No matter if you are a man trying to get into shape or a woman entering the world of fitness, a harder and flatter stomach is the final goal for many people. 6-pack abs are not just for guys, but can look absolutely amazing on girls as well. Six pack abs are admired for different reasons by different persons. One of these reasons is the fact that they look attractive. Six pack abs beat flab any day. However, in terms of attaining a six pack of abs in relation to building a bigger chest, sculpting your abs takes a little more work and discipline.
Six pack abs are possible, we see them all the time. It just takes some discipline. Removing the tummy fat just helps display 6 pack abs better. Abs are achievable but, as with most things in life, we must put in the effort. The most important thing you have to do is to change eating habits. Ab exercises are not just for fitness gurus. In fact, the simplest of exercises can work out all the muscles in your abs. Most everyone has good looking abs but they are hidden under a layer of fat. Ab exercises are also needed in order to focus your workout on building those six pack abs. But you don’t need to perform many ab exercises until your total body fat percentage is under 10%. There are thousands of different ab exercises. But the most important is cardio followed by a solid low fat diet.
This topic is covered in plenty of fitness myths and revolutionary ideas. Here are 6 facts that you should know about 6-pack abs.
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You can’t spot-reduce
This means that you can’t burn fat only from a specific spot on your body. All the sit-ups in the world will not burn the fat on your gut. Body fat is lost from all over your body and is caused by a caloric deficit, not from activating a certain muscle group.
Cardio is important
The key to getting a 6-pack is not in building up the abdominals, but in burning the fat that is covering them. The way to achieve this is is to have a caloric deficit. This can be achieved by both taking in less calories and using up more calories.
A form of cardio that is very effective for burning fat and boosting your metabolism is HIIT. HIIT is exercising in short bursts of intense cardio followed by a short cool down. An example of a session would be a 30 second run, followed by a 30 second jog, followed by another sprint, and so on for 4 to 15 minutes depending on the fitness of person.
Abs are made in the kitchen
This is the least complex and yet the most difficult aspect in getting a 6-pack. The key to getting a 6-pack is to cut down on food and lose body fat. Here are some easily applicable tips:
- Stop drinking soda and start to drink only water. It can make a huge difference.
- Eat 5-6 small meals a day. This helps boost your metabolism and keeps your appetite in check.
- Try to find your calorie maintenance level and gradually decrease 100-200 calories per week until your are shedding about 1-2 pounds a week.
Sit-ups are useless
Sit-ups are supposed to target the abs but really the hip flexors and spinal erectors are doing the work in the movement. The abdominals are only used isometrically as stabilizers. This means that sit-ups are not good for your back and do not benefit your abs anyway.
Other exercises to do
Here are some ab exercises for beginners to do instead of the traditional sit-up:
- Crunches – There are many different types, but try to think of it as pulling your bottom rib directly to your hip
- Weighted crunches – Do normal crunches except hold a plate to your chest
- Hanging leg raises – Hang from a bar and pull your knees directly to your chest
Don’t give up!
While achieving your goal of a 6-pack may not be as easy as infomercials may have you think, it is still a very realistic goal even for a beginner. All it takes hard work and determination. Giving up a week after you started will not help you get a 6-pack or help your overall fitness.
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