Everyone wants rock hard abs, but does anyone know what it really takes to get them? Find out how to get great abs the “real” way, without all those fancey machines and gadgets.
What It Takes!
1.) Diet – If you want those washboard abs then you are going to have to eat lean to be lean! Decrease your fat intake, take out all fatty cuts of meat and avoid excess sugar and cheeses.
“The yes list:
- Water and cranberry juice will flush out toxins.
- Rice, corn, gluten-free products and potato.
- Protein. Go for organic chicken and meat because they have less hormones and bacteria.
- Low-GI foods. Look for the label on foods in supermarkets.
- Fibre. It regulates your bowel movements so include wholegrain bread, cereal and nuts in your diet.
The no list:
- Too much fruit, wheat and dairy can cause bloating. Don’t cut these out of your diet altogether, just reduce your servings to two a day.
- Alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks.
- Salt makes you retain water unnecessarily so stay away from processed (takeaway, packet) foods which are high in sodium.
- Chillies and spices. While they can kick-start your metabolism, they can also upset your stomach, so just monitor your body’s reaction to spicy foods (credit).”
2.) DROP BODY FAT – If you don’t get your body fat down then you will never be able to see your abs. It doesn’t matter how hard your abs are; if you can’t see them then you what is the point?
3.) BURN EXCESS CALORIES – burning a lot of calories ensures that you body fat falls. Burn more calories then you consume and you will always be losing. To ensure that you burn excess calories do a cardio routine 4-5 days a week (30-40) minutes. Also Add in weight training to ensure that you build muscle to increase your muscle mass (which burns 50 calories for every pound of muscle).
4.) Do Your Routine – Most people who are concerned about their abs have some sort of “ab routine” that they do every day or every other day. Most people are under the impression that it is the amount of repetitions that you preform that give you results. However, testing has shown that it’s not the amount of crunches you do but how long it takes you to do them. It’s the time that your muscle are continuously under tension that makes the difference overall.
* When picking a routine…. chose 11 exercises (yes I said 11). If you don’t know 11 exercises then go online and find 11 different exercises. Now, do 20 -30 reps of each exercise (1 set) untill you finish 1 set of each. Do this routine every other day.
“Basic crunch: Lie flat on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Put your hands behind your head for support only, not to take any weight. Using your stomach muscles only, rise a few inches off the ground, hold for three seconds and return to your starting position.
Standing twist: Stand tall and hold a towel or resistance band high above your head so your arms are straight. Slowly draw a large, wide circle over your head using your stomach muscles to move only the upper half of your body. To make it harder, use a weight instead of a towel.
Feet lift: Lie flat on the ground and keeping your feet together and legs straight, raise your legs three inches off the ground. Hold for five seconds, lower them an inch and hold for five again. Don’t let your feet touch the ground at any time.
Hanging knee raises: Hang from a high bar, like a chin-up bar. Bring your knees up to your chest, hold for three seconds, then bring your legs back down. Only use your abdominal muscles to lift your legs, keep your body still and use controlled, slow movements. Slow bicycles: Lie on your back with your left knee bent towards your chest and your right leg extended a few inches off the ground. Place your hands behind your head and lift your shoulders slightly. Swap your legs slowly, keeping your feet and shoulders off the ground (credit).”
*To see some more 3-D exercises go to www.netfit.co.uk/fitness/exercises/abdominals/free-abdominal-exercises.htm
“Tricky tips to a flatter tummy
As well as exercise and healthy eating, there are a few small things you can do to reduce your jelly belly…
- Stand up straight: be conscious of your posture and pull your stomach in, it’ll force your middle muscles to work 24/7.
- Breathe: it’s perhaps the most important, yet most neglected, aspect of ab-training. Deeply exhale through your mouth and inhale through your nose as often as possible.
- Laugh: having a good giggle works all the muscles in your stomach.
- Get a good night’s sleep: lack of snooze time will lead to poor digestion and weight gain.
- Eat early: the later you eat dinner, the harder it is for your body to digest so the food just sits around your stomach.
- Colonic irrigation: some people swear by the process of flushing bacteria out of your stomach with pressurised water. It will flatten your belly, however, it’s a tad uncomfortable and not for everyone so do some research.
- De-stress: we hold stress in our tummies so find an outlet for your worries like Tai Chi, boxing, reading, swimming, painting or writing.
- Moisturise: supple, tanned skin gives the illusion of a tighter tummy so invest in a good moisturiser and fake tan.
- Dress right: certain fabrics cling to our skin more than others so if you want to play down a jelly belly, opt for softer, more flexible fabrics like cotton, silk and chiffon (credit).”