Why Can’t I Get Six Pack Abs? (Even though I’m skinny)

During the summer, there are few physical achievements more sought after than amazing abs. It’s about more than looking a healthy weight; it’s about looking like a true muscular specimen.

Having amazing abs isn’t as straightforward as we all hope when we start on our six pack journey.

You must have a very low body fat percentage for visible abs

This will come as no surprise to anyone, but if you’re carrying extra body fat around the midsection, it’s going to be hard to show off those muscular abs.  This isn’t a case where someone is lacking muscle.  You can see many professional athletes with an unbelievably strong, muscular core, and yet they don’t look lean at all.

Generally, a male will need to be under 12% body fat to have those instrgram-ready abs.  This is no small task.  Most people do not have the training to properly measure or estimate body fat percentages. Like many other estimates, people tend to claim a number in their favor and are not always accurate.

It will generally take careful dieting and staying at a decent calorie deficit to cut your body fat down into these levels.

But the journey doesn’t stop there.   As we mentioned in a previous article, stomach workouts do not specifically target stomach fat for reduction. Instead, body fat is reduced throughout the body.  This leads to the second reason your six pack isn’t showing.

You carry body fat around your midsection

Genetics certainly play a role in how easily you can get muscular definition in your abs.  Some people tend to carry body fat in their midsection rather than their lower body.  In fact, men usually care more weight in their midsection while women often carry the weight in their lower body.

If your stomach is one of places you retain body fat the longest, you may have to cut down to an even lower percentage than average.  It’s not all bad news though; that probably means the definition in your arms, shoulders, and legs tends to have an above-average muscular definition.

You must have abdominal muscles

This probably seems obvious, but you must actually have ab muscles for them to show.  You can cut your body fat all you like, and yet, if you’re lacking muscles in your stomach, it’ll show (or not show, in this case).

The solution here is a solid ab routine.  Crunches, plank, or any of the many exercises you’ve come to know and love are all effective for helping build abdominal muscles to create a visibly muscular six pack.

Having well-defined abs is a serious accomplishment and one that doesn’t easily happen by mistake.  With proper planning, a balanced diet, a regular workout routine, you can reach your goals.  If you feel like giving up or like you’re never going to get there. consider reading out to a personal trainer to help you assess where you are at and put together a well-crafted training plan for reaching your goals.

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