7 Ways To Get Amazing Abs
1. Remember to breathe
OK, you’d hope that you’d be able to remember to do that anyway! But the important thing is to remember to breathe correctly. If you’re doing crunches – and let’s face it, if you’re working on your abs then you will – then make sure you keep exhaling at the end of each crunch. If you then hold your breath for a moment, it will maximize the benefit to your muscles.
2. Realize it’s not instant
You’ll obviously be impatient at times, especially when things aren’t going quite as well as you’d hoped. Be patient, though: getting your abs in shape isn’t something that will happen overnight. If you rush, you may find things looking great for a little while, then your progress going into reverse. Understand that there’ll be hitches, and resolve to work through them.
3. Keep an eye on those carbs
The problem with certain carbohydrates is that they cause your insulin levels to spike. This in turn will increase the amount of fat stored in your body – and that’s bad news for your abs. Eat whole-wheat bread instead of white and make sure you have plenty of fruit and vegetables. The exception to the rule is when you’ve just finished a workout.
4. It’s not all about your abs
This may sound counter-intuitive, but one of the best ways to make your abs sharper is to work on other areas of your body. Think of your body as a machine, with each part connected and everything needing to work well for the best results. For example, if you improve your posture by standing up straighter and holding your shoulders back, your abs will automatically be pulled into a better position.
5. Start elsewhere
Following on from the last tip: research has found that men who start their workouts with abs work tend not to get optimal results. The reason for this is that it can cause fatigue in your abs muscles, which in turn will make you weaker at the core. That will have a knock-on effect on everything else. Instead, try starting with squats.
6. Weights are your mates
Exercises with weights have gotten a bit of a bad press recently. This is a little unfair, since if you do weighted exercises sensibly, they can actually be beneficial. Your abs are muscles after all, and like any other muscles definition and separation are important. Around 8 to 10 repeats of weighted movements should help.
7. Keep pushing yourself
If you’re using weights in the gym, you’re likely to have set yourself a particular number of reps, often around 10 to 12 for each set. That works OK for weights, but it’s no use if you’re doing abs work with bodyweight. Tough as it sounds, the best way to deal with that problem is to push through it: just keep doing reps until you’re on the edge of failing.