It doesn’t matter if you’re aspiring to get your bodybuilding pro card or simply build the best body on the beach—abs are essential. But unlike, say, your delts or your biceps, your abs don’t simply show up just because you train them hard. If you want to see your abs, you also need to completely strip away all the belly fat obscuring them.

No wonder six-pack abs are the ultimate symbol of fitness—your diet and your workout need to be on point for them to show up. And that’s especially true if you’re preparing for a bodybuilding competition. Under the hot lights, when judges are scrutinizing your every feature, even the slightest physique flaw can seem glaringly obvious. That means the abs demand abs demand extra attention ahead of competition day.

Cable Chop

10 Best Cable Exercises for Your Core

Hit your abs from every angle with these 10 core-carving cable exercises.

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To get some secrets of competition-ready abs training, we spoke to Ridge Davis, C.P.T. (NCSF), the founder of Ridgid Fitness in West Hollywood, CA, (and the owner of an impressive set of abs himself). A Puma-sponsored personal trainer and national-qualified NPC Men’s Physique Competitor, Davis knows firsthand how to craft formidable abdominal muscles.

Here are Davis’ 10 favorite abs exercises for bodybuilders looking to get a competition edge.

10 Upper-Body Moves That Build Your Core Too

10 Upper-Body Moves That Build Your Core Too

Never neglect your abs again with these 10 dual-purpose upper body exercises.

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