Tuesday, 8 May 2012

How to Flatten Your Abs!
When it comes to losing weight and getting trim, the so-called Holy Grail for most individuals is getting flat abs. Specifically, they’re called six-pack abs – abs that you can shred cheese on. There are dozens of companies that offer medications, gels, food, and exercise equipment that is specifically designed and marketed to help you achieve six-pack abs.
If you’re one of the millions that have bought something from one of these companies, or you do hundreds of crunches a day and have seen no major results – we might have the answer for you.

Ab exercises are not enough!

If you’ve been working out for a while, you probably have discovered that crunches alone are not enough to flatten your abs. It is important to work on your abs, but if they are covered by a layer of fat you’ll never see them show up. Some may not know this, but “spot reducing” doesn’t work. This means that you can’t concentrate on one part of your body and expect to see results from that work alone. Your body is not designed to be “forced” to lose weight in a specific area by exercising that area – what you should be doing is focusing on losing body fat as a whole and gaining/toning muscle.

Change Your Diet:

The first thing to do to lose body fat is to change your diet. You can always decrease calories by participating in daily activities like walking, climbing stairs, etc., but unless you consume less calories – you’ll never shed the pounds.
Eat frequently:
 You may be thinking, what? But it’s true. Eating several small meals throughout your day will boost your metabolism, which helps your burn more calories. Meal replacements like protein bars should be used as snacks between meals instead of traditional calorie heavy snacks.

Eat less calories:
 Cookies are great, but they’re not so great for six-pack abs.
Drink more water:
Cleanses your body and can make your body feel full.

Setting up an ab workout routine:

Once you’ve completed the first step of lowering the amount of calories you consume, you need to begin working out. As mentioned above, diet without exercise can and will lead to weight loss – but it will only go so far. You must implement exercise into your daily life to see long-term, permanent results with weight loss. Your ab workout routine should include:
·     Weight training that focuses on all of your muscle groups, not just abs. Do this 2 or 3 days a week, in days that are not back to back. You must give your muscles time to rest.
·     Perform 30 to 45 minutes of cardio 3-5 days a week. You can substitute regular cardio with any intense recreational activity, like football, soccer, or basketball.
·     Stretch before and after your workouts for flexibility and relaxation. Also, warm up before each workout that you do (simple stretching and exercises). Remember to do cool-downs, which means gradually decreasing in your intensity until you stop.

Are ab exercises still necessary?

Reading this, you’ve discovered that ab exercises aren’t going to be a dominant factor in reducing the amount of fat around your body. Should you still do them? The answer is both yes, as well as no. You do want to work your abs (as well as your entire body), but not necessarily with the usual crunches and sit-ups that you might be doing now.
To have a maximum impact on your abs, switch it up and get more creative. Invest in an exercise ball, use a hoola hoop, or go salsa dancing. Move around your mid-section a lot more and you’ll not only have fun, but get tighter and better looking abs.

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