Why is Getting Sculpted Six-Pack Abs So Difficult?

Ripped, washboard abs are considered by many people to be the holy grail of fitness and health. What we think of as a “six-pack” is technically one long, flat muscle called the rectus abdominis that’s divided into segments of connective tissue. Unfortunately, there’s no “easy way out” or magic pill when it comes to achieving that super sculpted look. What you’re probably wondering is, are there any ways to actually get those enviable chiselled abs and will a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) be helpful? Our Vancouver area team has some tips to help you get the look you want, if this is your aesthetic goal.

There are several reasons why it’s so challenging. For one thing, most people have a layer of fat covering the belly area, whether directly below the skin in the form of soft, subcutaneous fat or harder visceral fat close to the organs that obscures these muscles. Even if your muscle is defined, this layer of fat will prevent you from being able to see the work you’ve put in. For women, visible abs might be even more difficult to obtain because they have a higher body fat percentage, lower levels of testosterone and less muscle mass. Some people also naturally have thicker skin and tissue surrounding the core muscles due to genetics, making it even more challenging for them.

Even though exercises like sit-ups and crunches strengthen your core muscles, you need to maintain a healthy diet if you want to get flat, sculpted abs. Reduce your intake of sugary or processed foods while increasing your intake of lean protein and vegetables – and of course, you also need plenty of water.

If you’ve done all you’ve can on your own and are committed to a healthy lifestyle, tummy tuck and liposuction surgery may be beneficial. Neither surgery will give you sculpted abs, but a tummy tuck will strengthen weakened core muscles and remove excess skin from the abdomen while liposuction removes excess fat, to give your belly a flatter appearance. This lays the groundwork for a six-pack.

If you have more questions about what to expect from abdominoplasty surgery, our Vancouver area office of Dr. Owen Reid can guide you through each stage of this procedure. Call 604-343-9309 or submit a contact form to schedule a consultation and find out whether you would be a candidate for this procedure.