Ripped abs, toned abs, flat abs… one of the most sought after body parts people would like to have.
I believe we all have ab muscles, but most of us have a layer of body fat that hides them. Take me for example: the photo accompanying this article is of me. The photo on the left is from the first week of January. The photo on the right is from February 29.
With a change in my diet and dedication to the gym five to six times a week, I was able to see my abs again in about two months. It IS possible and CAN be done!
Diet is the most important factor for getting your abs right – ever hear of the expression “Abs are made in the kitchen”? Exercising and weight lifting will help define your abs. Don’t forget, we all have uniquely shaped abs (aka genetics)! After all, every body is different!
Maintain a diet that’s fairly high in protein (chicken, fish, bison), moderate to low in fats (peanut butter, nuts, oil), and moderate to low in carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, fruits). Be mindful of the size of your portions with each meal, and be sure you’re eating every two to three hours to help speed up your metabolism. Are you drinking enough water? I’m at a gallon or more a day – and believe me, it helps a lot! Just be sure you have access to a bathroom… or that could be a problem!
Any core work you do with a stability ball or Bosu ball will absolutely help strengthen your midsection and help make your abs pop. You can perform regular crunches, planks, ab roll, ball rotation, knee tucks, etc. on these types of balls.
If you want to make your muscles bigger, what do you do? You lift heavier. So you can add some weighted exercises to the mix to increase the size of your ab muscles. You can perform weighted crunches, weighted twists, weighted toe touches, etc.
Finally, exercises like the plank and others that you can hold for a few seconds at a time will help show the muscularity of your muscles.
To Add to That…
To help burn more fat, consider doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) for your cardio. An example is hopping on a treadmill and sprinting for 30 seconds and either walking or jogging for one minute. Repeat this anywhere from six to 10 times and you’ll not only cut your workout in half, but you’ll still burn the same amount of calories, if not, more!
The biggest thing I cannot stress enough is your diet. Eat to fuel your body!