercise to target all the core muscles at once. And, you can do different variations that boost the size of your abs because of being so hard. Have you ever tried the standing version or used a weight vest? Just try! A few reps and your midsection is ready. Here you can learn advanced moves (video).
So, these are my exercise tips to get bigger abs. For more advice, check this article on how to make your abs workout routine harder.
Example abs workout routines for mass and definition
Build Thick Abs at the Gym
This routine is an excellent example of the techniques I recommended above. He did advanced bodyweight and weighted ab exercises with the cable crossover. 3-4 sets and 6-12 low reps.
Killer Ab Workout for Six Pack with Dumbbells at Home
A tough plan with hand weights to overload your abs.
I’m a beginner. How to thicken my abdomen?
If you have no strength training background, you should focus on the fundamental abdominal exercises first such as bicycle crunch, . It is useless if you can do only 1-2 reps of the hard moves. You’d better stick to easy moves and try to reach high reps up to 30 or more. With time your core strength improves, and you can gradually switch to an abs routine for mass.
How to get more massive lower abs?
The best exercises to get a V-cut stomach are various hanging knees and leg raises. Moves that require lifting the lower body. At an advanced level, you can use ankle weights to increase the resistance. If you have a pull-up bar, you can make these moves at home.
I hope you find these bodybuilding tips, and you can create a program that boosts the mass of your abs, getting you closer to six-packs. Keep in mind that ab training itself is not enough. If you have belly fat, focus on fat loss. Also, for effective muscle building, you have to pay attention to your nutrition to take in the right nutrients, such as enough protein.