Why do some guys have 6 pack abs while others have an 8 pack, and yet other guys only have a 4 pack? Does that depend on how you train or can you change the way your abs look at all? We’ll answer all of these questions in today’s article.
To understand why the size of abs is so much different between different people we have to know the muscle anatomy. The abs, or rectus abdominis, is the muscle group that is visible and the sections of this group are what make the “pack”. These sections are made by the connective tissue bands that go across the rectus abdominis, and the number of them is what decides whether it’s a 4 pack, a 6 pack or an 8 pack.
It’s important to note that the number of connective tissue bands is purely genetic, so you will not get an 8 pack if you lack the number of these bands and vice versa. Further more, the size of these bands determines the prominence of your ab sections. So it does not necessarily mean that the guys with an 8 pack train harder or those with a 4 pack don’t train hard enough, it’s simply genetics.
So no matter how hard you train, you will not grow a new set of rectus abdominis, and they will not pop out as much if the connective tissue bands are thin and your abs are tightly packed. But one thing is certain, whether you have a four pack, a six pack or an eight pack, you have to keep your body percentage low in order for anything to show so you can tell which kind of abs you’ve got.
So first things first, get your nutrition right and cut the body fat to see what your abs actually look like. Then you can adjust your abs workout depending on your abs type to better emphasize what you’ve got.
4 Pack Abs
Usually we have lower ab and upper ab exercises. However it is important to note that these exercises target the same muscle group (rectus abdominis), and the distinction is between the upper and lower parts of the same muscle group that gets most of the load.
In case of a 4 pack, these ab parts are located in the upper part. So focusing on this part, doing more crunches and other exercises for upper abs would stimulate your prominent 4 pack more.
6 Pack Abs
Six pack abs are the most common type of abs and you need an all around abs workout for both, upper and lower parts. You have three rows of rectus abdominis starting just below the chest, the middle and one at the level of your belly button. There’s no preference as to which part to train more as you need to train your entire abs to make them all prominent.
8 Pack Abs
The fourth row goes even below the belly button if you have an eight pack, so there’s a lot of emphasis on the lower abs too. To make this last line of abs you have to put more focus on the lower abs, doing more exercises such as hanging knee raises.
Though, I’m not saying that if you have a 4-pack you should do only upper abs exercises, or if you have an 8 pack you should do only lower ab exercises. You will train your entire abs but you can put more focus on the part that is the most prominent in your type of abs.
If we’re talking about the abs, the obliques must be mentioned as well. These muscles that go diagonally across your sides are what shape your torso and frame your abs. You can make your 4 pack, 6 pack or 8 pack look so much better if you have strong and prominent obliques too. So make sure to add rotation movements to your mid section workouts as well.