Some men who have a six pack just happen to have one, but it seems that women must work harder to get six pack abs.

Being skinny doesn’t mean you’ll have a six pack. Look at many slim or skinny women in bikinis; the six pack still remains elusive.

This is because a six pack requires two things: 1) low body fat, and 2) very toned abdominal muscles.

So a thin woman with untoned ab muscles will not show a six pack. And a woman (and man) with highly toned ab muscles will not show their six pack if there’s too much body fat between the skin and muscles.

Thus, you must do two things to show a six pack (besides eat sensibly):

1) Reduce body fat

2) Intense abdominal exercises

However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that hardcore ab exercises will reduce body fat in your abdominal area.

This is the biggest myth! The purpose of the ab exercises is to tone, harden and tighten abdominal muscles. And that is all. Ab exercises will do NOTHING to reduce body fat in the ab area!


Bust belly fat to show a six pack

So what, then, is the best way to reduce body fat in the abdominal region? Cardio, and strength training (weight lifting).

But knowing this isn’t enough: what kind of cardio? What’s the best weight lifting for burning fat in the abs area?


Cardio to get a six pack

Cardio exercise can take place on exercise equipment, on a track or outdoors, as long as you adhere to a concept called HIIT: high intensity interval training.

Push your absolute meanest — such that within 30 to 60 seconds, you’re ready to drop from exhaustion and are so out of breath you can’t even talk. Then, for the next two to four minutes, take it easy.

Alternate this way for 30 to 40 minutes. Then you’re done! Do this two to three times a week, but no more.


Strength training for the six pack

Ever notice that EVERY man and woman with a beautiful six pack also looks great everywhere else, too?

You’ll never see a man with a six pack but then flabby arms, narrow slumped shoulders or plump legs.

Though I’ll admit, a woman can have a six pack, but then at the same time, legs that don’t seem to match her upper body.

The major reason is because women are cursed with more estrogen than men. But in general, women with dynamite abs also are very toned elsewhere.

This is because these particular men and women have maintained or achieved low body fat via strength training. Intense weight lifting increases resting metabolic rate. This means more efficient fat burning, which means less belly fat.


Abdominal exercises

You need spend only minutes at a time doing abdominal workouts, three times a week. BUT MAKE SURE THE AB ROUTINE IS INTENSE !

Intense ab workouts will make the ab muscles tight, solid, and firm. This, in combination with low enough body fat, will reveal your dream six pack.

The best abdominal exercise is one in which you are NOT using other body parts to achieve the exercise motion; your ab muscles do all the work; at the end, your abs are burning; it’s a strain to do only 20 reps. Controlled, full-range-motion crunches are what I recommend.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health.