Tips To a Toner & Trimmer Tummy
There are few things sexier than lean and defined abs… man or woman, it’s doesn’t really matter, I find firm toned abs to be incredibly alluring. Seeing washboard abs on an Abercrombie & Fitch male model, or one of Victoria’s Secrets’ Angels is likely to make me drool, and then curse my own genetic make up. I, like most people, find it challenging to achieve (and then maintain) the sleek and toned mid-section that is desired by so many. I battle with staying in shape and looking good as much as the next person; it’s constant work with slow results, but once the results are there, it’s awesome!
I was going to go through a step-by-step list of exercises I do to get my strong abs, but Google will take care of that anyway… there’s no shortage of articles that will explain different exercises to you. Instead, what I want to share with you are a few key pointers on getting the abs you want and developing a strong core:
- Eating Habits
Okay, here it is: you are what you eat! It’s not just a childish taunt, it’s the real deal. If you eat crap, then you’ll look and feel like crap. If you’re doing 1,000 crunches everyday but still eating fast food and sugary drinks and donuts and candy… guess what? All that crap you’re ingesting is gonna stick to your belly and hold on for dear life. Being healthy and fit is a lifestyle you have to choose to live and maintain, and eating right is a large part of that.I don’t drink soda. Ever. There is absolutely nothing good for me in those sweet fizzy drinks. And I only eat complex carbs. If I have to eat rice, I eat brown or red rice (eating white rice, you might as well just eat a bowl of sugar). I stay away from fried foods. I eat lean/skinless protein, and as much raw fruits and vegetables as possible.
- The Genetic Factor
First thing you have to know is that everyone’s abdominal muscles (as well as entire body) are uniquely shaped. Your genetic makeup will play a significant part in your ultimate physique. Understanding your body shape will help you with having realistic goals when working for those killer abs.For years I had desired to have Heidi Klum’s sleek and toned abs. And for years I kept getting disappointed and frustrated. Turns out I’m not built like an Angel. Even when I was able to get my fat levels low enough to see all my hard work, it was plainly obvious that I will never look like Heidi (what… you mean I don’t come from supermodel [superhuman] skinny genes?!). But the good thing was that finally understanding that uniqueness of my natural shape, I was able to set realistic goals for my body, and became a much happier person once I reached those goals.
- Kick Up Your Cardio
You’ve been doing planks and crunches like a madman, you know your core is strong, and yet there’s still that layer of fat on your belly preventing the definition of your abdominal muscles from showing? You’re not alone. That damn stubborn layer of fat is your enemy and you have to defeat it by kicking up your cardio and burning it away. Running, swimming, and cycling are some very effective ways to get your heart rate to the cardio level where you will start burning fat. The key really is in reaching that cardio level in your workout. If you’re on a stationary bike, pedaling at leisure and not working up a sweat, you’re not going to burn fat.My cardio (in addition to my regular training) is alternated between long runs, inclined sprints, lap swimming, and rowing – whatever it takes to burn fat and keep my heart rate at a steady cardio level for at least 30 minutes.
- Change Is Good
Variety is, after all, the spice of life – and this couldn’t be more true for working out. Abdominal muscles are just like any other muscle group, they need to be challenged and pushed beyond their comfort zone. Varying your ab exercises will keep your muscles guessing and working hard, so change it up and add different exercises to your abs routine.I do different ab exercises everyday, rarely will I repeat the same exercise 2 days in a row. Sometimes I will hold my position longer to fatigue my muscles, sometimes I add weights to shock my abs and make them work a bit harder. Adding a few more reps or increasing the speed of my ab exercises also does the trick; I just have to remember to keep my muscles wondering “what’s next?”
This is by no means the Holy Grail of how-to-get-a-6-pack, simply this is what works for me and I’m content with my results. Most of this is just common sense, but we tend to forget about it until it’s in our face and being told by someone else. Find what works for you and keep it up; don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results, these things take time, but it’s so worth it once you reach your abs goal.
If you see me hanging out at Punch Out in between training, feel free to ask me about different ab exercises. If I have the moment, I’ll be more than happy to do some ab work with ya =)
What are your secrets to a lean and sexy mid-section? Or have questions about your abs routine? Drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you.
Follow me on twitter @ShirleyGirley15
“The act of taking the first step is what separates the winners from the losers.”
– Brian Tracy, motivational speaker