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We have seen many bodybuilders achieve well sculptured 6 packs abs. 8 packs have also been achieved, but a 10 pack abs is definitely on another level. Is 10 pack abs possible? If yes, then who can achieve it and how?
This article discusses facts on how to get abs and specifically the rare 10 packs abs. To begin with, it’s unfortunate that not all of us can achieve this feat. These types of abs are majorly predetermined by our genetics. No amount of training can change that.
So, let’s see if you’re a great candidate for this type of abs.
Table of Contents
What Muscles Make Up Your Abs?
A 10-pack ab was first brought in the limelight by Mohamad Ali, a body builder. He was immediately nicknamed the king of abs.
Having those well-defined and visible cubes means training your abdominal muscles the right way.
Your core is made up of 4 muscles groups. All of them need to be worked proportionately to help you get packs that can be counted.
This is the dominant longitudinal muscle located in the middle of your abdomen. It’s made up of two muscle bands which are separated by the linea alba, a fibrous muscle band. This is the muscle that is divided into the definitive number of “packs”.
Rectus abdominis helps in maintaining an upright body position and facilitates the tilting and curving of your body. It also helps during breathing, vomiting, and defecating by increasing pressure. There are no “packs” without this muscle group.
This is a very important stabilizer muscle group located beneath the abdomen. It builds pressure to help stabilization of your core and upper body as a whole. It is this muscle group that also helps your pelvis and back to have controlled movements.
Transversus Abdominis needs as much training as the rectus abdominis if you are intending to have visibly defined abs.
This group of muscles originates from the outer parts of the lower ribs and run down and radially to the iliac crest. Since it is on the outer side, it is visible on the flanks. It provides support to your core during movements like turns and twists. They play a major in holding you in proper posture when performing different abdominal exercises.
They are situated under the exterior oblique and run to the hip joint. They lay superficially between the rectus abdominis and the external obliques. Muscles in this group originate from the interior of your ribs, around the iliac crest, and some from the inner thoracolumbar fascia and the inguinal ligament.
They complement the external obliques in offering support to your core and facilitate controlled movements. They also help in forceful breathing, lateral flexion, pelvic tilt, and synergizes with the external obliques to rotate the spine.
In your search for the hidden packs, you need to awaken all these muscle groups by working them properly in equal intensity.
Is 10-Pack Abs Possible? The Foundation of a 10-Pack Abs
Can I get 10 pack abs? This must be the question in your mind by now.
Several factors determine the answer to this question. 10 pack abs are not picked in the gym, they are born with you. Other factors are just secondary.
The number of packs you will have is dictated by your genes. You are born with them, and there is nothing much you can do to change it. At birth, our rectus abdominis has a specific number of muscle bands each with two muscle heads. The number of these muscle bands determines how many muscle heads (packs) your abs will have.
Four bands mean you will have 8-pack abs, three bands translate to 6-pack abs, while two bands will leave you with 4-pack. For you to have 10-pack abs, you will have to be born with five muscle bands in your rectus abdominis. You need to know the number of the muscle bands you have before hitting the gym for 10 pack abs training.
Humans have always had a way of modifying genetics. Methods adding to the number of muscle strands is another way to get this set of abs.
In an interesting development, cosmetic surgeons have developed procedures that will modify your muscle arrangement and create the impression of a 10-pack abs. In one of these procedures, a silicone implant is added to your abs to create extra isolation which will increase the number of muscle segments.
Apart from silicone implants, there is also a way of realigning your belly fat to let you look like you have 10-pack abs.
Whether you were born with five muscle bands or you modified your musculature, training is yet another factor that determines whether you will get a 10-pack abs or not. There is no substitute for that.
There are a couple of workout exercises designed to specifically target your abdominal muscle groups. You need to train hard and consistently to achieve any fitness goal. Crush the belly fat and pack some lean and well-defined muscles.
You’re not going to pack muscles without an appropriate diet. A strong core starts in the kitchen. Your body is a product of what you eat, you can’t hide from that fact. Your diet will manifest itself through your muscle development.
Building muscles means having a diet that let’s you strike a balance between calories consumed versus calories burned. You will not achieve a sculpted core while on a diet that deposits more fat in your body than you can burn. You have to quantify your intake and compare it to your energy output.
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Exercises that Target Abs
1. Leg Raises
This is the best way to begin your journey towards the 10-pack abs destiny. This variation of leg raises softly targets your lower and upper abs, as you use the weight of your legs as resistance.
- Lie down on your back with your legs straight and put together.
- Lift your legs while keeping them together and straight. Bring them up until you feel your butt raising.
- Once up, start lowering them slowly at a controlled pace until they are slightly above the floor. Hold for a moment and repeat the raise.
- You can also do this exercise, a seated variation, using the best seated calf raise machine
2. Hanging Leg Raises
This is a tough variation of hanging leg raise which targets your lower abs. Unlike in the leg raise in which you lie down, this is like a pull-up exercise that involves the legs to build pressure in your torso.
- Begin with a dead hang with straight legs.
- Inhale, hold and use your lower abs to raise your legs. Do not bend your knees.
- Raise your legs to a 45-degree angle and slowly return them to start.
- Exhale, pause for three seconds and repeat
- Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions
3. Hanging Knee Raise Twists
This is a brutal exercise that targets all muscles of your core. It takes a lot of energy and requires perfect execution to get the best out of it. Beginners may use guided support from their gym instructors in performing this workout.
