Abs In 4 Weeks: This Deal Includes Diet
Ab exercises aren’t the A to Z of a buff belly. Diet also plays a part. “Trying to achieve abs by performing exercises and ignoring nutrition is like trying to bail out a sinking ship with a colander,” Frediani says.
That’s because no matter how much you exercise your abdominals “spot reduction is a myth,” Frediani says, adding that it would take more than 17,000 sit-ups to burn one pound worth of calories, with no guarantee that that pound would come from your abs. Chest, arms, legs, butt — it’s genetics that decides where you’re prone to losing weight.
A better way to help burn calories while working on those abs is with cardiovascular exercise: Think swimming, biking, walking, or jogging, combined with a sensible diet.
What’s a sensible diet? No fads, no crazy weight loss plans, just focus on burning more calories than you take in. You can start doing that by eating lots of fruit and vegetables, and by enjoying whole grains, lean meats, and fat-free dairy.
Get started now and guess what? In 4 weeks you could be well on the way to the best abs — and the best body — of your life.
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE, exercise physiologist and certified diabetes educator director, New York Obesity Research Center Weight Loss Program, St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center WebMD Exercise & Fitness Message Board expert.
Paul Frediani, ACSM, certified fitness coach co-author, Sex Flex: The Way to Enhance Intimacy and Pleasure.
American Council on Exercise: “Front Plank.”
Exercises To Fix Abdominal Doming
Abdominal doming often happens from not getting enough of a TA contraction. With a little focus, you can get those TAs on board and get a great abdominal contraction.
Learning how to manage pressure through a balanced abdominal contraction is also very important. You can do this by making sure you dont overly shorten or scrunch one part of the abdominal wall while letting another part dome out. By lengthening instead of scrunching, you get a much more balanced contraction that can help spread pressure away from the midline and pelvic floor.
With abdominal doming, Ill often see lower abdominal weakness and lower ab bulging as well. This pattern can also create neck and chest tightness, since the habit of upper ab gripping can cause a lot of tension in the upper abs.
Lets take a look at getting an even abdominal contraction.
Now, Id like to give you a bit of a challenge. Can you find your lower abs without over-gripping your upper abs?
Circuits For Upper Abs Lower Abs And Obliques
This trio are, to our minds, the best abs workouts going because together these circuits work the abs from different angles to focus on the different parts of your core in turn, so you can be sure no muscles get left behind. While there are no weights involved in the workouts, you will need a pull-up bar to do the hanging moves involved, but our round-up of the best pull-up bars can help you find the right one for your set-up.
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Increase Your Protein Intake
Upping your intake of high-protein foods can help promote weight loss, fight belly fat and support muscle growth on your road to six-pack abs.
According to one study, consuming high-protein meals helped increase feelings of fullness and promote appetite control in 27 overweight and obese men .
Another study showed that people who increased protein intake by just 15% decreased their calorie intake and saw significant decreases in body weight and body fat .
Consuming protein after working out can also help repair and rebuild muscle tissues as well as aid in muscle recovery .
Plus, one study even found that a high-protein diet helped preserve both metabolism and muscle mass during weight loss .
Meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, dairy products, legumes, nuts and seeds are just a few examples of healthy, high-protein foods that you can add to your diet.
Protein may help reduce calorie intake, as well as decrease body weight and fat. It can also help repair and rebuild muscle tissues and preserve muscle mass during weight loss.
Meet Your Abs Muscles
First, a little anatomy lesson. Along with muscles in the lower back, these key abdominals make up your core:
- External Obliques: The outer layer of the abs on your sides these run diagonally downward.
- Internal Obliques: Just underneath the external obliques, these run diagonally up your sides.
- Rectus Abdominis: Two paired sheets of muscle from the ribs to the pelvis that flex you forward.
- Transversus Abdominis: The deepest muscle of the abs, which wraps around the waist to support the spine.
Yes, there are separate muscles, but they all work together. The external obliques are the V-shaped muscles running diagonally down your sides that, along with the internal obliques underneath them, help you rotate your spine. The rectus abdominis, meanwhile, is the straight-down-the-center muscle which, yes, can make you appear to have a six-pack. The one remaining type of abs muscle is the transversus abdominis: The deepest-down of all, it does a complete wraparound of your midsection and pulls it in like a corset.
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Do You Want To Make Your Six
Now, don’t get me wrong. Proper nutrition, fat-loss dieting, and a low body fat percentage are still of paramount importance when it comes to achieving a six-pack. But what many people fail to realize is that the abs are just like any other muscle. If you choose the right abs exercises and get stronger with them over time, the abs will grow. And this will then, inevitably, improve the overall look and visibility of your six-pack.
