Whether you are looking to get that six-pack, or just want to get rid of bodyfat around the midsection, there are three keys to getting abdominal development.
Believe it or not, most lower back injuries occur due to weak abs. Strong abdominal development will help support your lower back and improve your posture. If you focus on these three areas you will see improved results over time.
Proper Cardiovascular Work:
If you want to see your abs you have to get rid of bodyfat. You can do useless crunchess all day but you will never get results. In order to get abdominal development you must incorporate effective cardio training into your exercise routine to get rid of bodyfat. Spot reducing is a myth so you must burn it to see it!
The key to cardio training is intensity. You can do a slow walk on a treadmill for hours but that isn't going to do the trick. Cardio training three to five time a week is what you want. You can get rid of bodyfat with intense cardio training that involve HIIT(High Intensity Interval Training). Other methods you can use are jogging, running, the Stairmaster, the elliptical, jumping rope, or biking , all should be enough to get the process in gear. Swimming, hiking, and taking aerobics classes are beneficial as well. It must be intense cardio training to burn calories.
Again if you want to get rid of bodyfat than you have to help create a calorie deficit and burn more calories than you take in.
Just because your workout was intense does not give you a free pass to pig out. Proper nutrition is also a main factor that will also help get rid of bodyfat. It is quite simple. At the end of the day, if you have taken in more calories than you have burned, you will increase bodyfat. You must burn more calories than you take in, it can not be stated enough.
Reducing the amount of calories you take in will have an effect on the amount which you have to expend through cardio in order to reduce bodyfat. Eating five to six small, well-balanced meals spaced apart about three to four hours should help control hunger.
Try to always keep something healthy on hand. When you become hungry, you will opt for something that isn't as good for you. We usually put health aside when we get extremely hungry.
It is important to try and not let yourself get hungry. If you are not eating on time or not eating at all, it can be just as bad as eating too much. You should try to keep your protein intake to about 50% of daily calories, carbs about 40%, and fats minimal 10%.
When you workout, you actually damage the tightly-wound molecules that make up muscle fibers. This is a reason for keeping your protein intake higher than a sedetary person, so you can repair muscle tissue.
Carbohydrates are important but the should not be the main focal point of your diet. You do need carbs for energy and that can beneficial for your workouts. Try to avoid simple sugars like cane sugar, fruit juices, syrups, and anything with high fructose corn syrup.
Drinking a gallon of water is also important. It can help with nutrient absorption and digestion and will help flush toxins from the body.
So when it comes to nutrition, mke sure you are supplying your body with well-balanced, healthy food every three to four hours, and drink plenty of water. Nutrition is a major factor to get rid of bodyfat.
Weight training The Abdominals:
I have written several post with ab exercises so feel free to go through them. If you have been training abs for a while then maybe you need a different approach.
If you want proper ab development, you need to add resistance(weight) to your ab exercises. Abs are muscles just like biceps, triceps, chest, legs, are. The abs need to stimulated with resistance to properly strengthen and build them.
Ab Exercises To Incorporate For Proper Ab Stimulation:
Here are some ab exercises that you can use weights with.
Weighted Crunches - Grab a dumbbell, either hold it in front of your face, or let it lie on your upper chest, under your chin, and perform regular crunches. You are now using your abs more to work against the leverage the dumbbell has created. Stick with a heavy enough weight where you can handle 10-15 reps, but no more. Remember, you need to create enough resistance where your abs are forced to work.
Cable Rope Crunches - Grab the tricep rope, kneel on your knees, and bend downwards, forcefully contracting your abs on the way down. It's basically a crunch, only, you are on your knees. But the contraction is the same. Don't swing with the hips, you are not using the abs very much if you do. Just a slight, 30 degree contraction until you feel the abs contract, hold for a couple seconds, then back up.
Weighted Leg Raises - Lie flat on your back, with your hands tucked under your butt. Wrap your feet around a small dumbbell, and perform leg raises. Start with your feet about 6 inches from the ground, then raise them about 12-16 inches from the ground and then back down slowly. These can be done on the end of a bench as well.
Stability Ball Crunches - Working on the stability ball will incorporate balance into your abdominal work. They are effective at strengthening your core region, which is your abs and lower back.
You lie down on a stability ball like you are going to perform a crunch. Position yourself on the ball so your lower back is resting on it. Keep your feet close together on the floor making your body less stable (helps incorporate more balance on your part) and place your hands beside your head or folded on your chest. Crunch your upper body towards your knees, exhaling as you contract your abs. Under muscular control, lower yourself back to the original position keeping full tension on the abs.
Regardless of what ab exercise you do, the key is to add weight/resistance. If not, you will never increase the amount of lean muscle tissue in the area. You only need to train your abs twice a week for maximum results. Once again, treat them like any other muscle group (which means you wouldn't train them more often). Combine this ab exercises training with proper diet and intense cardio training and get the results have been wanting.
So now you have three keys to abdominal development. If you want to get rid of bodyfat it will take intense cardio training, proper nutrition, and resistance ab training for greater abdominal development.
Exercise and Nutrition Tips