15 tips for perfect abs
Everybody wants to get a toned, flat abs. Spend a few weeks following these tips and a defined stomach could be yours in no time.
Trim the fat
You could get a six-pack Peter Andre would be proud of but if it’s hiding under a layer of fat there’s little point in having it at all. Incorporate plenty of cardio vascular exercises such as swimming, cycling, or running into your workout to burn excessive fat.
Sit up straight
Sit-up straight to help prevent your stomach muscles getting lazy and flabby. Try holding your stomach flat while sitting at your desk during the day to give your waist a real workout without sweating it out at the gym. Sitting on a fit ball is also a great way to tone up the stomach with minimal efforts. When doing sit-ups, do not put your hands on your neck and rather keep them near or on the side of the head or crossed on the chest.
Stretch yourself slim
Doing plenty of sit-ups is great but if you don’t stretch your muscles afterwards you risk bulking up. Put your arms over your head and stretch upwards to develop long, lean muscles.
Work on your technique
If you are a beginner, learn to perform the exercises correctly. If you do your sit-ups incorrectly, all of your efforts will be wasted. Before each repetition suck in your stomach and flatten yourself against the floor so your back is completely straight then lift and repeat.
Fitness trainers suggest performing repetitions of the crunch which involves laying on your back and using your stomach muscles to bring your knees up to touch your elbows.
Tone up your obliques
Get your obliques toned up by doing as many cycle twists as you can. Lay on your back with your elbows bent so your hands are touching either side of your head and twist and lean forward while simultaneously lifting alternative knees so the knee and opposite elbow touch.
Control what you eat
Salt, sugar, wheat and pulses, whatever causes you to bloat be ruthless and cut them out of your diet.
Improve your posture
Don’t just concentrate on your stomach muscles when you work out, work your back as well to help improve posture, avoid imbalance and crippling back pain. Lay flat on your stomach and lift up your upper body to work the lower back.
Train your abs at least 2 times a week and up up to 6 days per week. However, depending on the load you place on your abs from one workout to the next, you might need more days of rest before you train them again. For example, if you perform weighted exercises during your ab session, you are going to need additional rest days compared to sessions where you strictly use bodyweight exercises.
Select four moves each time you train abs, one for each of the different areas: upper abs, lower abs, obliques and transverse abdominis. This will allow you to build overall balance and symmetry in your midsection.
Priority and timing
Train your abs to the maximum strength, first the weaker bottom, then the obliques and finally the top.
If you want to add strength and build muscle, you can work with weights or loads. Use varying degrees of resistance if you really want your abs to show. Do weighted exercises using a cable station or a light weight plate or dumbbell to make your abs pop and more pronounced.
The rep range you choose to work within is critical to how your abs develop and show when your bodyfat is low. If your goal is maintain a flat and lean midsection, use your own bodyweight as resistance and keep your reps between 15 and 30. If you feel your abs need to grow so you can see them better, then do some weighted movements in the 8–10-rep range, which is standard for optimal ab development. Rest is must for 20 to 45 seconds between repetitions and may vary depending on your physical condition.
With ab training, timing is crucial. Always train abs after your weight session. This is because your abs are so important for stability and spinal safety and it’s critical not to get them too fatigued before a rigorous workout on large bodyparts, such as legs.
Incorporate fast reps by going explosive on the positive, but going slow and controlled on the negative. The fast reps will help recruit more muscle fibers which is ideal for building strength and power as well as for burning bodyfat. You can also change your rep speed from slow and controlled to fast and explosive. This will force you to utilize more fast-twitch muscle fibers to build more power, strength and size. Slow and controlled reps will help you to avoid getting tired easily.