If you always dreamed of 6-pack abs, don’t dismay. It’s possible to get them, but not easy. It’s often on of the first things clients at my Oceanside, CA gym say they want to achieve, but there are steps to reaching that goal. It’s more than just doing a few ab exercises. You have to reduce the body fat that covers them so they show. Some people, approximately half the population, will have problems getting a six-pack that shows. That’s because they’re women. Women generally have higher healthy body fat levels than men, so men can safely reduce their body fat low enough for the definition of the abs to show.
It takes a healthy diet to start the process.
One important phrase I heard early in my career was, “Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym.” It was true then and is still true. Not only do you have to have a diet that helps lower your body fat, it should also boost building lean muscle tissue. A diet with healthy lean protein not only provides the nutrients for building muscle tissue, but also helps burn fat. That accomplishes two goals at once.
It’s more than just quality protein that helps build those abs and eliminates fat so you can see them.
You need a well rounded diet. Even though carbs are associated with gaining weight, you do need them. Meals high in vegetables should be part of your diet. After a workout, you can eat natural grains or starchy carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes. They have a much better chance of being used as fuel, rather than turning to fat. Eating healthy fat is important too. Healthy fat includes nut butters and nuts, avocado, butter from grass fed cows, fish oil and olive oil. They help keep insulin levels from dramatically fluctuating, which helps shed abdominal fat.
Go for core exercises, rather than focusing on crunches.
First, working out your entire body builds muscles and muscles burn fat! Core exercises are different from the traditional abdominal workouts like sit-ups, leg lifts and crunches and far better. They keep your spine stable and in natural alignment. Core exercises include planks, roll outs and even the old stand-by, push-ups. Core exercises help you burn more calories to expose those great abs.
- You’ll get better results doing core exercises at the first of your workout, when your muscles aren’t tired, than you will doing them at the end.
- If you want to do a plank that gets good results, it’s all about form. You have to keep your spine aligned and make sure you squeeze your glutes and core muscles in the process.
- You don’t have to spend hours on working your abs or core. It only takes about 3 to 4 sets of a couple of core exercises that should give you a workout, but not make you tired. Then do other exercises. The core exercises will get your core muscles working harder during the rest of the workout.
- Try this combination to feel the burn; do 30 seconds of each—sit ups, a 30 second push up plank, V-sit push out, V-sit hold, leg raise, push up position hold with a final set of push ups.