A great set of abs really reflects serious dedication and hard work – not to mention how great they look. If you haven’t seen them pop out yet, it doesn’t mean you’re not working hard enough!
Many work tirelessly to shred their belly fat… patiently waiting for them to make an appearance.
However, just making a few simple changes and remaining consistent can prove to be incredibly effective in helping you shed away some of the unwanted fat and allow you to finally welcome your abs into the world!
1) Low body fat levels = Visible abs
This is probably one of the most important things to be aware of if you are on a quest to get show stopping abs. No amount of crunches and sit ups will get you amazing abs if you have high body fat levels. The level of body fat needed to attain visible abs varies from individual to individual.
The healthiest way to reduce your body fat levels is by monitoring your diet and exercising. Monitor your progress by taking frequent pictures and measurements; this will help keep you motivated on your journey to defined abs!
2) Abs are made in the kitchen
What you eat and how much can make a really big difference to achieving definition in your abs. If you eat a lot of junk food constantly and don’t watch your portion sizes you are going to find it a whole lot harder to reveal those abs.
Eating smartly and watching your calorie intake by regulating your portion sizes makes a huge difference. Junk food tends to be very high in sodium which can lead to bloating due to water retention.
Make sure you drink enough water through the day to avoid any unnecessary water retention, especially when the weather is hot.
3) Strip that body fat with cardio
Cardio is a really useful tool to strip down your body fat to reveal those abs that have been in hiding. A popular and effective type of cardio to perform is HIIT – high intensity interval training.
This is a really smart way to do your cardio as it has been shown in studies to burn maximum calories while preserving lean muscle mass. Basically you train at an all out effort for a short period of time then go at a slower pace for either the same amount of time or longer depending on your abilities.
It is also quick and keeps the calorie burn going long after you go home. Usually between five to ten intervals does the job nicely!
4) Don’t waste time trying to
spot reduce body fat
spot reduce body fat
This is one of the biggest myths in the fitness industry. You cannot spot reduce fat in one particular area. However, you can train the muscles so that there will be better definition there after you lose some body fat.
This is where specific abdominal training comes in useful. By exercising regularly and dialling in your diet, you will find as your body fat reduces, your abs will begin to appear!
5) Target the abs with specific exercises
Exercises such as the plank are extremely effective for the abs as are bicycle crunches and hanging ab raises. Keep your exercises varied and as you progress add some weight to the movements to make them even more effective.
Simply adding a dumbbell between your feet with reverse crunches makes the exercise so much more challenging. You can also add a weight plate for hanging leg raises.
6) Include compound exercises in your routine
Compound exercises such as the squat and the deadlift are effective multi-joint movements, therefore have the ability to really hit the abs and core in general.
The significant amount of effort needed to perform these movements also ensures a ton of lot of calories are burnt, therefore doubling up to tone up and shred fat using single exercises!
A bigger calorie burn leads to more fat loss over time if you keep your diet in check too! Alongside the benefits of a bigger calorie burn is also greater development of lean muscle mass with these exercises.
Lean muscle mass burns more calories at rest than fat and so this too will contribute to even more calories being burned overall.
Take home message
Getting visible or flat abs is a huge achievement and a reflection of hard work and dedication to your goals.
By following these simple but effective tips, you will have a blueprint to get great results.
The trick is always consistency!
Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.