To get six pack abs you need to do two things: lose fat and build muscle . You get this by dieting and exercising daily. You can have the most toned and muscular abs, but it will not show if there is a layer of fat over them. This article will discuss ways in which you can accomplish both of these goals
what to eat for six pack abs
Lift weights. The more muscle your body has, the more calories your body burns, even at rest. Plus, resistance training is important to limit the amount of muscle mass lost whilst reducing your calorie intake. If you only do cardiovascular exercises (running, playing basketball, football) without weight training then you may lose the muscle mass, including the muscle in your abs.
Drink more water every day. To find out how much water you need to drink as a minimum per day, halve your weight (in pounds) and that is how many ounces of water you need to drink. So a 150lb person would need to drink a minimum of 2.2 liters a day. It sounds like an absurd amount of water, but you get water from the food you eat, and you can drink teas and pure fruit juices to make up some of the quota.
- Drinking too much water (several liters, especially while sweating) can dangerously dilute certain salts and minerals. If you are exercising heavily and sweating a lot, you will need to replace your salts as well as fluids. Supplement your water drinking with a sports drink or potassium rich fruits such as bananas and apples.
Switch out refined grains for whole grains. In a scientific study, people who ate all whole grains (in addition to five servings of fruits and vegetables, three servings of low-fat dairy, and two servings of lean meat, fish, or poultry) lost more belly fat than another group that ate the same diet, but with all refined grains. A diet rich in whole grains changes the glucose and insulin response in your body, which hastens the melting of fat, and visceral fat, that deep layer of fat, is easier for your body to burn than the subcutaneous fat under your skin (the fat that you can see and grab).
Do crunches. Lie on the floor (with or without a mat) with your arms in front of your chest or with your hands lightly touching your temples (never behind your head). Bend your knees. Raise your shoulders (upper torso) towards your knees, using strictly your abdominal muscles. It is very important to not lift your entire back off the floor, as this can cause back strain, and the extended movement does not help you develop six pack abs any faster. The most important part of the crunch is the initial flexing of your abs as you lift your shoulders off the floor. As soon as you begin lifting off the floor exhale through your mouth, ending with a gasp once your shoulders are off the floor. Then pause for a second once you are at the top of the crunch and exhale the last bit of air from your diaphragm while flexing your abs. Now lower back down slowly and controlled while inhaling through your nose, just until your shoulder blades touch the ground. Do not let your head touch the ground.
Do sit ups. Lie on the floor, feet on the floor, knees up and hands crossed on your chest. Have someone hold your feet down, or wedge them underneath something heavy. Sit all the way up, lifting your lower back off the floor along with your shoulder blades. Keep your back straight (no hunching). Lower yourself down. Repeat. Once this becomes relatively easy for you (i.e. you can do a quite a bit with ease) start adding more challenges. Find an incline bench. Do weighted sit ups. Hold a weight on your chest while you do these. As these become easier, hold heavier and heavier weights.
Train your entire core. To build really great abs it's important to first understand what abs do. Their full name is 'rectus abdominis'. The 'rectus' bit, is Latin for 'straight, proper, upright'. Contrary to popular opinion, the abs' primary job is not to curl you up into a ball, but they work together with the back muscles to maintain correct posture and stabilize the spine. These muscles are not just for show! So the best exercises for abs are ones that force your entire core to go into overdrive to support your spine. Some exercises that do this are squats and deadlifts. These exercises will train your entire core to work together to do what it is designed to do. At the same time they will also train a lot of other muscles (e.g. glutes and quads).
Do leg lifts. Lie on the floor, legs straight out, hands at your sides. Lift your legs straight up (not bending your knees at all) until they're at a 90 degree angle (or close). Lower your legs and repeat without letting your legs touch the floor. For more challenge there is equipment at most gyms that will allow you to raise yourself up using your arms as support and dangle your legs. If you're using this piece of equipment, you can make it easier by just raising your knees to your chest. It's more difficult to raise your legs to a horizontal position with your legs straight. This helps firm up the lower abdomen. If you're truly a monster, try doing leg lifts with a medicine ball hanging from your feet. Or, hang from a pull up bar and raise your legs in front of you all the way up to the bar.
