By Virág Kiss
Nowadays everyone wants to know the secret to gaining that ever coveted six pack. Training abs is easy, but training them right and supporting their development… not so much. Summer is already here so it’s time to start thinking about what you might look like without your shirt on those sultry beach days. Lots of false claims are spread over the Internet and most people have little clue about how to achieve their dream body. There are a bunch of so-called and magic pills, and they just want to sell you a product that we know won’t work at all. One of the biggest myths about getting sharp abs is that you have to do hundreds of crunches a day. FALSE! First of all you have to burn the fat off and then you can see your ab muscles.
If you want to turn some heads this summer follow these five tips and you will be on perfect track to make a good impression.
1. Say NO! to carbs!
Avoid fast carbohydrates such as white bread, potatoes, sodas, sugar, cereal and sport drinks. *TIPS: Eat good slow carbs: green vegetables, oats, brown rice and whole grain breads!* Fast carbs boost fat storage on top of your abs.
2. Hit the cardio
Drop your body fat. Sets on the treadmill and stepper are great all-rounders, I also really like to go for 20 minutes HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. What this means is that you do a high intensity exercise such as a sprint for a certain amount of time, usually one minute or less, then low intensity like walking for the same amount of time.
3. Don’t forget to stretch and rest!
Constantly contracting the abdominal muscles shorten them and this can make your core inflexible. Take regular breaks and stretch your ab muscles and you’ll get a flatter, more toned core if you do.
Getting enough sleep will allow the body to achieve faster metabolism and greater muscle gain. A lack of sleep could release a stress hormone called cortisol, which promotes fat storage. Plan to get 8-9 hours of sleep per night.
5. Work work work
You didn’t think I was going to write an article about getting sharp abs without mentioning any ab exercises, did you?
Cable Crunch – Take a firm hold of the rope with both hands and kneel down in front of the machine, just far enough away that when you crunch your head is an inch or two away from it. The rope should be held behind your head and your elbows close to your chest. The starting position is on your knees with the rest of your body a few degrees away from a straight position, with your core engaged to help concentrate the effort on your six pack and protect your back. Concentrate on contracting your six pack and bringing your shoulders closer to your hips. With your six pack fully contracted, hold this position for a second, then slowly return to the starting position with control. This is best done over 3 – 5 seconds.
Repeat twelve times to complete a set, then do three sets in total.
Leg pull in – Lie on the floor with your legs extended. Bend your knees and pull your upper thighs into your chest. Hold this position for a second then return to the starting position.
Repeat fifteen times to complete a set, then do four sets in total.