The Right Way to Build Great Abs

Most folks desire to feel great, remain healthy, stay lean and build hard muscles. A top desire is usually to maintain a shapely midsection. When we are looking to lower body fat in order to stay in shape, we use our stomachs as a scale of progress. This is actually normal, as a flat abdominal is the focal point of a great physique. Therefore, building great abs becomes very important.

The Abs Attraction: Abs of Steel

Getting a flat stomach or ‘abs of steel’ requires a lot of committed hard work and discipline. It calls for eating of high quality diet in the right serving portions and training the body hard for at least three days in a week to get into shape. Mental benefits can also be derived from working out the abdominals.

We feel a sense of satisfaction when we feel we are making some progress towards achieving our body goals. There’s no denying that great abs are quite attractive, especially to the opposite sex, and you simply look good in form-fitting clothes when you are in a great physical shape.

Mistakes People Make With Abs Exercises

There are lots of exercises out there that claim to carve out lovely abs. However, so many mistakes abound that keep people from reaching the goals. Some of the mistakes people make with abs exercises include:

Believing Crunches Can Replace a Good Diet

Having visible abs is best achieved through lowering the body fat percentage. Doing ab crunches over and over wont achieve reduce your body fat. No matter how many crunches you do, your diet must be healthy in order to get any significant results.

Overworking the abs during sessions

15 minutes of abs workout is enough. Especially if you are already engaging in compound exercises such as deadlifts and squats. At the end of your workout, you can do a couple of ab exercises for 2 – 3 sets to work your abs.

Doing Just Crunches

Forget how it sounds. Crunches wont crunch away fat in your abdominal region when used as a stand-alone exercise. Crunches are possibly the least effective of exercises to build great abs. There are so many other exercises that will deliver better results over time than the traditional crunch.

Working Out in Just One Angle

Focus must be placed on all parts of your core. Obliques, transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis and erector spinae are different muscles with fibres running in different directions. They need working out from more than an angle. Engage in complex movements to work the team of core muscles at the same time. Windshield wiper is a form of complex movement to effectively work out different angles.

Importance of Healthy Meals

Research proves that a healthy diet is the quickest way to build great abs. No matter how many ab exercises you power through each day, your abs will be covered by layers of fat if you are consuming too many calories.

Cut out or significantly reduce your intake of food that lead to belly fat such as refined carbohydrates like bread, pasta and so on, and lower your intake of sugar and alcohol. Rather focus on filling up on lean protein (think beans, lean beef, chicken, turkey and fish) and non-starchy fruits and vegetables.

Remember, you need to be under 10% body fat in order to see your abs. fat needs to be gotten rid of in order to see your abs pop out. Most folks working to build great abs see the “upper abs” only, because the “lower abs” are covered by abdominal fat. A well balanced diet eaten in the right proportion will go a long way into revealing your abs of steel with time.

So what is the Right Way to Build Great Abs?

Work every single muscle

Your muscles are the primary fat burner for your body. They require energy in order to contract, burning calories as you exercise. Unlike running or cycling however, resistance training required to work your muscles cause a significant amount of damage to muscle fibres.

This is good because, then your body will have to work, expending energy to repair and upgrade those fibres after each workout. Even after two days, your body metabolism can remain active as a result of resistance training. Therefore, no part of the body should be neglected, even if your goal is simply to achieve chiselled abs.

Interval training also works

With interval training, you are alternating between intervals of time using different intensities. Sprinting, is a great example of interval training. This is when you run hard and fast for 30 seconds and stop to rest for a minute then repeat for about 10 times.

The concept of interval training also works on different exercises like jump rope, swimming, biking, and so on. The most important thing is that the exercise be performed correctly, in short bursts of high intensity followed by rest periods.

Breathe as you workout

As you exercise, breathe correctly through your nose in order to optimise performance, increase endurance, post-exercise energy levels and the ability to metabolize fat.

Interestingly, breathing exercises can, by themselves, make your abdominal muscles stronger. Your belly can be strengthened by applying force to the breath while breathing in and breathing out. When exhaling, pressure is exerted on the abdominal muscles by the body to push air out the thoracic cavity.

Naturally, breath is taken in and pushed out by the abdominal muscles. In exercise, the secondary chest muscles for breathing are engaged, lifting the ribs and letting the lungs find more room to inflate as more air comes in. this is important because oxygen in the body is equally beneficial to a successful ab workout.

Throw In Some Weights

Certain types of weightlifting could be effective at burning belly fat. The core benefits when you do specific weightlifting exercises that target the abdominal muscles and challenge them to contract, stabilize and firm up.

Free weights can be employed in addition to traditional core exercises to intensify moves and work to strengthen abs faster. Some examples of exercises using weights to build ab muscle include: free weight oblique twist and free weight crunches. After working out with free weights, they should be stored properly. The Precor DBR0817 Weight Plate Tree will help you to avoid having them roll around needlessly and to help you find them for your next workout.

Use a Bracing Technique

Bracing your abs means flexing or tightening them in a way that cuts off all forms of energy leaks to create one slab of tightened ab muscle. Think of the way you instinctively flex your stomach in anticipation of a punch to your guts. That is what bracing feels like.

Bracing has been shown to be a highly useful way of training the abdominal muscles. Using exercises that engage the concept of bracing will help you more readily than others that don’t in achieving your desired six-pack. Some of such exercises include:

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Planks
  • Side planks
  • Push ups
  • Overhead press
  • Hollow hold
  • Arch hold

Start Small

Tackling complicated or advanced core moves on your first try is certainly not the right way to build great abs. That is very much putting the cart before the horse. Avoid stumbling in your quest to rock-hard, visible abs by starting small. Begin by working out in a small range of motions.

Try holding a plank for 15 – 20 seconds or doing 30 squats with the right technique or form. As your core strength improves, and you master the appropriate techniques, you can broaden your movements to bigger, more complex and hard-hitting exercises.

To conclude, building great abs is not an easy feat. It takes determination and sticking to rigid rules of diet, exercise and right techniques. But if you want it badly enough, then all this should not stop you from achieving the hard abs you want.