Medically the review by Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS, Fitness — composed by Corey Whelan on respectable 29, 2019

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Defined, toned abs — commonly called a six-pack — space an frequently sought-after goal in the gym. But not every toned abs look at the same. Some human being sport a four-pack, while rather may have actually an eight-pack.

Let’s take it a look in ~ the difference between ab species as well together the diet, exercise, and also lifestyle tips that can help you attain the the strongest abs your genetics will allow.

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The difference between ab species lies in the structure of your abdominal muscle muscles.

Your abdomen includes four muscle groups. To get toned abs, you’ll must do exercises that strengthen all four muscle groups. These muscle groups are:

Rectus abdominis

Once toned, the rectus abdominis becomes her four-, six-, or eight-pack. That comprises two connected muscle bands that run parallel to every other, under either side of the abdomen.

The linea alba is the fibrous band the separates the rectus abdominis. It forms the line the runs under the center of the abdomen.

The rectus abdominis also helps:

regulate breathingmaintain postureprotect your inner organs

Transverse abdominis

The transverse abdominis is situated deep in ~ the abdomen. The extends native the front of her abdomen to the political parties of your body. It helps carry out stability and strength to your entire core, back, and pelvis.

If your transverse abdominis isn’t gift worked, her rectus abdominis won’t end up being defined.

Internal and external obliques

The internal and external obliques help control the twisting and turning movements of her body. In addition to the transverse abdominis, they provide a stability girdle because that your earlier and pelvis.

The external obliques space a large muscle team located in ~ the political parties of the rectus abdominis. The inner obliques are located just underneath, inside your hip joints. Functioning your obliques adds an interpretation and tone to your abs.

Is it feasible to have a 10-pack?

Being maybe to attain a 10-pack is feasible for part people.

You must be born v a rectus abdominis that includes five bands of connective tissue running horizontally throughout it. You likewise need come regularly work-related out this muscles and also follow a healthy and balanced diet.

Of course, what friend eat and how girlfriend exercise likewise play large roles in just how your abs at some point look.


What role does genetics play?

The rectus abdominis muscle has bands of connective organization (fascia) crossing it horizontally. This bands provide the figure of multiple package stacked on peak of each various other on either next of her abdomen.

You’re born with a set variety of these connective tissue bands. You can’t build extr ones. Your genetics additionally determine your symmetry, length, and size.

A person with an eight-pack has four bands. A human being with a six-pack has three bands. A human being with a four-pack has two bands.

Many people’s rectus abdominis has actually three intersections. This method that if most world worked at it, lock could attain a six-pack.

But just because you have an ext or less doesn’t median you’re stronger or weaker. It’s simply your genes.

Some that the fittest people around can’t accomplish six- or eight-pack abs. One of these human being is Arnold Schwarzenegger, who, even during his bodybuilding days, sported a four-pack.

Of course, what you eat and also how you exercise also play huge roles in just how your abs ultimately look.


Both sexes have a hereditary predetermination because that the variety of packs they have the right to achieve. However, females require much more body fat than men. This vital body fat is essential for:

estrogen productionoptimum power levelshealthy fertility

Because of this, it may be more an overwhelming for women to lose enough ab fat to define their abs while remaining healthy. Having too little body fat for her body form can lead to various complications in women, like:

menstruation issuesfatiguea dilute immune mechanism

Men have roughly 61 percent more muscle mass than women due to their higher testosterone levels. Men require less body fat because that optimum health, too. So, castle can an ext readily lose enough fat to show their toned rectus abdominis muscles underneath.


While your genetics aid determine how your abs look, you can still construct a strong core. A strong core protects your back and spine, staying clear of injury.

These exercises can help strengthen your abs and also build muscle mass. If you want to have visible abs, you’ll need to spend time toning them at least every other day and follow a healthy and balanced diet.

Plank

This highly effective exercise works your entire core, and also your glutes and also hamstrings. It likewise improves balance and also stability.

Directions:Get in a pushup position, balancing on her forearms. Your elbows should be approximately hip-width apart. Interact your core. Nothing let your earlier sag come the floor. You must start to feel her abs shaking. Exhale. Maintain this place for 30 seconds to a minute, structure up come 2 minutes. Don’t forget come breathe!Repeat 10 times.

You deserve to also shot harder modifications, favor side planks and also knee touches.

Dead bug

The dead an insect works your obliques, rectus abdominis, and transverse abdominis muscles. It additionally improves main point stability and also helps correct extreme anterior pelvic tilt.

Directions:Lie faceup on a mat.Reach your arms straight above your shoulders v fingertips extended, maintaining your elbows locked.Draw her knees straight up over her hips in a tabletop position with your shins parallel come the floor. Save the little of your lower back on the floor. Inhale, lowering your ideal arm below your head while straightening the end your left leg and lowering it to the floor. Exhale, slowly change sides, and also repeat.Work up to 15 reps ~ above both sides.

If your lower ago doesn’t touch the floor, role up a small towel and place the in the little of your ago to remain stable throughout the exercise. This no an less complicated or amendment version, and it i will not ~ diminish the exercise’s intensity. It’ll safeguard your lower earlier from injury.

Looking because that a challenge? examine out this dead pest variations.

Bent foot V-up

This exercise concentrates directly and also intensely on the rectus abdominis muscle. It’s excellent for balance and full-body stability. It’s additionally effective whether it’s done quickly or slowly.

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Directions:Lie faceup on a mat. Store your foot straight.Position her arms therefore they stay straight ~ above the mat at your sides. Exhale. Together you inhale, lift her shoulders off the ground and also sit up while lifting your legs towards your middle. Don’t use momentum to yank yourself up. Let your abs raise your torso increase as far as you deserve to go. As your abs end up being stronger, your capacity to climb up greater will additionally increase.Balance on your glutes for numerous seconds. Don’t forget come breathe.Slowly lower your upper and also lower body under simultaneously, climate repeat. Occupational up to 25 or more reps.