Updated: Sep 24, 2019
How do you get those abs though?
Training the abs has always been my favourite part of my workouts. The final hurdle that makes you walk out of the gym feeling proud that you have fully completed your epic session. I have good experience with ab training and know it can strengthen and tone your stomach muscles, along with giving you a good posture. As long as you do it with proper form and you work them consistently you will get great results. I have recently ditched the crunches and have started to concentrate more on core conditioning such as planks. Core exercises work the deepest abdominal muscle, the transversus abdominis, whose role is to stabilize the trunk. They generally focus on pulling the waist tighter like a corset, which is actually what the transversus abdominis muscle looks like.
Nutrition is also another factor that comes into play when uncovering your abs. ‘Eat clean' are probably words you have heard before. 'Clean' food is food that doesn’t require an ingredients list stuck to the packaging. Food like sweet potato, rice, chicken, fish, lentils and veg should be your staple diet. You will also be surprised, as I was, at how your body fat lowers by changing the type of food you eat and using cooking methods such as boiling, steaming or baking. But remember, once you lose weight through diet, you can’t achieve those defined abs without training the muscles through exercise. Everyone has their particular exercises to getting that dreamy six pack and it is good to try some of those exercises but in order to see anything, you need to lessen fat tissue covering the muscle. To do this, try including some fat-burning cardio, HiiT and interval training sessions into your weekly training plans. Continue strengthening the muscle in the meantime with some core exercises so you get results in quick time. I have come up with some exercise tips which have helped me achieve this goal.
- Walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, skipping, even dancing anything that gets your heart pumping for more than 30 minutes non-stop, 3-4 times a week, will go a long way to getting rid of fatty tissue around your body, including your abs.
- The plank is the best overall stomach exercise ever! BUT ONLY if you are performing it 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 straighten the legs. 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 10 seconds.
- Invest in a stability ball. The fact that you have to balance on an unstable object works the core and stabiliser muscles constantly. You can even 'up' the challenge of your plank to performing it on a stability ball, by either having your elbows on the ball or your hands on the floor and your feet balancing on the ball. It is a great piece of equipment to have at home as it can quickly be inflated and deflated. Make sure you maintain that straight line - avoid a curved back at all costs.
- Leave time in your workout session to train your abs for 10 minutes, 3-4 times a week AFTER your main workout.
- While you are at your desk during the day or standing, train your waist by pulling your stomach in tight for 1 minute. Keep your belly button pulled into your spine and breathe normally while keeping your stomach pulled in. You can even do this on your way to work, while waiting/sitting on the bus or train.
- Always maintain a correct posture when sitting and standing.
Try these tips for a month and let us know if you see any progress!