Do static holds. Put your body into the push-up position but with your elbows on the floor, and your whole body flat. This position is known as the static hold position, or the plank, and it trains your core (including your abs) to hold the body in place which is the real purpose of your abs. Hold this position for as long as possible. Beginners should be aiming to start off with at least 45 seconds, while seasoned ab workers are known to achieve over 5 minute static holds. To perform the side static hold, roll onto one side of your body and lift into the same position as before, but this time only one arm will be on the ground with the other arm pointed straight up the air and your non weight bearing leg resting on your bottom leg. Once again, hold this for as long as possible.
- Do bicycle crunches. Lift your feet off the ground while doing the crunches by alternating each leg in the air. Bring your left knee up toward your right shoulder and then your right knee toward your left shoulder.
Find new ways to crunch, bend and twist in your daily life. Some possibilities include:
- Add complex core-movements to your workout. That will boost your overall body constitution tremendously. For example, combine push-ups with rows. Go into a push-up position on two dumbbells. Now don't do a push-up, but instead start to row alternating dumbbells. See how much power you need only to hold balance? Combine exercises! Be creative. Tension is your friend.
- Be sure to exercise your back muscles just as much as your abdominal muscles or you might develop poor posture.
- Supplements can be useful, but they are just what they advertise themselves to be; supplements. There is no magic pill to make you lose weight with no work. There are some supplements out there that can help you lose weight by increasing your metabolism or by helping you curb your appetite, but you still have to work. Most tend to be "snake oil" and will not really give you any results while costing you great deals of money. And remember, even if they DO help, all supplements still require the consumer to watch their diet and increase their exercise. A simple multivitamin or mineral pill is likely all that most people will need.
- Opinions on weight loss and muscle training routines are like noses - everyone has one but they're all different. In the end, you should find something you enjoy and that you will stick for life. Over time, you can modify it until you get the results that are right for you.
- Make sure you give yourself adequate amount of rest (8 hrs for adults, and 8-10 hrs for kids and teenagers). When exercising you actually break down the muscle and if you give then the proper time to heal (and eat the proper foods) they will grow back stronger than before.
- It's a genetic fact that for some people there will always be just a little more fat over the muscle layers than we'd like. That's the way nature is and forcing your body to lose more than that can be a very dangerous effort.
- Many people's abdominal muscles are off-set, which can give the illusion of a 5 pack, 4 pack, or even 3 pack depending upon your genetics, the thickness of your abs, and your present level of body fat.
- It may help to use a record-keeper or plan book for your exercise program. Exercise journals are fantastic for this purpose because as you enter daily information in the journal, you're putting together a complete record that can be referred back to in the future.
- If you feel you need to, ease into the changes in your lifestyle. Start eating breakfast. If you have difficulty with this, start with a couple glasses of water or a large cup of coffee right when you wake up. It'll go down easy and prepare your stomach to get back to work. Cut the amount of dinners little by little. For the exercises, start slow and increase pace and/or repetitions as you are comfortable. Attempting lifestyle changes in a drastic, sudden manner can backfire. Do what you can but don't sell yourself short.
- Make a photo diary of your body but don't take pictures too often (once a month is fine). Don't study your pictures intensely since you might not get motivated if you don't see a difference. If you are consistent in your diet and exercise, you should see changes monthly. Keep in mind that you won't see changes in the mirror everyday since they will be very small improvements.
- Unless you are watching your weight for another reason, ignore the reading on the scale. You may be decreasing your body fat but your weight may stay the same (or even increase) as you build muscle. Muscle tissue is denser than fat so it will be heavier than the same volume of fat. Water weight can also vary your readings by a surprisingly large amount.
- Keep hydrated. Drink lots of water, and eat healthy. Don't deprive yourself from food, it will only make you sick.
- Try swimming. It is one of the most effective ways of exercising your whole body, especially your abs.
- Everyone has abs you just have fat covering them, you have to lose the fat then strengthen your abs.
- Make sure to stretch before all exercises. If not you could injure yourself
- Avoid drinking excessive alcohol as it can slow your metabolism.