Tips for Fabulous Abs
By Andrea Riggs
No body part is more in demand than a great midsection. Part of the reason for this is that abs are quick indicators of our fitness and health. Truly, how you look from the front makes you look good or bad. Your midsection is the core of your body and posture. All human movement begins and ends at the core.
Let’s spend some time understanding how you can achieve absolutely fabulous abs. First, how you eat is the biggest indicator of how your midsection looks. It’s a proven fact that breakfast eaters have a flatter midsection and are less likely to be overweight than breakfast skippers. If you add the positive dietary impacts of eating well-balanced meals, staying away from fried foods, sugar and red meat, the belly fat in your midsection will begin to disappear. Also, you can train your body to burn fat better by eating lean proteins, whole grain starches and healthy fats such as nuts, avocadoes, olives and safflower oil. There are a few other factors, some which you can control, others which you just can’t. Yes, flat abs has a lot to do with your genetics. Also, your body fat has to be low for the four separate muscles (rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques and transverse abdominals) to appear as six individual muscle packs. This is where the term six-pack comes from. Finally, look around at the midsections of dancer’s, track runners and boxers, and you’ll find some of the most absolutely fabulous abs around. The secret is not doing millions of crunches, knee raises or sit-ups.
The real magic is in these key strategies…..here a few of my favorite tips of fabulous abs:
Tip 1 -Eat Breakfast – How you eat is the biggest indicator of how your midsection looks. It’s a proven fact that breakfast eaters have a flatter midsection. So jumpstart
your metabolism with a balanced low-fat breakfast, eat every 3 hours, and stay away from high fat and sugar foods to make your midsection disappear.
Tip 2 – Add Quality Ab & Back Training- A variety of twisting, crunching, hanging, leg lifting and side bends, both on the floor and standing are essential to targeting different muscles. Also, work on strengthening the lower back muscles which connect to the abdominals and pull them in, kind of like a rubber-band. Be sure to rest in between training. The abs are muscles, and need to recover in order to grow and build. Focus on proper form, holding your abs tight and squeezing your belly button in on every movement. Quality is about maintaining tension throughout your movements, not quantity. Save your ab exercises until last, as they will already be tired from the workout, and that will increase the training effect.
Tip 3 – Go Lean & Green – Always plan your dinner meal to include lean protein and 2 to 3 green veggies, but no starches!! Also, a small serving of protein or a fruit or vegetable is a staple of each meal & snack. The extra nutrients and protein you consume will provide good calories and support your body’s lean muscle mass to reveal your 6 pack.
Tip 4 – Drink Water, Water, Water- In order to eliminate abdominal bloating and flush out toxins, drink half your body weight in water. This will allow you to see the beautiful lines resulting from your abdominal toning and shaping program. The more water you drink, the more your body will release excess water.
Tip 5 – Get More Cardio – Trim your mid-section by burning additional calories and lowering your body set point through consistent and moderate cardio. Schedule 45 minutes of cardio at least three times per week and or 30 minutes of daily power walking to move your midsection and trim body fat.