Most Effective Ab Workouts
One of the top questions I get asked on a regular basis is about abs. In fact, MOST of the top questions are about abs: How do I get them? What workouts are best for them? What should I eat to get abs? What should I not eat? And on and on.
So, let’s clear up any confusion once and for all. To get definition in your core and see your abdominal muscles you have to burn the subcutaneous fat on top of the muscle and under your skin. So while yes, you need to condition the muscles as well, burning off the fat is the most important part.
For this reason, the best way to get a “6 pack” is not moves like crunches, it’s fitness techniques that burn the most calories in conjunction with clean eating in order to burn off the stored fat. Remember, fat loss is about creating a calorie deficit. If we are overeating it defeats some of the progress we make in the gym.
The techniques that are going to be the absolute most effective…Bet you already guessed: HIIT, resistance training (both body weight and free weights), and metabolic circuits – which means you are incorporating both of the above techniques in the same workout without rest in between exercises. Admittedly, dynamic or explosive movements like plyometrics are also very effective, but very advanced. So, if you don’t feel comfortable with things like jump squats, Kettlebell swings, squat thrusters, or jumping lunges etc. that’s ok as long as you train with HIIT and resistance and minimal rest time during your workout.
The best thing about this type of resistance training is that it automatically conditions your core without having to artificially isolate a muscle group and train it. That kind of training isn’t functional, meaning your body doesn’t work like this during your every day life. And, it burns very little calories. So exercises like push ups will actually do more for your core than crunches because they still work core, but they also work chest, quads, shoulders, triceps which burns more calories overall while you are conditioning your core. So, multiple muscle group exercises with free weights are best. Here are just a few to give you an idea: Burpees, Renegade Rows, Push Ups of any kind, Mountain Climbers, Lunge with Dumbbell Chop, Crescent Pose with Reverse Fly… the list is actually pretty extensive.
When it comes to your food, be sure not to overeat. Drink water until your pee looks like lemonade to flush out any excess water weight bloat – the more you drink the less you hold on to. Keep your sodium under 1500 on days you don’t train and under 1800 on days you do. Avoid processed grains and sugars. Keep the alcohol down to no more than 4 drinks a week. And you will start seeing that sexy 6 pack poppin' in no time!