Are you tired of having a gut?! It’s never too late to start working on you belly, especially if you want to turn it into a six-pack. This article offers you some easy tips to help you create the washboard stomach of your dreams. And don’t worry…you don’t need a special gym membership; all of these exercises can be done in your own home. So read on and get ready to sport those abs!
Step #1 – Stop Eating Belly Softeners!
There is no point in going to the trouble of working out your abdominals muscles, if you are only going to keep doing the things that caused you to bulge out over your belt in the first place. And you know the kinds of things we are talking about: beer, chips, and fried foods…need we go on?
High calorie, high fat foods have a nasty way of gravitating towards the male belly, so beware of what you are eating. So, low-carb or light beer only, rice chips, and always choose to eat something baked instead of fried.
Step #2 – Start Simple – Burn Fat!
Don’t drive yourself crazy by immediately jumping into some crazy workout that requires you to do 500 crunches a day. Start simple, and then build upon your routine. First, you need to burn fat. Fat sits on top of your muscle layer, so you need to lose as much of it as possible. Try to do anything and everything that will increase your metabolism (that way you don’t have to diet), which will burn off fat and calories.
In the first 30-days of your new health regime, all you should be focusing on is working the large muscle groups (pecs, back, legs), and building up your lung capacity for cardio workouts. Remember, the higher your metabolism, the more fat you will burn off. As long as you resist the temptation to eat more, you will notice an immediate weight loss by the end of 30-days.
Step #3 – Ab Time
Your abdomen wants to be flat, although it does take time to develop the coveted six-pack. Even something as simple as sucking in your gut can help to develop your muscles, but you need to go beyond that old trick. Do not load up on food or liquids! If you keep forcing your abdomen to expand, it will. It will also lose its tightness and spring, so try and eat smaller meals more often, rather than larger meals less frequently.
Listed below is a list of the most common abdomen exercises, all of which can be done anywhere there is a floor.
Top Five Ab Exercises
1. Sit-ups – the classic sit-up is key to strengthening your stomach muscles. You do not even need to pull all the way up in order to achieve the maximum stretch. The key to a good sit-up is not to ‘take a break’ at the top or bottom of the sit-up. If you stop just shy of touching your legs (a form of resting), you will dramatically increase the pressure on your ab muscles.
2. Crunches – the crunch is a great addition to the sit-up, and should be used in conjunction with them. Similar to the sit-up, a crunch is done while you lie flat on the floor. Cross your arms across your chest, and pull yourself towards your legs using your ab muscles.
3. Full Body Crunch – this is similar to the crunch, but with a twist. Instead of keeping your bent legs on the ground, bring them toward you as you pull forward. You can also twist from side-to-side while doing this, just to add an extra element.
4. Trunk Rotations – these can be done while standing or sitting, and most gyms have machines that help you to perform this exercise. All you need to do is stand straight with your hands on your hips, then turn slowly form side-to-side. The trick is to hold the position for a few seconds at either end of the rotation.
5. Standing Twists – Similar to a trunk rotation, these can be done with your hands crossed on your chest, or while holding a medicine ball or weight. Once again, be sure to hold the position at the end of the turn in order to achieve the maximum benefit.
Top Five Ab Cardio Exercises
1. Swimming – excellent way to burn fat, plus it uses muscles more fully than ‘land’ sports.
2. Medicine Ball Toss – Throw a ball back and forth with your partner, but make sure you are lying on your back. This position will help to better isolate the abdominal muscle group.
3. Sit-up Machines – also known as ‘ab-rollers,’ these machines are fantastic, compact, and can be used in the home. They totally isolate the abdominals, and usually come with an instructional manual or video.
4. Swiss/Excercise Ball and Wobble Board – these two items have been showing up at gyms all over the place, and they are supposed to provide a better ab workout than the standard floor exercises. They can be used in your home, but are a little bulkier than the collapsible ab rollers.
5. Boxing – boxers train hard to get flat abs, that way they can withstand being pummeled. You might want to check out the local gym that offers boxing training as a cardio alternative. If not, there are lots of good videos and books that offer the basics of boxing.
Always Push the Limit!
Keep in mind that the human body adapts very quickly, so you have to make sure you keep increasing and changing your routine. Force your muscles to work hard, otherwise the only six-pack you will ever see is the one you pick up at the liquor store.