And research is in agreement with this. A recent 2017 paper analyzed the effect of 10 weeks of abdominal training on abs growth in 28 collegiate male soccer players. Here’s a summary of the male soccer players’ increase in ab thickness after ten weeks:
- Increase in muscle thickness in upper abs – 2.1mm
- Increase in muscle thickness in mid abs – 1.9mm
- Increase in muscle thickness in lower abs – 2.7mm
As you can imagine, these results likely led to an enhanced appearance in their abdominal muscles. But – when it comes to how to grow abs fast, there are three critical steps that research indicates are crucial for you to nail down.
The Best Ab Workouts For Women: V Sits
For the second set were going to do three exercises from a V sit position. Again you should work solidly for 30 40 seconds, and then rest for 20 30 seconds.
Once weve done each exercise well repeat the set twice .
To get started with V sits, sit on the floor with your back straight and your legs out in front of you.
Exercise: V Sits
Time: 30 seconds
Sit upright and lift your legs off of the floor but bring them into your chest. You are going to lean back, extending your legs out in front of you and your arms to the side of you as you do . Then return to the starting position.
Your feet should not touch the floor and your back does not touch the ground.
How difficult this exercise is depends on how far you extend your legs but also the pace at which you work. The faster you go the harder your abs work out.
Russian twists with a medicine ball
Exercise: Russian Twist V Sits
Time: 30 seconds
Sit in the same V sit position, this time holding a medicine ball in both hands. We recommend starting with 2-3kg, and you can use a dumbbell instead if you dont have a medicine ball.
Beginners can sit with your knees to your chest, whereas advanced exercisers should have your legs fully extended. Most people will extend their legs approximately as far as in the picture above.
Lean back slightly and twist from your waist and move the medicine ball to your right, and then to your left. To make this exercise harder increase the weight of your medicine ball.
Exercise: V Sit Cycles
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Work Smarter Not Harder
A study that the American Council on Exercise funded found that the three most effective exercises to strengthen the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles were the bicycle maneuver, captains chair, and exercise ball crunch.
Regularly performing these exercises is an efficient way to build the abs.
To perform the bicycle maneuver:
- Lie flat on the floor on the back.
- Interlace the fingers behind the head and bring the knees toward the chest, pressing the lower back into the floor.
- Twist the body toward the right side, bringing the left elbow and right knee closer together. Extend the left leg at the same time.
- Reverse the motion, twisting to the left side while bringing the right elbow and left knee toward each other and extending the right leg.
- Repeat this exercise 20 times, rest, and then perform two additional sets.
People usually perform this exercise on a piece of gym equipment that trainers call a knee raise station.
- Start by placing the back against the back support on the station.
- Gently rest the forearms on the armrests and grip the handles. Allow the legs to hang freely from the station.
- Bend the legs toward the chest.
- Hold this position for 13 seconds, then lower the legs.
- Repeat 10 to 15 times, rest, and then perform two additional sets.
Another variation is to raise straight legs until they are parallel with the ground.
Exercise ball crunches
This exercise requires an exercise or Swiss ball.
Tens Vs Ems: Get The Right Stimulation
Not every electrical ab stimulator will help build stomach muscles. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation units commonly called TENS units for example, stimulate the nerves to provide pain relief. Although you feel a pulse and might even feel the muscle contract slightly, the TENS unit is stimulating the nerve in a single part of the body, not building muscle.
That’s because TENS units target sensory neurons in your body that send pain signals back to the brain. The current is designed to confuse the pain signal and stimulate the release of endorphins. Compared to EMS, the type of stimulation from TENS doesn’t fully contract the muscle. So, you won’t tone your abs no matter how long you use a TENS unit.
Electronic pulse massagers focuses on relaxing a specific muscle, not contracting them. EPMs can be an enjoyable way to wind down after heavy exercise, but they won’t build muscle either.
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Abdominal Muscles Location And Function
If you exercise, you may be looking for the best routine for developing flat, tight abdominal muscles. Every year, there are dozens of new exercises, fitness classes, products, gadgets, or routines claiming to sculpt and strengthen the abdominal muscles.
While some of these may offer a new approach to working the abs, many exercises are ineffective. And some abdominal devices may even increase your risk of injury.
To avoid falling victim to unproven, misleading, or unsafe abdominal exercise claims, its important to have an understanding of the function of your abs. This includes knowing where each of the muscles is, what they do, and how they can be exercised with the least risk of injury.
Abs In 4 Weeks Is That Even Possible
Can you really get better abs in just 1 month? If you mean a stomach that’s tighter, more toned, and slimmer — yes you can.
Fire up the following workout and cut some calories and you can reasonably lose a couple pounds a week, say the pros. In 4 weeks, that’s a possible 8 pounds, and “8 pounds of flab covers a lot of area,” says Paul Frediani, ACSM, certified fitness coach, and co-author of Boot Camp Workout. Burn off 8 pounds, and “you will definitely be able to see and feel it.”
