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Jeremy Ethier’s six pack workouts for every part of your abs

Building a set of cut abs requires a combination of healthy eating and smart training targeting every muscle in your core. And Jeremy Ethier, kinesiologist, fitness trainer, and founder of Built with Science, has just one solid workout plan you can use to do just that.

“While your diet is primarily responsible for revealing your abs, your workout will then be responsible for how developed and how good your abs and lower midsection look when they are finally revealed,” says Ethier.

You should understand your anatomy first before you venture into this. Ethier goes on to explain that there are four areas that make up your abs, and how each of those muscles play an important role in shaping torn abs.

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Area 1 and 2: rectus abdominis
This is the section people usually associate with the coveted six pack abs.

“This section can be further divided into two regions: the upper and lower abdominal muscles. Since they are innervated by different nerves, each of these two regions can be selectively activated with different abdominal muscle exercises,” says Ethier.

Area 3: slopes
“These run along the sides of the abs and not only add definition to your midsection, but can also help visually rejuvenate and tighten your waist,” says Ethier.

Area 4: Serratus anterior
“This is just above the ribs, which gives your midsection more definition and plays an important role in shoulder health and injury prevention,” says Ethier.

“Your abs routine and exercises need to be designed to hit each of these different muscles,” says Ethier.

Here is the 10 minute four pull workout Ethier uses to hit each part of the six pack. He recommends doing this routine one to three times a week after the main workout or on rest days.

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Exercise 1: Reverse Crunches
This movement targets the lower abs versus the upper abs in terms of activation. Ethier suggests starting this step as it is more difficult than the others, and the lower abs are the area where most people struggle to develop and strengthen.

“Before you even begin, initiate what is known as a posterior pelvic tilt by squeezing your glutes and contracting your abs so that your pelvis tilts up and your back flattens out on the bench. This pre-activates and activates your lower abs. When you step I just want you to think about arching your pelvis towards your belly button and contracting your lower abs, “says Ethier. “Build this movement into about two to three sets of 15 to 20 reps of body weight and full control, then do it weighted and / or down for two to three sets of 10 to 15 reps.”

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Exercise 2: high to low wood chopper
This exercise will hit your slopes.

“You want to keep your arms outstretched and your elbows locked, and then use one side of your incline to rotate your torso down and over your body toward the opposite knee,” says Ethier. “I would recommend a set and rep range of about two to three sets of 10-15 reps, and adding more weight as it gets easier.”

If you’re struggling with the exercise, or if you’re missing a cable machine or resistance bands, bike crunches are another viable alternative. For these you need to implement a higher repetition range of 20-30 repetitions or to failure.

Exercise 3: Weighted crunches
This movement targets your upper abs.

According to Ethier, the key is to emphasize the top-down aspect of these movements by focusing on simply bringing the rib cage forward and down toward the pelvis. Movements can include a stability call crunch or a weighted cable crunch.

“Your hips should just stay stationary for each rep. You should use a moderate rep range of 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions and gradually overload them with more weight as your abs develop and work overtime,” he says.

Exercise 4: Serratus Jabs
The last exercise targets the serratus anterior by protraction and upward rotation of the shoulder blade.

“You can use a tape or cable and set it up so that your arm moves up during the thrust. Then you just want to make an upward flapping motion and reach into the end position as far as you can to grip the scapula and shoulder blade lengthen fully activate the serratus anterior, “says Ethier. “Use a rep range of 10-15 reps per side for this, and over time, overload it by increasing the resistance.”

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