All About Abs – How to get a Toned Stomach
With bikini season vastly approaching, the desire for a flat stomach has increased. Many of us aspire to gain an impressive six pack but it requires a lot of work and the correct knowledge. Once you know how to achieve that defined core, you will be one step closer to acquiring the abs you’ve always wanted.
Abs are made in the Kitchen.
You may have heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen”, this ultimately suggests that what you eat is more important than how much you exercise when it comes to defining your abdominal muscles.
Basically, for your abs to pop through, your body fat percentage must be low, for Men (6-13%) Women (14%-20%). However, all bodies are different and may require less/more work.
No matter how many crunches you do, if you have a layer of fat surrounding your midsection, your abs won’t be visible, but they could be hiding underneath. Therefore, to lose that stubborn belly fat and reveal your hidden abs, we recommend adjusting your diet and opting for some healthier options; consuming lean meat and fish, paired with a variety of veg and of course, plenty of fruit.
Another aspect to bear in mind is genetics and body type also play a part in how your abs look. Some of us have been blessed with a leaner physique and as a result, show muscle easier than others. As frustrating as this may be for those not so lucky, this basically indicates that defining abs requires less work.
Changes in water weight, muscle mass, hormones, stress, lifestyle, etc. can all impact your ability to maintain visible abs.
Ab Workouts, are they worth it?
Have you been drilling those 10-minute core workouts and not seeing the results you want? Once again, this is all down to the fact your body fat percentage is not low enough and your favourite ab exercises are not helping you shred that weight.
There’s no denying that a 2-minute plank kills your abs. The burn after 50 sit-ups is aggressive for a reason. But weight must be low to reveal your hard work.
To lose weight, you need to reach the fat burning zone and you won’t get here by only targeting your core. For starters, spot reduction is generally ineffective and therefore, to lose fat, you need to be working out every body part.
We’re not saying cut the crunches out of your routine, but reminder that for most effective results you should work the full body. Adding a weight to your next ab workout will also push you that bit further and intensify core engagement.
Best Exercises for Defined Abs
Pick exercises that raise heart rate and therefore increase calorie burn, not only will you see faster results, but your endorphin release will motivate you to keep going!
Exercises that tend to get overlooked as effective core work include Squats, Dead Lifts, Overhead Presses, Bent Over Rows and more. To remain balanced and keep good technique, we continuously engage our core and therefore, work our stomach muscles. An effective weightlifting workout will have you working your abdominals for up to an hour, without realising it!
High Intensity Workouts such as HIIT, Spin and Crossfit are ideal for shredding those calories and burning fat = less fat = lower body fat % = more prominent abs.
Overall, it’s important to note that abs are not made for everyone and remaining fit and healthy is the goal. Never push yourself to extremes to achieve the unachievable.