For most, having a defined set of abs is the pinnacle of looking good and / or fit. Granted, it is impressive to have defined abs as they take a lot of work and discipline to define, as does toning most of your body. However, abs get respect from people because they are particularly difficult to get.
Ab Muscles are tricky to develop as developing them has an incredible amount to do with the person’s diet, in addition to their workout. The real tricky part is you have to be fairly intense about both your diet and exercise; most importantly, you have to eat and workout well, efficiently, and consistently.
The idea behind 10-minute abs is a few workouts, done together for 10 minutes a day, can get you the muscular abs you desire. We cannot say this does not work, but how many people do you know who got their abs by working on it for 10 minutes a day?
There aren’t many great things you could get in 10 minutes a day other than something like fast food (which is terrible for you, just tastes good…sometimes.) Getting abs may take more than 10 minutes a day, but there are only three key essentials to an ab regimen and that is eating and exercising well, efficiently, and consistently.
Eating well is arguably the number one key to attaining defined abs. This mostly has to do with the fact that both men and women store their body fat primarily in the abdomen region. Women store fat in their arms and legs as well, but it gets a little complicated as to why.
The important thing is that the abdomen is a primary storage area for fat. As such, many people have defined abs, especially if you already workout a significant amount, but their abs are covered with belly fat.
If you are at a lean weight, feel free to scroll down a bit and get to the exercising. If you are having a particularly hard time with belly fat, check out the Fighting Belly Fat Blog. In sum, trimming down your belly takes a lot of time and dedication. And, those abdomin muscles like to hide behind that fat.
The simplest way to think about getting defined abs is your attempting to remove the accumulated fat from your stomach, the primary fat storage area. To do so means you will have to eliminate the majority of fat from your body (to a healthy degree, of course.)
Your most efficient way to fight belly fat is to lift weights and focus on other areas of your body. It takes more calories to maintain muscle mass, as a result, a full body workout is crucial to keep the amount of calories you need to eat at a higher level. You could aim to eat significantly less alone, but if you want to optimize your time and see defined abs as fast as possible, you really have to eat less and lift more.
There are no particular lifting exercises you need to do for the rest of your muscles. You just need to lift consistently and target different muscle regions with each workout.
Put an enormous emphasis on eating well for attaining defined abs. You really just have to listen to what everyone else is telling you when it comes to eating well:
– Cut down the carbohydrates: Do not throw carbs out completely. Cutting carbohydrates completely and / or quickly from your diet could impact you negatively – headaches and dizziness are some immediate issues.
If you already eat less carbohydrates, sweet! Time to focus on the next step.
If you have yet to cut down carbs, wait until later in your lifestyle change to do so. Cutting “bad” carbs will have a fairly fast visual result; one sort of deflates after decreasing their carb intake.
Save that visual result for later in your lifestyle change so you can really see / feel the fruits of your labor further down the road once you’re, likely but not necessarily, getting frustrated with reaching your goal.
– Nutritious food: One should eat nutritious food no matter what they choose as a fitness goal. Eating nutritiously is not too expensive, nor is it too inconvenient; one is just accustomed to eating poorly and eating poorly tastes better than eating well once you are accustomed to that diet.
Most Americans are actually malnourished despite the fact that we eat so much – we eat so many empty calories. Nutritious food is made up of the usual suspects: Fish, nuts, vegetables, and some fruits.
Pro-Tip – ease up on the fruits, they have various vitamins and micronutrients but they’re basically nature’s candy. They could ruin your diet optimization as opposed to something like lean meats or vegetables.
Tired-of-Hearing-it Tip: An Avocado is technically a fruit. Avocados rock: they are delicious and make most meals much better. In addition, they have “good” fat that will help you feel full longer, the carbs they do have are mostly fiber, and they can be mixed in with other foods or eaten alone. I know you’re tired of hearing about them, but have a couple 🙂
Efficiently: Working out efficiently is crucial for defined abs. Abs are strange muscles we use often, but are difficult to bulk up. As a result, doing things like crunches and sit-ups are not as effective as one would think.
Think about it, if you wanted to get defined biceps, would you preacher curl just the bar and never increase the weight? Would your biceps get any bigger if you kept adding reps / sets but not increasing weight ever? Nope
So let’s avoid all the usual sit-ups, crunches, planks, etc (unless you’re incorporating them in a cross-fit type of way where you do more than just the single exercise.) We will focus on exercises that require weight / bands that will add more resistance to your ab workout.
Vertical Knee Raises – Vertical Knee Raises are the bees knees (because not enough people are using 50s era vernacular anymore.) You will definitely feel the burn and it does such a great job of targeting the center muscles in your abs (Rectus Abdominis muscles.) Essentially, you hit what will eventually become your “6-pack.” The beauty of VKR is you can add weight by gripping a small dumbbell with your feet or (creatively,) using resistance bands in a similar manner.
The only problem with VKR is that you’ll need to either get a Cage or a Power Tower if you do not already have one at home. If you’re serious about working out your abs, I highly recommend them. Especially since some of the basic cages will fit over your current bench.
Dumbbell Sit-ups (Weighted Sit-ups) – Weighted sit-ups are key when it comes to defining your abs. Weighted sit-ups are beneficial because you can increase the weight as you see fit. Whereas regular sit-ups start to feel more like a cardio workout because all you can do is increase your reps.
Be incredibly careful with sit-ups, look up proper form! Many argue sit-ups ruin your posture and mess up your back overtime. Nevertheless, sit-up with proper form and stop the sit-ups (weighted or not) if you experience back pain.
Low-to-High Wood Chop – The Low-to-High Wood Chop is perfect for those with free weights or with a smith machine. If you want to keep saving time on your workouts, get a smith machine. If not, Free weights and kettlebells are great too.
The Wood Chop does a good job of targeting your oblique muscles. This workout will help balance out your ab workout and weight can be added or dropped as necessary!
Defining your Abs – Tips and tricks
Tighten your abs when you can: during a workout, while you’re walking / jogging, when your standing around, etc.. This is not going to get you amazing abs, but it’s good to keep your abs on their proverbial toes so they’re always ready for action.
Cutting carbs: If you’re cutting carbs, no need to be extreme about it. Some people’s bodies react negatively to cutting carbs quickly (some complain about a severe wall they hit when cutting carbs and / or headaches, nausea, etc..) Also, it is difficult to do anything to an extreme for the rest of your life, so slowly cut down carbs to avoid yo-yo dieting.
Focus on your abs last: Many people do not really notice, but your abs are used in an incredible amount of exercises. You will want to save your abs oriented workout for the end of your session. Because you use your abs for other exercises, you run the risk of ruining your current regiment because your abs are too sore from starting off with abs exercises!
TL;DR Getting the abs of your dreams will not take 10 minutes a day, you undoubtedly have to change your lifestyle. We all should change our lifestyle for the sake of our health (and following this blog could help you change.) Eat less calories than your body needs a day, eat more healthy meats / vegetables and less processed carbs like sugar and grains. And, do ab workouts which can have weight added to them and you will be well on your way to an impressive core!