We all want a flat, toned stomach. I mean check out those abs to right. So how exactly do you go about it? In the interest of improving your exercise regimen and getting the rock-hard results you crave, here are seven pro-tips for getting better, well-defined abs:
- Start off by losing fat. A good target is losing a pound of a week. Sadly, spot-reducing body fat (meaning targeting your stomach area) isn’t really possible. As such, you’ll have to reduce your overall body fat. A good fact to remember: for every pound of body fat you hope to lose, you’re going to have to burn off approximately 3,500 calories more than what you’re eating. If 3,500 sounds like a scary number, good. Recognize that this will be challenging and it will be time-consuming. Fortunately, you can make things easier on yourself by starting off slow. Start by burning 500 more calories a day than you consume. By the end of seven days, you will have lost 1 lb. of unwanted body fat. A pound of week is a good, healthy goal. You don’t want to set unrealistic goals that will cause more damage to your body than good, and you don’t want to set goals that don’t challenge you and don’t produce results.
- Aim to do at least an hour of aerobic exercise per day at your optimal zone. What exactly is your optimal zone? Your optimal zone is essentially at what heart rate you burn the most stored body fat. A good formula to figure out your optimal zone is 220 – your age. Your optimal heart rate is unique to you. Work for your optimal zone and don’t compare it to your friends or workout buddies. Aim to keep your heart rate constant rate to maximize your weight loss potential. If you can manage to do this right after you wake up before you eat, this will also aid your results in drawing from fat stores instead of glycogen.
- Towards the end of the day, strive to reduce (or better yet, eliminate) your complex carbohydrate intake towards the end of your day. This means no rice, breads, or pastas for dinner. You can still keep them on your grocery list and eat carbohydrates for lunch or breakfast. In fact, you should keep them in your diet to give you more energy for your exercise routine.
- Do your best to eat your last meal 3 hours or more before you go to bed. This will give your body more time to burn off those calories.
- Put in some good hard work on those abs. Even though you won’t see any real improvement until you’ve worked your body fat percentage down, this doesn’t mean your abs aren’t getting stronger underneath your belly fat. If you continue to work your abs, even though you can’t see any improvement yet, once you melt away that body fat, your abs will appear defined and toned.
- Since more muscle means a faster metabolism, work on weight training to build more muscles. Though you may be working out your arms, the muscles you build in other areas of your body actually help you in the long run to better define your abs.
- Get plenty of rest and drink lots of water!
Follow these simple steps and watch your abs improve! Just keep in mind: this metamorphosis will not happen overnight. That being said, those hard-earned abs will be all the more satisfying when you think back on the work it took for you to achieve your bathing-suit-ready body.
Here are some core strengthening exercises that are Caveman Approved!
4. The Russian Twist – a personal favorite!