- Begin with a dead hang with straight legs.
- Slightly twist your body and slowly raise your knees to one side. Pull your knees up to chest level.
- Hold for two seconds and lower them steadily back to starting position.
- Twist to the opposite side and repeat.
- Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions each.
Related: Get the smallest fitness tracker to keep an eye on your progress.
4. Forearm Plank
This is a workout exercise that does not only work your core but also recruits the muscles of your legs and shoulders. Planks are one of the common exercises performed by both beginners and elite athletes on their way to the 10-pack.
- Get in a plank position with your elbows directly under your shoulders on the floor.
- Ensure a flat back, head, and neck in the neutral position. Your feet should be hip-width apart.
- Squeeze your quads, glutes, and core then hold this position for as long as possible while maintaining proper form without compromising your breath.
- Breathe and repeat.
5. Decline Plank
Decline plank is an intense workout that recruits your obliques and core muscles. It is a variation from the normal forearm plank that intents to offer more challenges and target the muscles with more intensity.
- Get in a plank position with your elbows directly under your shoulders on the floor.
- Raise your feet to a higher position like on a bench.
- Tighten your muscles and ensure your body maintains a straight line from head to heels.
- Take one foot off the bench then slowly and steadily move it to touch the ground on the side.
- Return it to the starting position. Pause and alternate with the other leg.
- Aim for 3 sets of 12 repetitions each.
This is yet another exercise that exclusively recruits the abs and can be done anywhere. Crunches are an ideal exercise for beginners. However, you need to perform them with proper form and controlled movements to avoid injuring your back. Always lift your body from the core and not the head.
- Lie flat on your back.
- Pull your legs to plant your feet hip-width apart on the floor with raised knees.
- You can either place your arms across your chest, or you can hold them at the back of your head for a variation.
- Exhale, hold, and lift your upper body to an almost sitting position. Keep your head and neck in a neutral position.
- Inhale then lower your upper body back to the floor. You may opt to hold inches above the floor.
7. Mountain Climber
In all its variations, this exercise is the darling of many. It may look simple, but it is superb in targeting your obliques and the rectus abdominis. It recruits all the ab muscles but puts more pressure on specific ones depending on the variation.
- Get in a normal Push Up position.
- Pull your knee slowly to the outside of your elbow and hold for two seconds then get back to the starting position.
- Alternate with the other leg. Repeat and aim for 3 sets of 20 repetitions each.
If you want to target your obliques more, you can vary this exercise by using the “cross-body” variation. Here, you pull your knee across your body (as the name suggests) to touch the elbow of the opposite hand.
To get the best out of this exercise, you need to execute slow and steady moves while maintaining a still hip.
8. Bicycle Crunches
This list could not do without bicycle crunches. It’s one of the most effective abs exercises and is excellent in recruiting the rectus abdominis, obliques, and traverse abdominis. Not many workouts will successfully target the deep ab muscles as this exercise does. It is just like working out on a stationary bike, except that you’ll be lying flat.
- Lay flat and press your lower back on the floor. Put your hands behind your head.
- Pull your legs to bring your knees to your chest. Keep one leg bent and extend the other leg to a straight position in a bicycle paddling motion.
- Twist your core so that your elbow touches the opposite bent knee, hold for 2 to 3 seconds and then switch the legs.
- Aim for 3 sets of at least 12 repetitions each.
Be careful not to rotate your hips. Let your torso do the twists.
Why 10-Pack Abs Are Great for You
What makes you crave to have 10-pack abs? I guess an attractive body shape is on top of your list. You want to look like one of those male models on magazine covers. It’s a dream body for many people who hit the gym. However, the benefits of 10-pack abs go beyond that aesthetically ripped core.
If you are a sworn procrastinator and a good fabricator of excuses, 10-pack abs is not for you. Training for 10-pack abs demands commitment, consistency, and high level of self-discipline. By the time you achieve 10-pack abs, you will have also become a very self-disciplined person.
Helps in Losing Fat
Getting 10-pack abs means losing fats and gaining weight. You will have to brave the tough weight loss journey as you work for your 10-pack abs goal.
10-pack abs will get you of a strong trunk, which will improve your overall performance in all physical activities. Our body is highly dependent on the core to maintain balance and stabilize posture as we engage in any activity. All sports need a strong core.
Good Foundation for Body Building
Training your core prepares your body for the heavy lifting ahead. With a well-trained core, the weight of a heavy barbell squad becomes bearable. You will have the endurance, stamina, and energy to perform any exercise in the gym.
If you don’t have a strong core, it is always difficult for you to maintain proper posture for a long time. 10-pack abs will strengthen your core and help you sustain a proper posture while sitting, standing, or walking. With a proper body posture, you reduce the risks of injury and lower back pain common among office workers.
Better Sleep Quality
Sleep apnea has long been associated with abdominal fat. You will have poor quality sleep if you have too much fat in your abs. Gaining weight is not limited to the outside parts only. The inner part of your throat, nose, and mouth also gain some. That’s why snoring is quite common in heavier people. 10 pack abs will help you crush the extra fat and leave you with a lean body that will make you enjoy quality sleep.
Written by Alisha Wishart – TheHealthPot.com
Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Writer and Contributor
Alisha, is a Mother, Wife and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT). She understands how demanding everyday life can be and takes great pride in working with individuals and groups to help them achieve their desired fitness goals. Read more about Alisha here.