Whether you’re looking to get more involved in fitness or simply trying to prep for that beach body, abs are an integral part of either of those goals. Unfortunately, it’s a goal shared by many but achieved by few. In this article, we’ll be sharing six tips on the best and fastest way to get 6-pack abs and ensure you reach those goals.
Tip 1: Nutrition
That saying “Abs are made in the kitchen”? Yeah, that’s true. When it comes to getting a six-pack, there is no way around nutrition. Nutrition MUST be the first step and perhaps the most important step to consider. No matter how hard you work in the gym, if your nutrition is worse than the amount of work you’re putting in at the gym, you simply won’t be lean enough to show off those abs.
Ab visibility and body fat percentage are directly related. This means that you can work your abs until you can’t crack a joke without doubling over in pain, but if you’re still wolfing down whoopie waffles and bacon, you will NOT be able to see them. Even if you don’t directly train your abs, if you lower your body fat percentage, the muscles will be more visible.
Key takeaway: You need to create a balance between both the gym and the kitchen if you truly want to see abs
Tip 2: Fat Loss
This goes hand in hand with nutrition. As stated above, you need to be lean enough for your abdominal muscles to become visible. Since the main driver of this component is fat, we need to lose it as soon as possible. Losing fat can be done through diet, nutrition, and other methods we show below backed up by studies and science:
Evidence supports a range of dietary strategies in enhancing sports performance. It is likely that combining several strategies will be of greater benefit than one strategy in isolation. Dietary strategies to enhance performance include optimizing intakes of macronutrients, micronutrients, and fluids, including their composition and spacing throughout the day.
Review of diet strategies employed by athletes
- Maximizing muscle glycogen stores prior to exercise
- The “train-low, compete-high” approach
- Fat as a fuel during endurance exercise
- Dietary supplementation: nitrates, beta-alanine, and vitamin D
Key takeaway: As long as the diet of your choice includes and brings on a variety of healthy food -- fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and lean protein -- either type can work. Just make sure the diet plan allows you enough food and calories that hunger won't undermine your efforts to lose weight
Tip 3: Do More Cardio
Keep your heart rate elevated and work on your cardiovascular training. Not only is this good for your heart and overall fitness, but it’s a sure way to lose fat. Here are the expert-approved top 5 types of cardio to help you lose weight faster and show results sooner:
If you’re outside on a track, try sprinting a lap and then jog a lap. Keep repeating this for as long as you can. If you’re on a treadmill, do an all-out sprint for 20-30 seconds, then slow the belt down and jog for a minute or so before repeating.
2) High-intensity interval training
HIIT gives you a well-rounded workout while burning a ton of fat and calories.
“You’re essentially fighting gravity, so your muscles are working extra hard to keep you afloat without getting a break until you’re out of the water,” says Boudro. “In fact, with just one minute of fast swimming, you’ll burn 14 calories.”
Remember that the type of stroke makes a difference, Adams says. “A breaststroke burns fewer calories than the butterfly, so be sure to incorporate different strokes in your training.”
4) Jumping Rope
It’s cheap, easy to do, increases foot speed, and burns a ton of calories.
“Jumping rope not only enhances your footwork, shoulder strength, and coordination, but also simulates sprinting, allowing you to burn as much as 500 calories in just 30 minutes,” says Ben Boudro, C.S.C.S., owner of Xceleration Fitness in Auburn Hills, MI..
5) Running (Moderate pace)
Running at a steady, moderate pace is a sure way to burn fat and calories, but it’s not the most economical way to build or even maintain muscle.
Key takeaways: Training is just as important as diet. Training your Cardiovascular is a focal point when it comes to your abs revealing themselves
Tip 4: Switch up your Abs routine often
Training your abs properly does not mean doing as many crunches as possible. Instead, you should include some abdominal rotation and resistance movements to your training. Try Russian twists, windshield wipers, or woodchoppers, etc.
Your abs complex, which is all your abs muscles, comprises the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal obliques, and external obliques. If you do standard crunches 7 days a week for 300 reps, your rectus abdominis muscle (the six-pack muscle) is likely to get trained much more intensely than the other abs muscles. Doing a bunch of crunches does not necessarily translate into a strong abs, or a stable core.
Key takeaways: there are much more effective ways to work out your abs then to do a bunch of crunches every workout
Tip 5: Drink More Water
It doesn’t get simpler than this. Drinking enough water helps you lose weight. Yes, that’s right. Aim higher than 8 cups a day.
In an eight-week study published in 2013, when 50 girls with excess weight drank about two cups of water half an hour before breakfast, lunch, and dinner without any additional dietary changes, they lost weight and saw reductions in body mass index and body composition scores.
Drinking water appears to stimulate thermogenesis, or heat production, in the body, particularly when it's chilled. The body has to expend energy to warm the fluid to body temperature, and the more energy expended by your body, the faster your metabolism (the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy) runs. Specifically, drinking about two cups of 71°F water led to a 30% average increase in the metabolic rates of 14 healthy adults in a small 2003 study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Key takeaways: Water regulates blood pressure.
Tip 6: Cut Down on Refined Carbs
Instead of eating foods like bread and pasta, substitute them for foods like sweet potatoes and brown rice. It will help keep your blood levels from spiking.
Key takeaways: Extra glucose is stored in your liver, muscles and other cells for later use converted as fat. The idea behind the low-carb diet is that decreasing carbs lowers insulin levels, which causes the body to burn stored fat for energy and ultimately leads to weight loss.
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