6 Tips For 6-Pack Abs
No matter if you are a teen trying to get into shape or a grown woman returning to the world of fitness, a harder and flatter stomach is the final goal for most people. Because of this, countless fancy exercise products are being marketed that claim to give you rock hard abs in a few weeks, yet do absolutely nothing. This article does not claim to provide "rock hard abs" in a week but instead serves to try to change the views some people have gotten from watching too many infomercials at 2 AM.
1. You Can't Spot-Reduce Fat
This means that you can't just burn fat from a specific part of your body. All the sit-ups in the world will not burn the fat off your stomach. Body fat is lost from all over your body and is caused by a caloric deficit, not from activating a particular muscle group.
2. Cardio is Important
The key to getting a 6-pack is not in building stronger ab muscles, but in burning the fat that is covering them. The way to achieve this is to be on a caloric deficit, which can be obtained by both consuming fewer calories and using up more calories by exercising. A form of cardio that is very effective for burning fat and boosting your metabolism is HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). HIIT is exercising in short bursts of intense cardio followed by a short cooldown. An example would be a 30-second run, followed by a 30-second jog, followed by another sprint, and so on for 4 to 15 minutes depending on the fitness of the person.
3. Abs are Made in the Kitchen
This is the least complex and yet the most challenging aspect of getting a 6-pack. The key to getting a 6-pack is to cut down on food and lose body fat. Here are some readily applicable tips:
- Stop drinking sugary drinks and start to drink only water. It can make a huge difference.
- Eat 5-6 small meals a day. This helps boost your metabolism and keeps your appetite in check.
- Consider lowering your carbohydrate intake.
- Find out how many calories you should be eating a day to lose weight. You can do so by going to http://damnripped.com/tdee-calculator/
4. Sit-ups are Not the Best Ab Exercise
Sit-ups are supposed to target the abs, but really the hip flexors and spinal erectors are doing a large part of the work in the movement. The abdominals are only used isometrically as stabilisers.
5. Other Exercises To Do
Here are some ab exercises for beginners to do instead of the traditional sit-up:
- Crunches - There are many different types, but try to think of it as pulling your bottom rib directly to your hip
- Weighted crunches - Do regular crunches except hold a plate to your chest
- Hanging leg raises - hang from a bar and pull your knees directly to your chest
6. Don't Give Up!
While achieving your goal of a 6-pack may not be as painless and easy as infomercials may have you think, it is still a very realistic goal even for a beginner. All it takes is hard work and determination. Giving up a week after you started will not help you get a six pack or improve your overall fitness.