10 Tricks to Make Your Ab Workout More Effective
Well-defined ‘six-pack abs’ are the new standard by which people measure true fitness.Rippling stomach muscles have become a fad, but to achieve them you need to know how to make the most of your efforts. Here are 10 tips to make your ab workout more efficient.
1. Forget all the hype about ‘reducing belly fat’
There are no shortcuts to a flat, toned stomach. On a man, the last place the body loses fat is around the midsection. Until you reduce overall body fat, you won’t reduce belly fat.
2. Sit-ups and crunches aren’t enough
Sit-ups and crunches have their place, but they won’t build a solid core by themselves.
To achieve abdominal strength, you need to adopt exercises that work the entire body thoroughly.
3. You’re wasting your time without decent nutrition
Clean eating is the key to fitness and health. Increase your vegetable intake and consume lean protein in the form of fish, chicken breast, lean beef and nuts. Ban soft drinks from your fridge and eat more natural foods.
Muscles need time to recover from a strenuous workout. You shouldn’t be doing intensive abdominal exercises more than once every three days. Let the soreness subside before you continue.
5. Work the whole body, not just the abs
Full-body weight training will develop amazing abs almost as an afterthought. A strong core results from a balanced workout, not from a regime that puts too much emphasis on one muscle group.
6. Prominent abs are directly related to body fat percentage
If you want your abs to be more visible, you need to reduce your overall percentage of body fat. For a woman this should be under 18%, and for a man under 10%. Your abs are already there, but whether they’re prominent or not depends on the layer of fat covering them.
7. Set weekly goals, but be realistic in your expectations
The modern human is an impatient beast and expects results immediately.This just won’t happen with ab development. Going from no visible abs to a washboard stomach takes months – not weeks.
8. You don’t need to go to a gym to get great abs
There are some great core exercises you can do on your backyard lawn, with no equipment. Try push-ups, planks, bicycle crunches, burpees and even rope skipping. Even a brisk 45-minute walk will work your abs.
9. Improve abdominal strength by gradually increasing resistance
As your core starts to strengthen, you need to move past the beginner level. Add a bit more weight to the gym machines, increase repetitions and find other ways to increase the challenge. If it becomes too easy, it’s not helping you.
10. Fit in plenty of cardio between weight training sessions
Ab development requires muscle building with exercise and trimming of unnecessary fat. You must burn more calories than you’re consuming, so intensive cardio can help.