TV and other media portray fit & healthy people as those who have 6 pack abs. Though having great looking abs is a good indicator of low body fat, which is healthier than being overweight, it is more aesthetics than anything else. To even begin to show your abdominal muscles, you'll need to start by increasing cardiovascular exercise and activities to lose extra body fat as the 1st priority. This is also the key to maintaining a well-defined mid-section.
Increasing your cardio workouts length & intensity while adding a targeted workout campaign, with a preference to a weight-training regime that also emphasizes your abdominal muscles, will help to define the midsection. Just standing while using weights or using weight machines forces the body to adjust to the physical balance using the core muscles for stabilization, primarily involving the abs. To facilitate this process, actively concentrate on contracting your abs during the weight training exercises that you perform with both free weights & machines.
The Bottom Line:
If you have low body fat, the abs are the one body part that can benefit the most from spot training (see Question #2), but spending over 10 minutes of a workout specifically on the midsection is overdoing it. Take at least 1 day off specific abdominal training, and vary your day-to-day abs routines (not doing the same workout 2 days in a row).
Adding Abdominal Exercises To Your Weight Training:
1) Begin adding crunches & leg lifts to the end of 4 of every 5 workouts.
2) For 2-3 weeks, spend the last 5 minutes of your weight lifting routine on the floor or bench alternating between crunches & leg lifts. Build up to 10 minutes, 4 times per week. Add in obliques (crunch with a twist) & hanging knee raises for variety on different workouts.
3) After from 6 - 8 weeks of this intense abs work, retreat back to 5 minutes, 3 times per week for at least the next 2-3 weeks.
4) By now substitute abs machines (and be sure to add back workouts) in your workouts for variety.
5) For proper recovery from this or other intense routine, be sure to slow down for at least 2 -3 weeks before starting the routine again.
Remember, YOU have the POWER!
Health & Fitness FAQs:
“How do I get more energy?” (0.9% of questions)
“How do I Tone and Firm?” (2.1% of questions)
“How do I Gain Muscle Mass?” (2.2% of questions)
“How do I Get Started & Begin Exercising?” (2.8% of questions)
“How can I Gain Weight?” (3.3% of questions)
“What about taking Supplements?” (5.1% of questions)
“How do I Lose Fat & Extra Weight?” (12.7% of questions)
“How do I get Great Abs?” (16.2% of questions)
“What about Spot Reducing or Spot Specific Training?” (25.4% of questions)
“How should I workout?” (29.3% of questions)
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