There are many, many reasons why you may not be seeing your abs (abdominal muscles). For some, the reason is obvious, but for others who are doing everything they can to get in shape, be healthy, and work out regularly, why isn’t it working? I did some quick research on what holds people back from getting the types of abs that they only dream about and some tips to get them moving in the right direction. Here is what I found…
It’s a sacrifice
To get those six-pack abs, it will take sacrifice. You’ll have to give up things to make your abs show up. Alcohol…you’re out of here. Snack foods…goodbye. It takes a pretty healthy diet to make those six-pack abs show up. You’ll have to sacrifice some things that make you happy in order to see them. You’ll have to work out regularly and be consistent with a healthy diet. Is that what you really want to do?
5 Ways to Make Your Abs Appear
You’ve decided having six-pack abs is worth all the sacrifice, so how do you make your abs appear? Here are 5 ways to get you closer to the abs of your dreams:
1. Use a variety of full range exercises
Crunches are okay, and on the floor sit-ups help, but they won’t get the job done alone. You need to focus on exercises that give you a full range to stretch your abs out. Focus on the negative range of all your exercises. You want exercises that are really going to contract the abs and have larger ranges of motion. You can try decline sit-ups, stability ball sit-ups, and leg raises (hanging or off the edge of the bench). You need that full range of motion.
2. You need a good diet
They say that abs are made in the kitchen, and that’s definitely a part of the equation. Without a healthy diet, it’ll be hard to lose the abdominal fat which is typically the last to go. A lot of people also have high insulin resistance, which really is your enemy when you’re trying to burn fat. You can decrease your insulin resistance with a fasting diet plan and avoiding all forms of simple sugars like ice cream, candy, and soda.
3. Use weights for ab workouts
We learned in gym class to do sit-ups and basic exercises to “stay in shape.” But I never heard my gym teacher talk about using weights in my ab workouts. If you want your ab muscles to show, you need to build up your ab muscles. Add weights into your ab exercises. For example, hold a weight across your chest when you do decline sit-ups. Increase the weight over time. Don’t just focus on high reps. Focus more on high intensity levels.
4. Give your abs a break
Some people think they need to work their abs every day. That’s not true. Ideally, work them out 2-3x a week. Monday/Wednesday/Friday is a great schedule which gives your abs a day break in between each workout. They need time to heal to grow and you certainly want to avoid injury. You can’t work out injured abs.
5. Do cardio on an empty stomach
One great way to burn off fat and get those abs showing is to do cardio on an empty stomach. Try to do some cardio first thing in the morning. Go for a run, do some jumping jacks, jump some rope, or go on the treadmill. This will help you burn calories. And since you’ve been sleeping for at least 6-8 hours, you’ll have an empty stomach, which will aid in burning more fat.
Six-pack abs aren’t for everyone, though I believe everyone can get there if they are willing to sacrifice some of the joys in their lives, for long periods of time. If you want those dream abs, you have to give up the alcohol and the junk foods and focus, consistently, on working out and eating healthy. It takes a lot of work to get and keep six-pack abs. Personally, I’ve had a decent set of abs going before, but it wasn’t easy and they won’t hang around without a lot of sacrifice.
If you decide you want to make the sacrifice and go for the dream abs, follow these suggestions, be consistent, and you’ll be able to bounce a nickel off your abs in no time!!!