There are so many benefits to building core strength — it’s healthy, it boosts energy levels, and (let’s be honest) it looks flat-out sexy. Getting that oft-talked about “six pack” requires a tremendous deal of hard work and dedication, but it is possible. The following four tips can help!
1. Eat Right
You might be tired of hearing the cliche that “abs are made in the kitchen,” but that doesn’t mean that the old axiom is any less true — or any less important. The truth is that everyone has ab muscles; they simply aren’t visible because most of us, (even the relatively fit), have too much body fat to allow our rectus abdominis muscles to show! The reason why “abs are made in the kitchen” is such a pervasive phrase is precise because burning fat is extremely inefficient when compared to not eating excessive calories in the first place.
2. Focus on Compound Ab Workouts
Too many dedicated fitness enthusiasts end up wasting their time by focusing on ineffective and potentially dangerous exercises such as sit-ups and crunches. A better alternative is to focus on compound workouts that help develop all the muscles in the core — from the traditional “six pack” lower abs muscles to the lower back to the obliques, and the upper abdomen. Check out this recent Top Fitness Mag article on The Best Core Exercises to learn more about your options.
3. Add Weighted Ab Exercises When You Are Ready
Weighted exercises always put more strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments than “natural” exercises do — which is why no one should attempt weighted ab exercises until they have already explored the diversity of natural workout options at their disposal. However, if you have reached the point where sit-ups, crunches, planking, and windshield wipers no longer challenge you to the extent that they should, then you may wish to begin trying exercises such as kneeling crunches, weighted planks, or kettlebell windmills.
4. Try HIIT Exercises as an Efficient Strategy for Burning Calories
We already mentioned that burning body fat is an absolute must for anyone who aspires to have visible ab muscles — and, as any fitness enthusiast should already know, reducing calorie intake is almost always preferable to burning away calories. However, if you do aim to burn calories, you should be aware that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a far more efficient route to doing this than most regular cardio exercises such as jogging, swimming, or jumping rope. If you are looking to learn more about HIIT exercises, then you will be happy to know that Top Fitness Magazine maintains an extensive collection of informative articles on HIIT biking and running, as well as several equipment recommendations for those looking to take their high-intensity interval training program to the next level.
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