How Fabulous are your Abs?

April 10, 2009

This area is an ongoing challenge – the mid-section, stomach, love-handles, core, belly, pooch. A nice flat belly and small waist would be very nice, but how to achieve it?

There are three components to a strong core and flat stomach:

  1. what you eat and drink
  2. abdominal exercises such as crunches
  3. cardiovascular exercise such as walking, running, bicycling

Let’s start with nutrition basics. Amp up your diet by eating unprocessed food like fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains. Ruthlessly cut out sodas, juices, fancy coffee-drinks, sweets, fried or greasy food, and breads or pastas that are not whole-grain. Drink lots of water. Add lots of fiber. Eat brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Eat small meals 5 – 6 times per day. Make sure to eat something every 3 hours and make sure that there is some protein with every meal and snack. Are you on the go like most of us? Get a soft cooler with an ice pack and bring along some nuts or protein bars or something healthy! This is a very simple concept that requires a shift in the way you think about grocery shopping and preparing meals. It sounds difficult, but once you’ve begun it becomes very easy!

There are many books, blogs, and magazine articles showing you about a zillion different ways to do abdominal exercises. Here’s what you need to know: when you do an ab workout: don’t pull on your neck, focus your attention on the abdomen, pause to squeeze the abs for each repetition, be careful that your hip flexors are not doing the work. You want to feel this workout in your upper, lower and oblique (sides) ab muscles. Quantity matters far less than quality. Be engaged in your workout with your complete focus and you will get far more results with far less time invested. Concentrate on the intense flex to reach the transverse abdominals which are the deepest. Try for three 20-minute ab workouts per week and try different exercises to shock the entire girdle of abdominal muscles.

Last, but not least is cardio. You can have the strongest abdominal muscles in the world, but not be able to see them if they’re covered in a layer of fat. You must get your heart-rate up 3 – 6 times per week for 30 – 60 minutes to see good results. Wearing a heart-rate monitor is a great way to make sure that you’re in the target zone. Choose an activity that you enjoy and then shake it up – walk, run, hike, bicycle, swim, elliptical, stepper, run stairs, jump rope. Challenge yourself to go faster or harder or at intervals. The moment it gets easy, up the intensity.

You can do this! You can do it yourself. Even better is to find a dependable partner to work out with who will push, badger and encourage you to achieve your most gorgeous mid-section and strong core. Next – “Love your Legs!”

By SusanM@ChattahBox.com


Comments

One Response to “How Fabulous are your Abs?”

  1. Fitness Series: Working On Those Stubborn Parts : ChattahBox on April 11th, 2009 11:58 am

    […] join me on this journey to becoming your best self!  We will talk about shaping and tightening those abs […]

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