Most everyone knows that spot reduction is a lost cause, yet people still think they can target each “cube” of their midsections. The hard truth is, our abs, while appearing separate and distinct, are really one long muscle, separated by horizontal bands that create the iconic “six-pack”. But with consistency, proper diet and proper form on your ab exercises, you’ll get maximum response of the entire muscle. But it requires effort.
You can have the most toned and muscular abs, but it will not show if there is a layer of fat over them! Here are specific exercises to get you started but remember diet is also important.
Lie on the floor, feet on the floor, knees up and hands crossed on your chest. Have someone hold your feet down, or wedge them underneath something heavy. Sit all the way up, lifting your lower back off the floor along with your shoulder blades. Keep your back straight (no hunching). Lower yourself down. Repeat.
Lie on the floor with your arms in front of your chest or with your hands touching your temples (never behind your head). Bend your knees. Raise your shoulders (upper torso) towards your knees, using strictly your abdominal muscles.
- Do not lift your entire back off the floor, as this can cause back strain.
- The most important part of the crunch is the initial flexing of your abs as you lift your shoulders off the floor.
Put your body into the push-up position but with your elbows on the floor, and your whole body flat. This position is also known as the plank, and it trains your core (including your abs) to hold the body in place. Hold this position for as long as possible.
- Beginners should be aiming to start off with at least 45 seconds, while seasoned ab workers are known to achieve over 5 minute static holds.
To lose weight, you will need a high amount of physical activity unless you also adjust your diet and reduce the amount of calories you’re eating and drinking. Remember that in order to burn fat, you need to burn calories. There are about 3,500 calories in one pound, you need to burn about 3,500 more calories than you bring in with food or drink in order to lose one pound. It may sound simple, but it can be challenging.
Some content provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Wikihow. Mr. Regie Simmons is depicted in the feature image.