Five ways to get those killer abs

Woman with nice looking abs

Don’t waste time doing the wrong exercises every day — here is what you should do.

Abs are made and maintained in the kitchen — but there is a little bit more to it than this. We do have a few other parts of the missing puzzle to understand, as they can hold us back from achieving those abdominals we want. For example, do you have to work hard — yes? Do you have to watch what you eat — yes again? Of course, but it’s an achievable goal, and here’s how.

First thing: Pay attention to your food choices

I know I had to mention this first, as it’s essential but straightforward. The key to flatter and toned abs is eating protein, veggies and fats. This is the first stage towards losing some belly fat, which those ab muscles are hiding under. There is no particular recipe here; live food and indulgences in moderation. Yes, it is hard to say no to temptation — but can you deal with having an indulgence only a couple of times a week instead of every day? So save your belly on the nourishing stuff.

Second thing: HIIT — spring intervals

This is the best exercise to eliminate the belly fat on your midsection. Heck, it’s the best way to burn fat from all over your body. Don’t spend hours killing yourself on the treadmill for hours or eating less food. Sprints increase your metabolic rate for hours -even days after the workout. Eight-second bursts of sprinting repeated intermittently for 20 minutes three times a week help overweight men lose 4 pounds of body weight loss. The most eye-opening finding of this study is that 17 per cent of that fat lost was visceral! That’s the most dangerous fat on your body. So, if you have a substantial amount of visceral fat, make HIIT a big part of your training schedule.

Third thing: Weight train using lifts that force you to engage your trunk

These are my absolute favourite lifts. If you focus on your form and engage your abs as you lift the weight, the abdominal muscles will get a workout too. But let’s get back to the big lifts. These include deadlifts, Romanian deadlifts and squats. Because these lifts are intense, and you may only spend one or two sessions a week on them, it makes sense to bring conscious awareness to your abdominals throughout all exercises you perform. With practice, you will be engaging them all the time, and your abdominal shape will start to form.

Four: Learn to breathe properly

This is a HUGE one! So many people forget to breathe or don’t breathe properly when performing an exercise, especially with ab crunches (or not engaging their abs at all). When you breathe deeply while engaging your abs, it can enhance the force of the contraction for greater adaptation. There are a lot of different youtube videos online that can instruct you to breathe effectively for that proper contraction. Here is one that you might like to view: Ab breathing video. I could go into a rabbit hole of instructional videos. Therefore I will leave that to your discretion.

Five: Don’t spend one whole workout on ab crunches. 

Ab crunches are great for those with some abdominal formation & who are already lean — but they should not be the dictator of your workout. Planks can improve your core strength quite effectively, but lifting those heavier weights with full-body activation will be much more beneficial. In saying that, it is nice to work your abdominals regularly. I usually throw them into my workout at the end or sometimes when I finish my cardio workout. Don’t give up on the exercises — ensure your nutrition is up to speed and use the most beneficial lifts, as that will always make a lasting difference to your abdominal goals. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope it helps you along your journey. 

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