In abs training like other things in life you have basically two approaches, the most common is a random approach which often does not work, and when it does, it is impossible to duplicate.
The random approach is like throwing darts with a blindfold on. If a million people did that hundred of times, some of them will hit the bulls eyes some of the time. Even those who hit the bullseye blindfold, cannot duplicate the process consistently.
To reach any goal including getting six-pack abs, a systematic personalized step-by-step approach is more effective.
The main challenge with a systematic personalized approach to training is that it cannot be a cookie-cutter style. It must be designed for you and work with your unique strengths and weaknesses. Organized approaches require an experienced coach to help keep you focused and guide you toward your goal with minimal of sidetracking and back stepping.
In these lessons, you learn a structure that helps you organize your thoughts and focus your actions. Within the framework of this structure, you can make adjustments to fit your needs.
The first step in reaching any goal is to clearly define both the goals and the required steps to reach it.
In abdominal training, you need to be aware of five elements.
Ab muscles structure which is both the anatomy and physiology of abs.
Abdominal muscles function which has to do with their natural contractions.
Functional core control which is related to your daily activities including your job and your recreational interests.
Core performance that may or may not have to do with how your muscles were created.
The external appearance that is where the term six pack abs come from.
Your workout routines, your workouts and your individual exercises and even nutritional programs should be designed within these structures.
Notice that there is no mention of any specific exercises. Top ten ab workouts that help a middle-aged firefighter is not the same as a tennis player who wants to prevent shoulder injury or a pregnant woman who wants to minimize her low back pain.
An effective abs training program helps you define your goals that could be showing off your six pack abs at the gym or through a roundhouse kick that could knock down a tree.
The first step is for you to define what you want to get out of your abs training actions and then take steps that get you there.