How to Get 6-Pack Abs in 10 Steps Without Big Sacrifices

February 21, 2014
weight-lift

Getting into shape when you’ve been slacking off can seem like quite a tremendous task.
It’s even harder if your goal is to develop 6-pack abs.

However, this does not mean that you can never have those or that you’ll have to completely give up “normal” food and work out for six hours a day.

Although that is one way to do it, there are some things you can do that involve working smarter, rather than harder. Let’s take a look at 10 of them.

1. Lift weights

There are a couple good reasons why this is important. First of all, lifting weights (especially free weights) requires a certain degree of effort to stabilize the body. Much of this will be in the midsection, forcing you to contract your abs.

The second reason is that lifting weights increases your lean tissue mass, which is far more metabolically active than fat. This allows you to burn more calories, even while resting.

2. Use both types of ab exercises

Try to employ both mobilization (involving motion) and stabilization (involving balance) exercises.Most people have trouble with either one type or the other, but challenging your abs this way is exactly why you should do them both. Many of these can be performed with just a Swiss ball.

3. Start your cardio at high-intensity

Most people tend to start off their cardio workouts slowly, picking up the pace as they go.

A recent study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology shows that you can burn 5 to 10 percent more fat starting at high-intensity for the first half of your workout (30 minute workout or longer), then slowing it down for the last half.Start out at around 80 percent of your max heart rate, then bring it down to about 60 percent.

4. Drink lots of water

Water not only helps you to burn fat, but it also might keep you from eating as much. Sometimes when you think you’re hungry, it’s actually the water in the food that your body is after. Try drinking a full glass before you eat and you may find that you get full on less food.

5. Do not train over-train your abs

This is a hard one for some people to get, but your abs require just as much rest as any other muscle. If you’re over-training them, you may find that they appear “softer” than they should be.You don’t need to do hundreds of reps, 5 or 6 days a week. You can work them more efficiently by adding some weight to your ab exercises and giving them time to rest.

6. Focus on total-body exercises

total-body

When it comes to which exercises burn more fat, compound exercises will out-do isolation exercises every single time.

They simply call more muscle fibers into action, including various stabilizer muscles and the muscles in and around your core.

More work means more calories burned and since it’s not possible to burn fat off of only one part of the body anyhow, your efforts are best focused on getting more bang for your buck.

7. Use a bench

There’s no rule stating that you have to do your ab exercises on the floor, especially when you can get a greater range of motion on top of a bench.

Try some reverse crunches with a Swiss-ball on the bench and you’ll see how much more deeply you can work your abs this way.

8. Work ALL of your ab muscles

Most people tend to focus only on the outermost abdominal muscles, because they’re the most visible. However, you have tinier ones close to the spine that serve as stabilizers, as well.

These muscles are what actually give you the solid foundation necessary to develop those 6-pack abs.You’ll be able to do far more if you put them to work with exercises like the plank.

9. Supplement with calcium to burn more fat

Calcium actually binds to dietary fat, creating a soapy substance that can’t be absorbed.

When this occurs, the body has no choice but to eliminate it, which will reduce your fat intake. Studies have also shown that calcium can help the body significantly increase its metabolic rate.

10. Get enough sleep

On a final note, you should always make sure that you get enough sleep. Poor sleeping habits can have a devastating effect on the body’s circadian rhythm, which governs many natural processes, including appetite regulation and metabolism.

If you’re serious about getting that 6-pack, you’ll need to get your sleeping habits in order. Your body has to be well cared for and working correctly, if you’re going to demand those types of results.

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