In order to have a strong and flat stomach, one needs to practice a combination of cardio exercise, strength exercises that activate the Core, balanced diet and lots of dedication. I am very proud of my six pack, which is partly result of my genetics, but mostly a result of proper nutrition, hard training and the fact that I’ve been always very keen on abs exercises (the harder, the better; and I never stop searching for a way to make them even more difficult).
I have some tips for you who are working on your abs muscles. The summer’s already begun, but it’s never too late!
- I often include sprints in my cardio training. Abdominal muscles love such stimuli. Sprints are great for those who work on strength or endurance.
- I never do classic crunches, because I believe there exist much better exercises with which we can create abs of steel.
- A strong Core means a strong stomach. If you want to have flat belly and slimmer waist line, you should include exercises for the Core in your training! Actually every training should include squats, push-ups and planks, as they strengthen the entire body and activate and strengthen the abs.
- The most important thing you need to look after if you want a perfect looking stomach, is food. Try to eat as healthy as possible and choose high quality food, which means you need to exclude empty calories from your diet and include more protein and more vegetables. Include also carbohydrates, but try to consume them around the time of training, when the body needs them the most. Try to avoid extreme diets. Your main goal is overall health, keep that in mind when you plan your diet.
- Perseverance is the key. Do not expect to change overnight and, even more important, never ever give up. The progress is slow, but the success is guaranteed! Every physical activity is welcome, but for visible results you will have to train at least three to four times a week. In any case, listen to your body. It will tell you when it’s tired, so just adjust your training accordingly (just don’t succumb to laziness!).
- Back to six pack abs goal! As all muscles, abs also like to be shocked from time to time. If you repeat the same exercise over and over again, the body gets used to it and by preforming the same exercise, the body stays in its comfort zone, where no change or progress happens! If you do the same, expect the same.
- Remember that the abs are most activated during exercise performance. In case you start to feel that other muscles are more active than they should be, like arms, neck or back, take a break and start over, paying more attention to exercise performance. Don’t forget to breathe. Holding breath will only make it difficult for you to complete the exercise. I practise crunches in four to five series at the end of each training session.
NOTE for those who are working on a super slim waist: the exercises that only promote side abs (like sit-ups to the side), will visually widen your belt, so perform them less often or don’t perform them at all. The side muscles will be sufficiently stimulated by complex exercises that strengthen the entire abdominal wall. Enjoy your workout!