The abdominal muscles are very debatable subject especially during the summer period. The so called “showing off’ muscles are easy achievable for those who are genetically gifted, for others almost impossible to have if you don’t pay close attention to every step that you are doing. For a nice looking “six pack” you have to put hard work, sweat, and a 24/7 dedication to your nutrition.
In this article we’re going to provide 5 tips for stronger and leaner abs. Pay close attention to every single step if you are serious about transforming your core into a “Hercules” one.
- Change the type of carbs you eat
-The type of carbohydrates that you eat can be significant if not the most important thing in achieving your goal to have leaner abs. Those simple carbohydrates that you eat can cause bloating, gasses, GI discomfort. If you eat simple carbohydrates at not appropriate times, eventually you’ll be adding fat to your abdominal area. If your source of carbohydrates is only coming from white rice, white bread, potato and white pasta, you are too far away from nice looking abs. Replace them with complex carbohydrates (whole-grain rice, bulgur, barley, oats, etc.) and you’ll see changes within a week. Consume high glycemic carbohydrates only one hour before and immediately after your workouts to support your gains in lean muscle mass, and to promote glycogen synthesis so you can recover faster. Avoid eating them at different time intervals. Also you can choose carbs that are coming from vegetables and in not so big amounts from fruits as well.
- Run for your Abs!
-Running is a form of exercise that targets many muscle groups. It is second form of exercise (swimming longer distances being first) that burns the most kcal per minute, according to ACSM. Incorporating high-intensity interval training into your program 2-3 times per week will have massive results on your core. This type of training burns abdominal fat to a larger degree. It lasts no more than 20 minute, so you’ll get more bangs for the buck.
- Focus on lifting heavy compound movements
– Compound multijoint exercises like the squat, front squat, deadlift, involve a large number of muscle groups. Because you are lifting heavy weights on them, your abs work like crazy to stabilize your body and to avoid injuries. As you progress with these lifts in weight, your abs will get stronger and stronger. Also you can perform exercises like shoulder presses or barbell/dumbbell curls and other exercises standing. When you perform any type of exercise in standing position, your core gets more activated. Embrace your core – a sentence that is used a lot in weightlifting and powerlifting world.
- Avoid alcohol!
–Alcohol after fat is second most dense caloric nutrient. It has 7kcal per 1 gram. Drinking alcohol more than recommended can mess up your goals to shredded abs. It contains empty calories. Especially avoid cocktails because they contain a hell lot of calories. For example some servings of the famous Piña Colada can contain up to 644 calories. You absolutely want to avoid this.
5. Add variety to your ab routine
-Abdominal muscles are just like any other muscle groups so you should train them in that way. The only difference is that they as anti-gravity muscles contain more slow-twitch muscle fibers and can endure more work. Stop doing just crunches for sets of 12-20 reps. Add some exercises using weight, isometric contraction ( holds for time), vary the rep scheme, etc. The thing that you want to avoid is training them every single day. Avoid training them before heavy compound lifts, as they can get fatigued and compromise your lifts. Work them 3-4 days per week and use the progression principle like with any other lift.