But be smart. Before you can blaze through a few sets of these belly-busters you’ll need to build up to it. And to do that, think about putting ab exercises at the front of your workout.
Most people tend to save ab work for last, says exercise physiologist Rich Weil, MEd, CDE, yet you’ll “be fresher at the beginning of your workout and so you may get a superior response” working your abs when they’re strongest.
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Women Need To Eat More Protein Over Age 50
Scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and at the University of Nottingham in the UK teamed up to study the differences in the way older men and women used protein to build their muscles.
When we eat or drink protein, our body metabolizes the food and sends it to our muscles, which are made of 25% protein and 75% water, glycogen, and other carbs.
The muscles of the women in the US/UK study absorbed much less protein than the mens muscles. Scientists still dont know why women use protein less efficiently after age 50, but we do know that after 50, getting enough protein is essential to maintain and potentially increase lean muscle mass.
How Can I Get A Flat Stomach Or Make My Stomach Flatter
First off, if you’re looking to make strength gains you probably don’t want a flat stomach. Strong abdominals if your body fat is low enough have a naturally muscular look.
However, and this is an important point to make strengthening your stomach muscles alone won’t help you achieve the strong and lean aesthetic you’re after.
That comes down to lowering your body fat percentage to a point where abdominal muscles are visible that’s between 14 24% for women. However, common thinking suggests that most women should not dip below 18% body fat, at the risk of interfering with their hormones.
Also, if abs come at the cost of your mental health or you find yourself feeling preoccupied with fat loss, take a step back and ease off for a little while. Fuelling your body well with regular exercise, enough sleep and minimising stress is farmore important than any body fat percentile.
We’ve collated a mega list of both bodyweight and weighted stomach exercises for women… keep scrolling for the best tummy exercises with and without weights, then watch the video at the top of the page for more.
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Create A Simple Plan You Can Stick To
I either schedule my core strengthening routines earlier in the morning or before my workouts in the afternoon.
If you dont like going to the gym or find that sticking to an exercise program is hard, then wake up 15 minutes earlier to do your exercises, and get them out-of-the-way.
If you currently go to the gym, start with the core activation exercises before your workouts.
You want to activate not fatigue your core muscles. The goal to strengthening the core is not focused on building toned up . The goal is to activate and strengthen the deep core muscles
Build a strong foundation underneath the visible abs
And stabilize and support the spine.
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How To Strengthen Abdominal Wall Muscles
The abdominal wall consists primarily of the outer abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis and the external obliques. Although traditional ab exercises, such as sit-ups and twisting crunches, strengthen the structure of these muscles, they provide very little benefit for the daily activities and sports that require your body to move and produce force in different directions, for example, pushing, running and throwing. A Pennsylvania State University study published in “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” in March 2013 showed that exercises incorporating the shoulders and buttocks improve strength, endurance and stability more than just doing regular abdominal exercises alone. A better way to strengthen your abdominal wall is to perform full-body exercises.
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How To Grow Abs With The Right Exercises
The easiest way to do this? Perform weighted abs exercises. Now, you’ll once again have plenty of weighted abs exercises to choose from. But what I’d recommend is to pick one or two exercises suited for your upper abs and lower abs to incorporate into your existing routine.
Here’s a rough breakdown of my recommendations, according to the muscle group of the abs:
- Upper abs – Top-down exercises where the shoulders are brought down towards the hips are most effective. The best exercises include the weighted cable crunch and the weighted Swiss ball crunch. You’ll find that both exercises can be conveniently overloaded with weight.
- Lower abs – Bottom-up movements where the hips are brought up towards the shoulders are most effective. As mentioned in my lower abs article, the reverse crunch and leg raise are both excellent options. Once again, you’ll find that both the reverse crunch and the leg raise can be conveniently overloaded with weight.
Why Is A Strong Core So Important
Obviously, it pays to look beyond aesthetics when building up core strength its also a crucial factor in maintaining good overall health and mobility of your body. Some of the strongest people in the world dont have six-packs, but they can lift a lot or perform tremendous feats of athleticism, describes Klika.
A strong core is a major factor in staying free from injury particularly in the hips and knees, says Michelle Arent, director of training and conditioning at Rutgers Center for Health and Human Performance in the US.
However, and this is important, the core is more than the muscles running alongside the front of your stomach. In fact, the core itself is a 3-dimensional box shape that includes:
- Your abdominals
- Your lower back muscles
So, when we talk about building a strong core, were actually talking about building a strong trunk. Capice?
Weve collated a mega list of both bodyweight and weighted stomach exercise for women keep scrolling for the best tummy exercises with weights
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