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What is Six Pack Abs? 6 Do’s and 6 Dont’s to Get Those 6 Pack Abs

Abdominal Muscles-

Muscle in body is built as a bulk muscle mass or muscle with high tone and power. Developing huge muscles requires several hours of daily work out. Some athletes or individuals may take steroids for rapid development of muscle mass. Androgen steroid causes several side effects and is one of the banned drugs in the USA. Shape of muscle mass is often masked by layers of subcutaneous adipose (fatty) tissue. Small well tone muscle is seen well in thin patient with less body adipose tissue. Shape of the large muscles mass is often hidden in obese patients. The tone and shape of bulky solid muscles in Sumo wrestlers are rarely seen because of overlying adipose tissue.

What is Six Pack Abs?

Classification of Abdominal Muscles-

Abdominal Muscles Are Divided In Three Sections as Follows-

  • Anterior (front) muscles or Six Pack Abs
  • Lateral (side) muscles and
  • Posterior (back) muscles.

Anterior Abdominal Muscles-

Anterior abdominal muscles are known as follows-

  • Six Pack Abs.
  • Lower Abdominal Muscles.
  • Rectus Abdominal Muscles.

Six Pack Abs Explained!

Rectus abdominis muscle is a pair of abdominal muscle that lies on either side of midline also known as Six Pack Abs. The right and left Rectus abdominis muscles are attached in the midline to a band of fibrous tissue known as Linea Alba. Linea Alba is attached to sternum at the upper end and pubic bone at the lower end. The rectus abdominis muscle is divided in to 4 sections by three horizontal fibrous bands known as tendinous intersection. The top 3 sections of rectus abdominis muscle on each side makes it Six Pack Abs. Six Pack Abs is covered on the anterior (front) surface by a think layer of fibrous tissue known as rectus sheath or aponeurosis of external oblique muscles. The top three bundle of muscle mass of rectus abdominis muscle on each side become prominent and bulky following muscle building exercises, which is then named as Six Pack of Abs. The group of muscles of Six Pack Abs are seen under the skin as a thick band of muscles in most of the body builders. Muscle activation, do’s and don’t are same in male and females even though majority of males are tall and heavier.1

Six Pack Abs Explained

Six Do’s To Get 6 Pack Abs

  1. Diet-

    • Protein-
      • Muscle building needs additional protein.
      • Eat animal products and more plant seeds, which will provide adequate volume of protein.
      • Fish provides adequate protein and 2 to 3 serving of fish per week are adequate protein intake in addition to animal and vegetable protein.
    • Vegetables-
      • Vegetables provide potassium, vitamin, folic acid and mineral.
      • Vegetables and fruits contain low fat and cholesterol.
  2. Water

    • Exercise causes sweating and loss of body water.
    • Replace the lost water during exercise by consumption of adequate water.
    • You should drink at least 8 to 10 ounce of water depending of your height and weight.
    • If you are sweating a lot during the exercise then you should increase the quantity by 2 or more ounces a day.
  3. Exercise

    • Daily exercise of 30 minutes or longer is essential.
    • Exercise for abdominal muscles and Six Pack abs should be performed once or twice a day.
  4. Sleep

    • Sleep between 7 to 8 hours a day.
    • Maintain normal sleep and wake time.
  5. Vitamin

    • Vitamins are often replaced and supplemented through vegetables and fruits.
    • Vitamin supplement helps to add vitamin to body, which is necessary to build abdominal rectus muscles.
  6. Medications

    • Take medications as prescribed.
    • Maintain regular visits to doctor’s office and follow all investigation as prescribed, if indicated.

Six Don’t For 6 Pack Abs-

  1. Don’t Loose Weight

    • Diet control to lose fat may cause anorexia.
    • Rapid Loss of weight causes loss of muscle mass and weakness in muscles.
    • Regular exercise with rapid loss of weight may not result in building muscle mass.
  2. Don’t Eat Junk Food 2

    • Junk Food- Junk food consists of too much fat, sugar, salt, and calories.
    • Junk Meat- Minced soft meat may contain protein and unwanted animal fat, which would be otherwise discarded. Food containing unwanted fat often taste better and is soft to chew, considered most desirable food keeping fast food chain busy.
    • Carbohydrate Intake- Limit intake of carbohydrate. Sugar, rice, wheat and pasta should be limited. Intake of large quantity of carbohydrate causes conversion of carbohydrate to fat.
    • Fat Intake- Reduce the amount of fat in diet. Fatty diet contains saturated fat, trans fatty acids and cholesterol, which eventually result in addition of fatty tissue to adipose tissue in the body.
    • Effects of Junk food- Junk food promote fat deposition and adipose tissue thickening.
  3. Don’t Take Anabolic or Androgen Steroids

    • We use three major synthetic steroid hormones
    • Corticosteroids are used to treat inflammation not responding to all other treatment.
    • Androgen steroid is used when body produced less testosterone.
    • Anabolic steroid stimulates growth of muscles and bone, prescribed for certain diseases of muscles and bones.
    • Athletes and body builders often use anabolic steroid for muscle building and Six Pack Abs.
    • Side effects of anabolic steroids in male are low sperm count, atrophy (shrink) of testicles, early boldness, increased body hairs and possible early Alzheimer’s disease. In female side effects are atrophy of breast, rough skin, hairy skin and early baldness.
  4. Don’t Take Street Drugs

    • Loss of Appetite- Lack of nutrition and exercise may not help to build muscle mass.
    • Exhaustion- Athlete or individual involved in daily exercise feels exhausted with minimum exercise
    • Lack of Stamina- Athlete or individual is often unable to accomplish exercise program.
    • Sleepiness- Individual feels sleepy and tired.
    • Impairs intellectual and muscular performances.3
  5. Don’t Consume Alcohol Daily

    • Consumption of large volume of Alcohol can damage liver causing abnormal metabolism
    • Vitamin deficiency interferes with building Six Pack Abs or any muscle mass.
  6. Don’t Ignore Chronic Diseases

    • Endocrinal diseases like hyperthyroidism interferes with muscle building and should be treated promptly and adequately
    • Diabetes should be treated to maintain normal blood sugar level.
    • Don’t ignore chronic disease.

Also Read:


  1. Electromyographic assessment of muscle activity between genders during unilateral weight-bearing tasks using adjusted distances. Bouillon LE1, Wilhelm J, Eisel P, Wiesner J, Rachow M, Hatteberg L. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2012 Dec;7(6):595-605.
  2. The relationships between eating habits, smoking and alcohol consumption, and body mass index among baby boomers. Worsley A1, Wang WC, Hunter W. Appetite. 2012 Feb;58(1):74-80.
  3. An examination of the validity of the standardized field sobriety test in detecting drug impairment using data from the Drug Evaluation and Classification program. Porath-Waller AJ1, Beirness DJ. Traffic Inj Prev. 2014;15(2):125-31.
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 4, 2020

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