QUESTION: What looks great comes in various sizes, everyone has them but strong ones are hard to obtain?
ANSWER: GREAT ABDOMINALS
One question that I often hear is how do you get great abs? I can summarize the answer in 5 words: DISCIPLINE, REPETITION, CARDIO, TECHNIQUE, & NUTRITION.
To reach any fitness goal you must include DISCIPLINE. Before you see results you must create a habit of performing an action without excuses. The discipline will sustain you when you don’t feel like following through. Remember good abdominals are not achieved overnight, so be patient with your progress. For the most effective results determine what you would like to achieve. Write your goals down, post them, create a plan, and then get started.
Unless you are blessed with great genetics, successfully training your abs is a combination of graduated REPETITION. Repetition is only important if you develop the intensity needed to stress the abdominals for growth. In order to see results you must challenge your abdominals in new and different ways. Progression is needed in order for your abs to change. Try to progress each week by adding 5-10 additional reps. Alter the combination and pattern of your exercises, to stimulate your abdominal muscles.
CARDIOvascular activity should be practiced 3-4 times a week, and an abdominal routine geared towards your goals. Cardiovascular activity is imperative to burning fat and increasing your metabolism. Beginners should perform cardio 3-4 times a week at 30-45minute intervals. Intermediate & advance levels should increase cardio to 45-90 minutes 3 times per week.
The correct TECHNIQUE for any abdominal exercise is to align your spine with your head and neck.
Technique is imperative to achieve beautiful abs. If you are performing crunches your elbows should face east and west while your hands are clasped firmly behind your neck. Eyes should be focused on the ceiling and an imaginary apple placed under your chin. For intermediate to advance levels you may place both hands as if you were trying to touch the sky and straighten both legs. This movement will force your quadriceps to relax and make your abdominal muscles do all the work.
Last but certainly not least is proper NUTRITION. Whatever your fitness goal is 80% of your fitness results can be achieved with proper nutrition. A low calorie, low fat meal plan combined with the discipline, repetition, and cardio will help you reach any fitness goal.
The abdominals can be divided into 3 major regions: lower, upper, and obliques. Of the 3 lower abdominals create the most challenge. So, remember in order to change your abs you must be: DISCIPLINED, consistent REPETITION is the key to great abs, CARDIO practiced 3-4 times per week, fuel your body with proper NUTRITION, and last but not least remember practice Proper TECHNIQUE.
Before performing any exercise, please consult a physician
With each exercise mat is not required, but make sure your spine is supported with a mat or towel. Beginners should try 3 sets of 15-20 reps. Intermediate- advance can perform 3-4 sets 20-40 reps. With each exercise exhale while performing the upward movement and inhaling on the downward movement.
Place both feet on the ground, clasp hands firmly behind the nape of your neck elbows pointing east and west. Eyes should be focused on the ceiling and imagine an orange under your chin. Lift your shoulder blades as far off the ground as possible while keeping your lower back on the ground. Hold for two counts up while exhaling and inhale on your way down.
While on your back, place both feet on the ground arms clasped behind your neck and elbows behind your hand. Bring your left elbow to meet your right knee and alternate this movement.
Oblique Side Twist
Hands flat on the ground and legs in the air at a 45-degree angle. Reach your right hand to your right ankle and alternate this movement.
Lower Body Leg Lift:
Lie on your back with both feet parallel and in the air. Bring your lower body upward while simultaneously lifting your lower body. The lower body lifts because you initiate the movement from your abs and gluteus.
Sitting on your tailbone and legs at a 45-degree angle. Bend your left leg inward while extending your right leg. Simultaneously twist your upper body so your right elbow touches your left knee.