What is the first thing that people notice when your shirt is off? What does it take to get a great set of abs? What are the most effective ab training exercises? How long does it take to see results? What are the best bodyweight ab exercises? For so many of us, having washboard abs has almost become a craze. Will thousands of crunches get the job done? What about those products seen on TV?
Distinct abdominal muscles improve fitness, decrease back-pain and are a magnet for the opposite sex. Here's the perfect workout for washboard abs:
|Workout||No. of Sets||No. of Reps||Rest|
|Isometric Seated Leg Raises||2||20||30s||10s contraction|
|Cable Crunches||2||20||30s||Come up to 45°. Drive elbows to knees.|
|Incline Leg Raises||2||15||30s||Legs from horizontal to vertical.|
|Side Bends||2||20||30s||Stand up and tilt.|
|Crunches, Knees Up||2||20||30s||Add 10s isometric hold after last rep of each set.|
|Include Reverse Crunches||2||15||30s||Start in knees up position.|
|Incline Side Leg Raises||2||15||30s||Just raise single leg as high as it goes without moving hip.|
|Crunches: Legs Straight Out||2||20||30s||Don’t lock knees.|
Heredity plays a big part in shaping our physical makeup and our muscular potential. There are three fundamental body types or builds, called somatotypes.
- Ectomorphic: people with an ectomorphic build are born with a smaller quantity of muscle cells and have a linear look.
- Endomorphic: those with an endomorphic body type have inherited a large number of fat cells and are inclined have a rounder appearance.
- Mesomorphic: the third somatype is mesomorphic and people with this physique have inherited a comparatively larger number of muscle cells.
Troika refers to 3 or trio in both Polish and Russian. You need to know three features that make your abs noticeable:
- Fat loss – expose your abs.
- Develop your ab muscles – like biceps you create peaks to your six-pack.
- Ab muscle tone – the amount of involuntary flex of your abs when at rest.
What you need is a straightforward and easy to apply plan that will not only help you lose the fat that is presently covering your abs, but show you how to do it in less time. There is no easy way; you are going to have to work for your results. A lot of people will fault their heredity for the additional fat they are hauling when the truth is that it is not their genes, but their need for self-discipline.
The Right Approach To Washboard Abs
You've seen the infomercials, the advertisements and the magazine commentaries churning out their rubbish, and you've made up your mind that you want abs. First you must appreciate that getting into shape has no down time. You must make a decision if this is something you really want and whether or not you are ready to make a solid commitment to yourself.
If you are not a habitual exerciser you must make a conscious resolution to start a workout program – this choice is often easy to make, but to put it into action is quite another thing. To stick with your new commitment to yourself, you need to:
- Set practical goals. This can be done by not centering on the end result (i.e. I'm going to lose 100 lbs) but rather on the day's goal (today I'm going to walk on the treadmill for five minutes).
- Plan your workouts. If you make a schedule of three to four days a week and set up an appointment with an instructor you tend to turn up because someone is counting on you.
- Workout with a friend. If you make it a social activity with your best friend or spouse, it will give you something to look forward to either in the beginning, end or even middle of the day on your lunch break.
- Select an activity that you take pleasure in. Go for a challenging hike, snowboard or mountain bike with your friends.
- Rejoice in your accomplishments.
Training The Obliques
The obliques are muscles that run diagonally across the abdominal wall and are attached to bone at your sides. Increasing the size of your obliques can increase the width of your waist, but not necessarily the circumference. These are "muscular love handles." Some people avoid training obliques for this reason. Because obliques cross over the abdominal wall, having strong obliques means that your abdominal wall will be pulled flat. Therefore, while training obliques may increase the width of your waist, it can also serve to pull your stomach flatter.
Fat And Abs
You shouldn't even think of seeing your abs until you are down to about 8-10% body fat. Great abs start and end with your diet. Eat and supplement the same on a non-training day as you would a training day. The flab around the stomach can only be removed with proper diet and cardio. You need to eat 5-6 meals a day to keep the body burning food – food that is thermogenic and requires calories to burn.
It took you months, perhaps years to achieve the layer of fat covering your abs, so it's not going to magically melt away over the weekend, no matter how many crunches you do. Surprisingly enough, the chief aim is not to burn fat but to preserve your muscle. In order to maintain muscle while burning fat, a mixture of cardiovascular training, such as treadmill, running, biking, etc. and conventional heavy weight training works best.