As a personal fitness trainer, I hear one common question over and over again. And not from the people of a specific age group, but people of all ages, sexes, and levels of physical fitness. It is: “How can I flatten my belly and get six-pack abs?”
These people have different reasons for having a trimmed midsection. Some people want it for vanity reasons, and some want to wear the smart fitting clothes without worrying about belly bulge, and some other just want to feel & look best when they take their shirt off at the beach.
On top of the all above, more toned midsection is important for health reasons. According to Harvard, carrying too much abdominal (belly) fat enhances the risks of certain health conditions such as cardiovascular (heart) disease; type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, and metabolic issues. Thus, getting rid of “abdominal fat” helps improve your overall health. (Source: Harvard)
In this article, you will find effective tips and steps about how to build 6-Pack Abs and a well toned mid section ribbed with solid rock abs.
Ripped Six-Pack Abs: How to Build a Better Core
Good news: There are certain exercises that target our midsection regions. Broadly, they fall into two main categories:
(i) Strength training workout with a focus on toning your abs
(ii) Cardio routine
Strength Training Exercises – Building Ab Muscles
Here are some of the muscle-building exercises:
Let us begin with exercises that will target your core muscles.
(i) Bicycle crunches target the rectus abdominis & obliques.
(ii) Reverse crunches – work on the lower abdomen
(iii) Hanging leg raises recruit mainly the rectus abdominis and obliques
Effective Cardio Routine For Slimmer, Toned Core
Including cardio in your workout program also helps getting flat, muscular abdominal region.
A good option is HIIT (high-intensity interval training).
HIIT builds not only core muscles, but also helps lose fat (weight). This explains why HIIT works so well for developing six-pack abs. Moreover, with HIIT option you can hit your midsection in a couple of different ways leading to faster results.
If you are new to HIIT, you should begin slowly. Gradually, you will develop stamina and endurance, which will enable you to take on a higher-intensity cardio program.
A research study regarding intervals was done on a group involving 26 participants, who did HIIT 3 times a week. This study found that sixty seconds of high-intensity exercise followed by sixty seconds rest worked better than thirty seconds of high-intensity followed by 120 seconds break.
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Rock Solid Abs – What About the Belly Fat?
When it comes to Six-Packs, you need to take few other steps to shed excess belly fat In addition to building muscle and engaging in the right cardio.
You will never be able to see your abdominal area ribbed with abs, if a layer of fat is covering them. That’s why it’s important to lose weight, which will also help getting rid of fat.
No doubt, doing regular exercises (strength & cardio) can help you achieve that goal, but diet also plays an equally important role.
“How Can You Get Six-Pack Abs?” – Role of Diet!
1st Rule: Including more whole foods, like veggies, fruits, and lean protein in your diet.
2nd Rule: Keep completely away from, and if not possible then eliminate most of the processed foods that are high in sugar, sodium and fat from your diet, such as crackers, cookies, and desserts.
3rd Rule: How much should you eat for getting six-pack abs? In simple words, the answer is to eat just enough calories to get the nutrients you need, but not so much that they end up stored as excess fat.
Useful Related Post: Diet To Lose Belly Fat
If you are thin and want a more toned, muscular midsection, increase your calories intake gradually by say 200-300 calories a day and eat foods high in protein. On the other hand, if you are overweight, you should cut down on calories intake gradually and unhealthy carbohydrates such as white bread & white rice. Instead, you should go for more nutrient-dense options such as quinoa and whole wheat.
Note: Although you need to reduce your body fat to better uncover your abs, this doesn’t mean that you eliminate all fats from your diet. Actually, healthy fats are essential part of a well-rounded diet plan, which needs taking in different fatty acids. Foods that provide these healthy fatty acids include fish, nuts, seeds, and oils.
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Another dietary suggestion for creating Six-Pack abs is to drink green tea. Some studies have reported that the catechins in green tea help lose weight.
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Doing exercises and eating healthy foods will not flatten your tummy overnight. Don’t go to extreme and try to lose weight too fast. Actually, it can do more harm than good in the long run.