A lot of people tend to think doing countless sit-ups will solve their sloppy midsection. Before I get into the ab routine and exercises, there are two things that need to be addressed:
1) Diet is #1 when losing body fat. If your diet isn’t in check, then don’t expect results. 95% of people in the gym look pretty much the same, year in and year out, solely because they don’t understand this which usually ends up in a loss of motivation.
2) Treat your abs as any other muscle, work them out the same and use weights in progressing them. Hundreds of sit-ups a night isn’t doing anything besides increasing your abs endurance, which isn’t going to get them to show. Hit the upper and lower abs with intensity and progress with additional weight when you’re able to.
Treat your abs as any other muscle, work them out the same and use weights in progressing them.
Like every other muscle, the whole point is to stretch and tear the fibers with whatever exercises, sets, or reps it takes to achieve this, which may be slightly different for everybody. I’ll go over a few exercises that I’ve considered staples to my workouts over the years that help with defining and building your abs along with excellent diet. The reps/sets stated below are a good starting point for the first few months, but you may want to increase/decrease as you go along and get a feel for what your body responds better to. It’s best to get as many carbs in as possible that your diet allows so that you can pump out the most reps possible before failure. Check out a basic rundown on carbs to get familiar with them in your diet.
The Three Exercises You Need To Develop Your Abs
Weighted Decline Sit-ups
– Get on a decline bench without the bar and grab a weight, recommended to start with a 2.5 or 5 lb weight, or possibly nothing. What ever it takes to get a good burn, then you can slowly work your way up through the weights.Try 4 sets of 10-12 reps to start. Place the weight DIRECTLY behind your head with both hands, not in front of your chest or stomach. Slowly concentrate on flexing the ab muscles on the way down on the exercises, then explode on the way up. Slow down, fast up — explode on the positive portion of the exercise, slow it down on the negative. Repeat for previously mentioned 4 sets of 10-12 with 1-2 minutes rest in between.
Weighted Straight Leg Raises
– Most gyms have a machine dedicated for this, if you don’t know what it looks like then ask a trainer or whoever is working the gym about a machine that you can do leg raises on. These are great lower ab exercises. Recommend 3 sets of 10 if doing this after weighted decline sit-ups. Rest on your arms with legs hanging, then while keeping your legs slightly unlocked (doesn’t have to be completely locked to be straight, just enough bend to take the lock out of the knees) swing legs up in a swooping motion til your legs are slightly above parallel with the ground, then back down slowly. You may fill this in your quads if your legs are neglected in your workout. Explode the legs on the way up, slow and concentrated motion on the way down while focusing on using the abs. Explode through the positive, and slow down through the negative, textbook way on getting ripped abs through exercises.
– The above two exercises are enough to develop your core, but this is icing on the cake as it also develops your transverse abdominis muscle, which helps to keep your core tight and “tucked in” and give your stomach a flatter appearance and possibly a smaller waist overall.3 Sets of 45 seconds with a weight placed on your back (easier done with a partner so he/she can place the weight on top of you). If you are unsure how to preform this exercise, Google is your friend. Plenty of sites with ‘how-to’ videos on this exercise. Only difference is a weight is placed on your back for added resistance instead of increasing time. If this becomes easy at the end of your ab workout after doing the above two exercises, then increase weight or time to a full minute, but not past that. Keep the time to a minute max and just increase weight from there.
“Time under tension” is still key here, slow down on the negatives and explode on the positive portion of the rep. You can supplement with other exercises if you want, but honestly these are the only staples you’ll ever need. Best to throw these in at the end of your normal workout with 2 days rest in between (ie: Monday/Thursday or Tuesday/Friday).These exercises along with a calorie deficit diet
and/or a good HIIT cardio routine
on top of consistency and dedication will get you the abs you want in just a matter of time–period.