Who doesn't want a nice set of abs? Not only does a quality set of abs look good, but there are some great health benefits too. There's no quick fix when it comes to developing the six-pack. The abdominal muscles will begin to show when the body fat percentage is at or below 10%. Most health clubs offer free body fat tests; just ask at the front desk.
The most common part of the body that people want to work on is the abs. Here are the initial steps you need to take to help you get great abs:
- Diet – for a start, get into the practice of keeping a diet record to track your meals.
- Cardio – next, you'll need to start counting cardio into your weekly workout schedule – this is one of the best ways to burn off fat. Twenty to thirty minutes every other day will suffice for beginners.
- Exercise – the addition of hard abdominal training is very important for getting great abs.
Fat burns, muscle builds. How does fat burn? With cardio and stimulants. Fat is also used by muscle as an energy supply. How do ab muscles build? Weights, pull-ups, sit-ups, leg kicks and cardio (again). Remember both parts of the equation and you should see results. For cardio you can try running – the results will amaze you. Walking is also excellent, as it is low impact and will not burn off too much muscle. Aerobic training will also boost blood flow to your whole body, and it is said to increase brainpower.
Sit ups … sit ups and more sit ups are not the answer because more than likely you have your abdominal six pack right there hiding under a layer of fat. Crunches work, but they don't work the entire abdominal area, so don't expect a six-pack from doing them alone. Instead:
- Cut out all saturated fats.
- Eat low fat proteins such as skinless chicken, whey protein, and egg whites.
- Stick with complex carbs such as rolled oats for breakfast, sweet potatoes, brown rice and vegetables as these supply fiber and are the best for weight loss.
- Take your supplements.
No amount of training or bizarre machines will magically expose your abs. Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. The trouble is that mentally, a lot of people agree with this, but emotionally it does not click, and the same people end up doing marathon abdominal work. You cannot spot reduce: your body does not work that way. The only way to decrease the amount of fat in certain key areas is by lowering your total body fat levels.
Have you ever seen anyone with well-defined abs who also had fat thighs, "man-boobs" or sagging hips? Chances are you haven't, because the body tends to burn fat at random, and you have no control over which body part will slim down first. To see the abs you've got to burn the fat first. Any muscle definition in the body comes from the right nutrition, and the correct mix of cardio and weight training.
Here are a couple of great exercises that will help give your abs definition:
Incline leg raises: lie on your back on an inclined sit-up board, then raise your unlocked legs in a semicircle to a point where your legs form a 90 degree angle to your torso. Do about 4-5 sets of 15 reps.
Knee pull-ins: you can do this movement sitting on the edge of a flat bench or chair with your torso inclined back to 45 degrees. Point your toes forward, pull your knees up to your chest and exhale the air from your lungs. Tense your abs forcibly for a two-second count. Do 3 sets of 35 to 50 reps of this exercise for 2 to 3 alternate days per week.
Which muscle group in your whole body can you work to get the greatest benefits in the shortest amount of time? The "core," of course. But what is the core? The "core," as it's known in strength training circles, consists of all the muscles in your abdominal and lower back areas. These muscles all work in harmony to provide stabilization for your body and to transfer power from the legs to the upper body and vice versa.
Do you desire a flat stomach? Every year people waste millions, if not billions of dollars, in pursuit of a flat stomach. The majority, if not all the 200 or more ab workout devices on the market will do little or nothing to flatten your stomach. If your objective is to thin your waistline and have a nice, flat stomach, the first thing you need to do is reduce/eliminate the layers of fat that are on top of your abs.
Core And Abdominal Training
The six-pack has almost nothing to do with training abs! The abdominal muscle (Rectus Abdominis) is a large slab of muscle, which, like most muscles, bulges in its relaxed state. If you improperly train abs your abs will protrude. This condition is due to over-training the abdominal wall and neglecting the supporting muscles. The Transversus is a muscle that serves to pull the abdominal wall back. By keeping the stomach pulled in and tight during abdominal training, you strengthen the Transversus at the same time.
It is physiologically impossible to work different parts of the abs since the Rectus Abdominis is a single muscle. Particularly for males, the lower part of the abs is a common trouble spot for nearly everyone, as it tends to store fat. You may find yourself wondering why you feel the burn more in your lower abs if you do hanging leg raises. Unfortunately, this burn means absolutely nothing in reference to muscle growth and development – because of the angle more stress is applied to the lower abs, which results in that part of the muscle being stretched more.