Abs 101: After the perfect six-pack? Well here's how to get them...

IT’S the ultimate goal for any fitness savvy guy. But getting a six-pack shouldn’t mean slaving away on complex machinery, having to know absolutely everything about sports nutrition and increasing reps and sets of crunches every time you work out.

All you need is motivation and a sound understanding of how to perform key core-strengthening moves in order to get a ripped stomach. Read on to learn the common mistakes we’re all guilty of doing in the pursuit of perfect abs, and you’ll reap the benefits in no time.

#1: Adding a twist at the top of a sit up

A lot of people do this because they’re under the impression it’ll work the oblique muscles on the side of their waists. A study in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that sit-ups without a twist work the oblique muscles just as much as a twist. Twisting can also put a lot of compression forces on the spine.

To rectify this, just stick to one swift movement and don’t twist at the top.

#2: Sitting too far forward on a Swiss ball

If you sit too far forward on a Swiss ball, you’re just going to end up rocking which sadly, is easy and isn’t the path to go down if you want rock hard abs. If you want to do this exercise properly, lie back on the ball so that you’re looking up at the ceiling and not at the wall in front of you.

Top tip! Make sure that the Swiss ball you use is fully pumped up. If you’re lying on a ball that’s not got enough air in it, it will flatten as you sit up which makes the exercise less effective!

#3: Lifting your hips

The plank is one of the ultimate ways to get rock hard abs. The effects can be multiplied if you’re taking supplements to help build muscle, but all your hard work can come undone if you lift your hips as you plank because it ruins the core-strengthening benefits of the plank. Granted, it makes the exercise easier but since when did getting buff become an easy ride? To make the most out of the plank, your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your hips and to your ankles.

The plank isn’t exactly the most enthralling exercise so it’s easy to find yourself slipping. Once you’ve done this exercise a few times, it can be boring waiting for the ache to kick in. To make sure you progress, mix things up a bit. To make the plank harder remove point of contacts from the floor. Lift one foot off the floor and hold, making sure you hold your body still. Switch legs every 5-10 seconds. To really cane your abs, try lifting your elbows of the ground, one at a time.

It’s worth noting these tips because they really can make the difference if you’re craving rock hard abs – you won’t notice the benefits if you’re repeating an easy move, and the same can be said of boring routines, too. So mix it up, keep it fresh and if you’re in need of some supplements to help you get ripped abs, visit GNC.