What are V-Cut Abs?

Micki Elizabeth

V-cut abs can be achieved through a combination of strong oblique and transverse abdominal muscles and a low percentage of body fat, allowing one to better see these muscles. These abs, shaped like the letter “V," begin around the outer waistline just above the hips and funnel inward, somewhat resembling the front of the pubic bone. Although some people may be genetically disposed to having visible V-cut abs, most who wish to get this look must follow a strict cardiovascular, strength-training program and diet plan.

A strict cardiovascular workout routine must be followed to achieve v-cut abs.
A strict cardiovascular workout routine must be followed to achieve v-cut abs.

Everybody has the abdominal muscles that create V-shaped abs, yet these muscles are not visible on most people. The V shape is created by the definition between various types of core muscles, and the way in which they are layered atop one another. V-cut abs mainly consist of the external obliques, located along the sides of the abdomen. Just underneath the external obliques are the internal obliques, and under those, the transverse abdominals, also known as lower abs. These three muscles are usually relatively small and are commonly hidden by fat deposits, even on people who are not considered overweight.

Lifting weights may help one to achieve v-cut abs.
Lifting weights may help one to achieve v-cut abs.

People who desire visible V-cut abs may be able to achieve them by first focusing on developing a regular cardiovascular workout routine. High-intensity cardio training is the fastest way to burn existing abdominal fat, which must be decreased in order to see the abs underneath. Many cardio workouts target core muscles, like running, stair climbing or rowing, among other activities, and could help some people reach this goal sooner.

Strength-training that involves weights and resistance to build abdominals will also help to form V-cut abs. Without proper cardio workouts and diet in conjunction with weight training, however, the opposite effect may result. Strength exercises increase the size of muscles when performed properly. While larger abdominals will make the V-shape easier to see, if body fat still lingers above the muscles, strength workouts will simply push the fat out further. Some athletes complain about a larger gut when they first begin resistance training.

Cutting fat from the diet will, therefore, be another helpful step to defining the V shape in the abdominals. Bodybuilders who strive for low body fat percentages often stick to a low-fat, high-protein diet made of small, frequent meals. Carbohydrates can help fuel workouts, but unused carbs are usually stored as fat. Thus, eating mostly vegetables and soy and animal proteins is commonly considered a healthy, quick way to drop body fat. It is important to understand that V-cut abs will be easier for some to achieve than others, and not everybody will easily get the results they want.

Sit-ups and crunches mostly work the rectus abdominis.
Sit-ups and crunches mostly work the rectus abdominis.

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Discussion Comments


You can still build on your core, but you've likely got your work cut out for you.

Start slow with a few beginner exercises such as reverse crunches and gradually work your way up to the more advanced variations.

Take it slow and progress as your abs strengthen (this is a few-month process, don't expect abs overnight).

Stay confident, motivated, and focused. You will get there quickly enough.

A clean diet of veggies and protein is KEY to dropping body fat. Cardio and weight-training are also obvious boosts to speed up results.


Abdominal exercises are difficult after having kids (c-section). What is the best approach for me in this area?

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