In everyday activities and exercise, balance and stability matter. Core strength training improves both. Core strength training not only works the muscles in the hips, abdomen and back, it also trains them to all work and function together. It builds coordination between these muscles, and working together balances and stabilizes your body.
When you train your chest, your back, your arms, your legs, and everything else, for that matter, you use weights to properly develop the muscle targeted. But when it comes to abs, many people ditch the weights and go crazy doing countless numbers of crunches.
Start doing loaded abdominal work. You’ll feel a dramatic difference in the stimulus.
The ab wheel can produce excellent results. It trains not only the abdominal muscles but the entire core, including the lower back, latisimus and gluteal muscles. Arm and leg muscles also come into play to create a total body workout.
More challenging exercises can be performed using the ab wheel. The rollout can be done standing on your feet rather than kneeling. Other exercises can be executed with ab wheel strapped to your feet. For example, assume a push-up position, and then push and pull your legs forward and back, rolling on the ab wheel. In this same push-up position you can raise your hips in the air, rolling the ab wheel toward you to form a pike position. Lying on your back, you also can lift your hips off of the floor and roll the ab wheel with your legs.
Level of Difficulty
While the ab wheel is a simple device, it is quite challenging on the body. At first you may not be able to roll out very far. It is a good idea to limit your ab wheel workout to 10 reps for the first few days. Your endurance will build up over time, and you will be able to roll out farther and complete more repetitions.
85%+ of Your Results Comes from What you Eat
I can’t stress how HUGE this is. Whether weight loss or gaining muscle, diet and what you eat is the biggest part of the equation. I don’t care how advanced and special your workouts are, if your nutrition stinks then you will most likely get little results. This is not discounting the importance of working out either, as that is key too to help stimulate muscle growth and keep your metabolism strong in the process.
But a simple workout with enough resistance/volume 3x/wk and dialed in nutrition will give phenomenal results. Too many just workout to use that as an excuse not to do the hard stuff, as in eat right the rest of the time.
Abs are Made in the Kitchen
Most people think doing some ab exercises at the end of your workout for 30min and that will be enough stimulation, but without proper focus on diet/nutrition you will never see those abs in the first place.
“We all have a six pack, we just have to get rid of the fat covering it up.”
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The most important thing to always remember. Is to get abs to show in the first place, is to attain a low body fat percentage. If too much body fat is covering your ab muscles, no definition will show.
Try to perform the following exercises 2 to three 3 a week either before or after your other weight lifting exercises or on the off days, you’ll be well on your way to improving the looks and strength of your abs and core muscles.
*Remember: To really zero in on the ab muscles that you’re working, think about and feel the contraction take place.
Aim to maintain about 30 seconds of rest between sets, completing 3 to 4 sets of each of these exercises.
To do leg raises without equipment, lie on the floor on your back. Keep the lower back in contact with the floor and place hands to sides or under lower back for support. Lift legs upward as far as possible. Lower down to starting position slowly and with control. Make sure back stays flat on floor and abdominals are tight. The exercise is easier if legs are bent, harder if legs are straight.
The prone ball roll
The prone ball roll-outs are another great movement for targeting the lower abs as well as the hip flexors. To perform these simply place the feet up on an exercise ball while the body is face down towards the ground. While in this position you want to be balancing on the hands which are placed directly below the shoulders.
From there, slowly roll the ball in towards the body until you’re in a fully contracted position. Pause for a brief second at the top and then extend back out again to complete the rep. Note that this one may take a bit of practice to get your balance right on the ball so don’t give up if you struggle at first. If you keep at it, it won’t be long before you’re seeing the full benefits.
Exercise ball sit-up with a dumbbell
Regular exercise ball sit-ups are a great way to fully stimulate the muscle fibres in the abs, but for many of you, it’s no longer challenging enough. To up the intensity of this movement, add a dumbbell behind your head.
By placing it behind the head rather than over the chest as many people do with decline-weighted sit-ups, you lengthen the distance from the weight to the core, really adding to the difficulty.
As you move through the exercise, be sure to focus on the bottom half of the movement as this is where the muscles are extended the most, which will force them to contract harder.
Russian Twists On An Exercise Ball
Russian twists on the ball are an interesting exercise that is commonly forgotten about. To perform these lie again with the middle of the back against the ball but this time you want to hold a single dumbbell directly above you with both hands.
Once you’re balanced, slowly rotate the body (and dumbbell) to one side while keeping the arms fully extended.
After you’re as far as you can go while maintaining control and balance, lift back up to the starting position and then begin to twist to the other side.
The abs are one of the quickest-adapting muscle groups in the body, so it’s vital that you’re always trying something new to take them to the next level of development. Remember that one of the most critical elements to a successful ab routine is to always maintaining a focus on those ab muscles to prevent other muscles from helping out with the action.
One of the most frequently stated goals of men in the gym is to “get ripped abs.” The ab muscles are what really identify someone who is serious about their fitness and diet plan, because without determination and a fair amount of effort, getting ripped abs is a goal that will never be reached.
