The Best Way To Get Abs
Getting a 6-pack is hard for anyone, but a lot of Instagram fitness-gurus will sell you what you want to hear in a pretty package. The truth is that doing their 10 minute ab workout likely won’t be all you need to get abs. To start your fitness journey, you need to start out informed. It is no secret that it takes a lot of hard work to attain and then maintain abs. This article is not going to lie to you or sell you some too-good-to-be-true easy workout or supplement, instead this article provides simple tips and truths on what it takes to attain abs.
- Your workout should be a lot more diverse then you think.
Abs usually come with a pretty low body-fat percentage that you can only attain with a lot of core strengthening. The core is actually a pretty general region and does not just refer to your stomach area. It also includes your back and your hips. This means that you can diversify your ab workout with standing abs or variations on a bench or seated. Ab workouts are not just made up of sit-ups and crunches, they can include standing obliques, glute-bridges, and hip abductions. Furthermore, learning to engage your core while doing other workouts will not only improve your form, but strengthen your abdominal muscles You should be engaging your core in almost everything you do from walking to weightlifting. It’s a subtle but important way to incorporate your core, and you’ll find that you’ll feel increased stability.
However, if you want abdominal specific workouts, an easy exercise to start with are planks. Planks are a great choice because you have to engage all of your muscles for a good plank. The best thing about planks is that you can do a whole bunch of variations. You can start off simple with either a front or side plank variation. The best way to incorporate planks into your workouts are with intervals. Hold your front plank for 30 seconds and then do the same for each side plank. Repeat this for at least three sets for a simple, beginner’s workout. As you advance you can add harder plank variations. This includes back planks where you hold a plank on your back with your arms supporting you at a 90 degree angle. There are also side plank dips where you dip your hip towards the floor to really work your side abs or rotating planks where you dip your hips to each side to work on stabilizing your core. Add these to your 30 second sets to increase the intensity and strengthen your stomach. Nonetheless if you get tired of the exercises you’re doing, feel free to switch up your ab workout to include other regions of your core.
2. You need cardio to get abs.
A reminder that abs exercises should be done in conjunction with some cardio for the best results. This is the step people find it hardest to get behind, but you can find fun ways to incorporate some cardio. Cardio can be a 30-minute jog everyday, dancing, biking, swimming, or playing basketball. Cardio helps you strengthen your heart and prevents diseases like high-blood pressure and diabetes. Furthermore cardio is known to release endorphins in your brain and it makes you feel good. Find a place in your schedule for some cardio, there is no specified time that is best for your cardio. Fitness gurus might try to tell you you have to work out before bed or early morning to burn off the most calories, but the truth is, the best time is whenever you feel the best doing cardio. Furthermore, cardio is actually pretty essential. It may be more important then doing core exercises. Cardio is what will help you burn off the calories the fastest and in doing so, lose the weight off your stomach.
3. Spotting is not a thing
What do I mean by spotting? I mean that focusing on your abs during your workout will not guarantee you burn the fat in that region. It is impossible to control where you burn your fat, but that doesn’t mean doing core exercises have no point. Having a strong core is important for all physical activities, it will help your posture, stabilize your movements, and improve your fitness. Thus don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results in your stomach once you start exercising. You need to be patient and play the long game for results, I’m talking weeks and months. However, the good thing about spotting is that means you don’t have to do 1,000 crunches everyday to burn fat in that region, you can try out different exercises to make your workout more fun and burn fat everywhere.
4. The role of genetics
Some people will find that attaining abs is easier then others. Genetics actually play a huge role in getting your abdominal muscles to show. Everyone has muscles in that area. If you didn’t you would find things like sitting up to be hard on its own, but your genetics play a role in how your muscles are defined or show up. If you are working out for a prolonged period of time and find that you have a strong core but not intense washboard abs, it might not be in your genetics. This tip is not to get you discouraged, but to remember to go at your own pace and accept and love the body you were born in.
4. Finding Your Best Diet
Much like how you need to add cardio to your ab routine, you also need to eat healthy. Abs are mostly about diet, and maybe 20% about fitness. I find that going on diets is ineffective. Most people who diet go back to their old eating choices after they attain the body they want. This is a reminder that it is best to think in the long term. Eating should not mean that you force yourself to eat foods that you hate, or that you abstain from all forms of sugar. A healthy diet is a lifestyle and should include some sweets in moderation. Furthermore, there are healthy foods out there that you will like. You just have to find them. Try eating dried fruit or cinnamon roasted almonds instead of chocolate or baked goods. Substitutions like olive oil for butter when cooking are subtle but also make a huge difference. Other healthy alternatives include quinoa and spaghetti squash over white-rice and pasta. Another key tip is that a lot of people don’t take into account liquid calories. Sodas and juices are high in sugar and also pack a lot of calories into your daily intake. In the end, this step should not be a chore, it should be fun! This is the part where you get to try out new foods, and discover what you like.
People often overthink the step it takes to get abs. Abs don’t come from a magic supplement pill or a super specific ab regime. Also remember that it is great to have goals for your health and fitness but that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. All that matters is that you feel good in your own skin and that you practice healthy habits.