5 Tips To Tighter Abs
Much sought after but rarely seen, abs are one muscle group that’s particularly hard to gain definition on. With many online sources offering ‘quick tricks for insane abs’, it’s difficult to know which source to trust and invest your precious time in.
To save you the trouble, we’ve compiled an unbiased list of the top 5 tips that’ll get your abs nice and defined for the end of Summer.
1. Maximize your meals
No, we don’t mean 3 big macs with a side of chicken wings. By reducing intake but increasing meal frequency, you spread out your calorie intake over the course of the day, meaning your body can concentrate more efficiently on the fat-burning process.
Having a nutrient-rich snack every 3 hours should keep your hunger at bay, your blood sugar regular and maintain muscle mass. Follow this tip – eat small and often.
2. Know your protein
No matter which way you go about weight loss and muscle gain, if you don’t get enough protein we can guarantee you won’t see your best results.
Protein is essential to the muscles, as it aids in their repair once they’ve been broken down by heavy exercise. If you’re exercising 3 times a week for 30 minutes or more, most dietitians recommend at least 1 gram of protein for every pound of your body weight.
For example, if you weigh in at 150 pounds, you’ll need at least 150 grams of protein to increase muscle mass.
3. Go protein crazy
Protein really is a big deal to getting gains. Although consumption of any food increases your metabolic rate, protein raises it the most. To make the most out of your meals, make sure they’re high in foods like turkey, chicken, egg whites and cottage cheese.
If your workouts are getting intensive, also consider investing in whey protein powder, which will give you that added boost. It’s recommended to have a shake in the 30 minutes leading up to your workout and in the hour after.
4. Plan your carbs
Although the human body needs carbs, there’s a right time to consume them. We know better then anyone that high-carb foods are one of the best adversaries for fighting those cravings, but research shows that, since they’re slow burning, it’s better to have them during the day.
In the evenings, opt for quick release foods high in liquids, such as soups or salads. This way you can still incorporate your protein from chicken or turkey, but you won’t have to worry about your meal converting to belly fat whilst you sleep.
5. Drink drink drink
Sorry, folks, but we don’t mean alcohol – this tip’s about water. Although it’s taken for granted, the human body seriously struggles to make energy from carbs without being sufficiently hydrated. Some sources have even suggested that your body won’t be able to build muscle without it either.
It’s not just the muscle that will suffer, though. Without drinking enough water, that belly isn’t going to budge. Have a tall glass of water before meals to ease the burden of those cravings and make sure you get 8 cups a day.
We hope you’ve found this article useful. Make sure you watch this space for future posts that’ll dive into more depth on fat loss and muscle gain.
Strengthen Really Works!
What does strengthen your abs is what strengthens any other muscle in your body. Contraction! In this case– Decreasing the distance between your rib cage and your pelvis.
So we come back to the good old sit-up. There are a few things to keep in mind.
Firstly, forget about the cool all-the-way-up sit-ups you see in the movies. Your abs are fully contracted when your shoulders are about 5 to 6 inches off the ground. So don’t bother trying to impress or outperform someone by touching your elbows to your knees. It does nothing for you. Crunches as they are sometimes called are the way to go.
Don’t wedge your feet under something to help you get up. You don’t need to do this if you are doing crunches properly anyway. Your legs should be at 90 degrees to each other and your knees at 45 degrees to your waist. If you need to, use something to press your heels back against to stabilize yourself. This way you will use your hamstrings instead of your hip flexors which will keep the focus on your abs.
Thirdly, keep your hands lightly held against the side of your head or crossed on your chest. Don’t clasp them together behind your head or neck. If you do you will be tempted to pull with your hands to get the last few reps out, which will put unnecessary strain on this fragile part of the spine.
Another good exercise for abs is kneeling crunches. You will need special equipment to perform this exercise. This is where you kneel and contract your abs so that your upper body arches forward/downward. You hold a rope attached to a pulley with weights for extra resistance. Most gyms will have a rope attachment to the triceps pull down to perform this exercise. The idea is to lock your arms against your upper body so that you pull down only with your abs and not your arms.
Ab Training Devices:
In 2 words– Forget it.
You don’t need them. Most of them do nothing for you. Building muscle is hard and it hurts. Most of these devices are designed to take the pressure off your body making the exercise seem easy and con you into thinking you are really targeting your muscles. Don’t believe the hype. Ab training is definitely hard work but definitely worth it’s reward.
The difficulty in obtaining great abs is not so much building the muscle. It’s cutting enough fat from your body for them to show. You probably know by now that spot-reduction of fat simply doesn’t work here. In order to show those abs you need overall fat loss.