When it comes to six-pack abs most people think of the beach muscles, but they really only make up part of your core. Your core – minus the medical jargon – consists of the abdominal wall, the oblique muscles, and lower back muscles. Those three components make up your core. All of which should be targeted and exercised. Good core strength is essential, no matter your fitness goals.
1. CLEAN EATING HABITS
Never go on a diet! Diets fail because they are short lived. Instead, adopt healthy and clean eating habits. Without good eating habits, your abs will never see the light of day no matter how much you exercise. Treat your eating habits and workouts as you would your job. Monday through Friday should be strictly business. Weekends should be for recovery and a few cheat meals.
2. DO THE RIGHT EXERCISES
The three fundamental exercises to help strengthen your core are basic crunches, planks and the superman pose – which simply requires you to lie flat on the floor with your arms and legs stretched out. Do the crunches in sets of 30, and hold the plank and the superman pose for thirty to forty-five seconds. Repeat them all for four sets.
3. BURN, BABY BURN
Always superset two or three exercises for your abs and try not to pause in between exercises to sustain the burn. If you’re trying to progress and get more results, it’s important to get sore from your workouts. You get sore by pushing past that initial burn. Getting sore means you got the job done! It’s your badge of honor.
4. NO REST FOR THE WICKED ABS
You can and should work on your abs everyday. I work on my abs every single gym session and I workout 5-6 days a week and recover on Sunday.
5. AVOID ROUTINE TO SEE REAL RESULTS
I’ve always disliked the word “routine.” The reason you plateau is because your body knows what to expect in regards to your routine. Every workout session should be new and exciting! Even if you perform the same exercises all of the time, change the order that you do them in. That way, your body doesn’t know what to expect.
6. DON’T NEGLECT YOUR BACK
Most people think of your core as being just your abs, but it starts from our lower backs and wraps up around your torso. A high percentage of people are stuck in a chair slouching for the better part of the day and have weak lower backs as a result. It’s important to strengthen the lower back for many reasons. Functionality being the primary reason, but also to get the nicely shaped six-pack abs requires a strong lower back to endure the stress you put on the abs. Crunches, planks and the superman pose will definitely help strengthen your core.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ricardo is a celebrity fitness trainer and Master instructor at Barry’s Bootcamp. With over a decade of experience, he has traveled the globe teaching fitness and continues to inspire wherever he goes. Follow his blog, Fit Like Ric to get more fitspiration tips.