Training the abs has always been my favourite part of working out.Getting defined abs takes dedication!
The part where you can feel the burn after 8 or so reps and if you are zoned out can continue burning it until you have to stop and writhe on the floor in agony (I know, kind of sick eh!). I know ab training safely and consistently can definitely tone and strengthen your stomach muscles. I have recently ditched the crunches and have started to concentrate more on core conditioning such as planks, which work the deepest abdominal muscle – the transversus abdominis muscle – and whose role is to stabilize the trunk.
Core conditioning generally focuses on pulling the waist tighter like a corset, which is what the transversus abdominis muscle actually looks like! It’s role is to stabilise the trunk and support the back.
Everyone has their theory to getting that dreamy ‘six-pack’. It’s time to try some of those theories out.
Just remember you won’t see anything if there is fat tissue covering the muscle. This is where fat-burning cardio, HIIT and interval training will help. You can, however, strengthen the muscle in the meantime with some core exercises (as mentioned below).
Nutrition is also another factor that comes into play when uncovering your abs. I always say ‘EAT CLEAN’. Clean eating is food that doesn’t require an ingredients list stuck on the product or on its packaging. Food like sweet potato and rice, chicken, fish and veg should be your staple diet. You will be surprised at how your body fat lowers so quickly by using cooking methods such as boiling, steaming or baking. Once you lose weight through diet you can’t achieve those toned defined abs without exercise.
I have come up with some tips to help you get defined abs:
Walking, Jogging, Biking, Swimming, Dancing – anything that gets your heart pumping for more than 30 minutes non-stop will go a long way to getting rid of fatty tissue around your abs.
- The plank! It’s the best overall stomach exercise ever! Make sure you are performing the plank properly; pull your belly button in towards your spine, keep your breathing slow and controlled, ensure your body is in a straight line from your head to your feet (or knees if you are doing the beginners plank). Squeeze the glutes and leg muscles, everything must be contracted. Hold yourself balancing on your elbows and toes (or knees) for as long as you can. Aim for 1 minute. Each time you perform the plank extend that time by 5 seconds.
- Invest in a stability ball – the fact that you have to balance on an unstable object works the core and stabilizer muscles constantly. You can even up the challenge of your plank to performing it on a stability ball also, by either having your elbows on the ball or your hands on the floor and your feet balancing on top of the ball. It is a great piece of equipment to have at home as it can be quickly be inflated and deflated.
- Train your abs for 20 minutes 3-4 times a week AFTER your main workout.
- Hold your stomach in and shoulders back throughout the day. Always maintain a correct posture when sitting and standing.
Try these tips for a month, comment in the box below if you see any progress!