As we all know, having toned, washboard abs require long hours at the gym, a strict diet, and mental toughness. Although maintaining this figure might be a pain, when you start to "feel the burn," it starts to become more and more addicting. There's a reason why six-packs are often believed to be visible during the peak of one's physical condition- it's not an easy fitness achievement. Here are 10 key tips to get the abs you've been dying for:
1. Start small and go at your own pace.Giphy
Start small by working in a smaller range of motion, and then as your core strength improves and you master proper form, make the movement to larger and more difficult exercises. Don't just rush into more complex workouts, especially if you haven't been to the gym in a long time- you could injure yourself.
2. Find the workouts that work best for you.Giphy
If you find a routine that you love and that feels effective, don't feel like you have to change what you're doing if you're seeing real results. Do whatever you feel comfortable doing. Do not sacrifice your form- if you do, you won't get the most out of your workout and you could hurt yourself too.
3. Tweak your diet.Giphy
If your diet isn't on point, you're not going to see that six-pack. To show off those toned abs, eat a diet with plenty of lean protein, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
4. Always stretch before you break a sweat.Giphy
It's extremely important to start any workout with a proper warm up to prevent injury. Stretching, light marching in place, and gentle standing rotation of your midsection will help immensely.
5. Tighten your core.Giphy
Your core should always be engaged when working those muscles. Tightening those abdominal muscles when contracting and crunching them will help define them at a more intense rate. You'll definitely feel it in the morning!
6. Remember to breathe.Giphy
Your core muscles need oxygen to work at full capacity, so it is essential that you keep breathing- and do so correctly. As a general rule, you want to inhale on the easiest part of the move, and exhale when you have to exert the most force.
7. Work in all dimensions.Giphy
Instead of always doing crunches, include abs exercises that rotate, twist and turn your body like you do in real life.
8. Mix up your cardio.Giphy
9. Add some weights.Giphy
Just like any other muscle, abs need to be challenged to get stronger- so if regular sit-ups aren't doing it anymore, throw some weight into the mix and watch your results multiply.
10. Don’t worry about gaining weight.Giphy
Although the number on the scale may increase, you have to understand that you are just enhancing what you already have. You're in the process of building muscle and burning fat.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit." —Aristotle