While everyone has developed ab muscles to some extent, it’s getting them to show that becomes the biggest issue for most. This is due to the fact that most of us tend to store our body fat, at least partially, in the abdominal region. This is also one of the most stubborn places to lose fat from.
That said, if you know the principles for how to get ripped abs, you can make this goal a reality.
The first thing you must realize is that every guy has his own uniquely shaped abs. Randomly selecting a picture out of some men’s magazine or billboard and saying that’s what you want your abs to be like could be slightly self-defeating, because even if you did get to low enough body fat levels, your abs may not be genetically shaped in a similar way; therefore, the appearance of your abs will still be different.
Recognizing that this factor is out of your control and not getting hung up on it is one step forward on your quest to get ripped abs. If you are unable to do this, you’ll only become more frustrated as time progresses, which is a serious motivational killer.
Rest assured, though, that if you can get your body fat levels low enough and perform correct, targeted exercises for this muscle group, your midsection will garner second glances.
Next comes the diet aspect of the equation. Ever heard the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen”? Nothing could speak the truth more. As stated, everyone has some ab muscles, but most have a layer of body fat hiding them. Removing this layer is going to be about 90% dietary effort and 10% exercise effort when it comes right down to it. If you aren’t ready to take control over the foods you are putting in your mouth, getting ripped abs should not be a goal for you.
While the old notion used to be that you should eat a diet as low in fat as possible in order to remove body fat, this has changed in modern times. Now, diets that are higher in protein, moderate in fat and low or moderate in carbs are making headway, as this helps to control insulin levels better, and insulin happens to be the prime hormone that stores body fat (in a hypercaloric balance).
That’s not to say you can’t get lean on a higher-carbohydrate diet; you most certainly can — and some guys do — but for the vast majority, hunger levels are much more manageable on a low to moderate carb approach, which correspondingly makes eating fewer calories easier.
At the end of the day, it’s really going to come down to your total calorie intake, with less importance placed on how you get there — assuming sufficient protein is present, of course.
Finally, you have the actual ab routine. The regular performance of these exercises will play a large role in shaping the way your abs look once the fat is removed and they are visible.
Furthermore, since your ab muscles form the core of your body and are recruited for all other lifting exercises, it only makes sense that you’d want to dedicate some time to strengthening them.
When selecting ab exercises, think of anything that will decrease your stability — this effectively causes the abs to work harder as they are recruited. Exercise balls are the perfect tool for this, and there are a variety of movements you can do with them.
Examples of such exercises include basic front and side crunches, ball kick-outs (lying on the floor with feet on either side of the ball and palms on the floor, squeeze the ball with your legs and move from a crunched to a straightened position), and lying leg raises with the ball between your legs.
If you are looking to actually increase the size of your ab muscles, weighted ab work will be your best bet. Since muscle tissue will only grow significantly when an overloading weight is placed upon it, you must treat your ab muscles like you would any other muscle in the body. You wouldn’t get as developed doing push-up after push-up as you would with heavy bench pressing, so the same principle applies here.
Terrific options here include decline weighted sit-ups, weight abdominal twists (moving from side to side), and hanging leg raises with weight strapped onto your ankles.
Finally, the last types of ab exercises to include in your program are ones that have you contracting the ab muscles and holding this contraction for an extended duration of time. The benefit to this is that it will help the abs learn how to remain contracted, which will help when it comes to keeping them slightly flexed, allowing the muscularity to show even more.
As you’ve likely done before, if you stand in the mirror and flex your abs they look better, right? Well, the more isometric contractions you do, the more habitual this type of positioning will become, and you’ll likely start to keep them contracted to a slight degree all the time without really noticing it.
This could include performing the plank exercise and variations of that or simply tensing your abs, holding for 10 seconds and releasing. Repeat this tense/hold combo 5 to 10 times a couple of times a day and you should notice a difference in a few weeks.
If you are trying to get ripped abs, be sure to keep these major factors in mind. Most importantly, do not overlook the importance of your diet. Far too many guys think that they can just be sure to do enough ab work and cardio to make up for a less-than-stellar diet, but this kind of thinking almost always leads to less-than-stellar results.
You can get a six-pack if you do a thousand crunches a day
The one thing every guy wants from his workout is a nice defined six-pack. Guys will do crunch upon crunch in their quest for perfect abs, but the reality is that if they have a layer of fat covering their muscles, definition will never come.
Their time would be much better spent doing some quality cardio sessions and making sure they are eating well, which would help them lose body fat — the key to unveiling remarkable abs.
There are various kinds of natural body building muscle regime which will benefit in the long run in many ways. The most important benefit of these regimes is that the muscles of the body are built through the natural process. So there is no fear of side effects and other kinds of health problems. And the muscles of the body also remain firmer and healthier for a longer time as compared to taking steroids. Hence it is best to chose the natural way of building muscles instead of opting for chemicals and drugs which cause the body more harm than good.
A healthy diet and the natural growth of muscles also help the body to develop naturally and hence enhance the immune system of the body to combat various kinds of diseases. It is the most preferred and safest way of building muscles.