If you have ever been searching for an abs workout online, I’m sure you have bumped into thousands of routines online. Obviously, each of them is told to be the best to burn belly fat or to get six pack abs.
You may have been doing a plan for some months now, but see no results, and you feel the workout you do is just a waste of time. And you are close to giving the whole training up thinking you will never have the stomach you dream about. The situation is even worse if you have tried many programs with no success.
I used to be in your shoes. I desired to get a flat stomach like the men in fitness magazines have. As a beginner, I tried many abs workout routines, but the result did not come fast.
What was the problem?
Frankly, I did not know what makes an abs workout efficient. I just follow a routine that I found, thinking it was going to be the final solution.
You know, I did not spend time with learning the anatomy of the body and exercises to understand what I should do. But, thanks to the tons of online sources I read, now I know.
Here I would like to give you some tips on what to pay attention to before starting an abs workout program and how to create your own. If you follow the factors below, you cannot go wrong.
It must work your entire core
If you only do crunches, you strengthen just a small part of your core. In this case, mainly your abdominis. However, your midsection includes a lot of other muscles. So, if you train just one part of it, you will make only that muscle strong and shaped.
So, you should do exercises for each of the muscles of your core to make them balanced and healthy.
What are these muscles?
The rectus and transverse abdominis, internal and external oblique, and your lower back, spine, and hip muscles.
So, you should follow a workout that trains each of these muscles. Of course, you may have one particular muscle group that is weaker and needs more training to develop, but you should have a total core training.
Full core training is not only essential to shaping your stomach and waist, but also for health and performance. A strong core is the foundation of a healthy posture, balance, and coordination. And it helps to perform better in any sports, for example, when you lift weights.
I have already created lists from which you can learn various exercises for the mention muscles. Check out the following posts for oblique, lower back, upper and lower abs exercises.
Correct form for effectiveness ans safety
You can have an all in one and workout routine if you perform the exercises incorrectly which is not only inefficient but can cause you an injury.
If you are a beginner, it is critical to learning the correct form. It is better to have 10 reps of proper crunches than 25 badly-performed.
Quality is over quantity.
It sounds good when someone says I can do 50 sit-ups, but he terribly does them.
No matter what type of abdominal exercise you do, you should feel the contraction in your abs muscles because that is when they work. Do not use the momentum and the power of other muscles.
For example, a lot of people doing crunches try to lift their body up by pulling their head forward with the power of their arms instead of the power of their abs. This way, the abdominal muscles are not engaged as much. Plus, they may hurt their neck and spine.
To sum up, focus on your abs. It is better to do motions slowly if you are not familiar with proper form yet.
Intensity for calorie burning and endurance
Your core training does not have to be long. I have heard from my gym goer friends tons of time that “I just had a 40-minute abs training”. Sounds good, but if they have 5 minutes rests between the sets, those 40 minutes are just a waste of time.
Your workout should be intensive and have as little rest between the sets as possible. That way you can boost your heart rate that helps to burn more calories and develops your endurance.
I prefer HIIT abs training. I do 8 or more exercises for 30-45 seconds one after the other, and I made 2-3 rounds. Fast, yet power type of practice to burn fat and strengthen each part of my core.
So, make your core workout intensive.
Should I use equipment?
There are a lot of abs training out there, but I only prefer those which lets me increase the resistance. For example, with a sit-up bench, I can have a much harder workout since I can make the moves at a higher angle by adjusting the board. Or if I use an ab wheel, I have to hold my entire body. Or by putting a dumbbell on my chest, I can have more stimulating crunches.
It is evident by using equipment you can develop the strength and the size of your abdominal muscles efficiently. But, that does not mean you should have one at home to get results. There are a lot of great abs exercises out there that do not require any tools at all.
Get equipment when you feel your core needs more to develop.
Change your workout routine time to time
If you do the same program over and over again for a long time, your muscles get used to the same exercises, resistance, intensity and they may stop growing.
You know, when someone starts lifting weights he develops kinda fast at the beginning, but that development slows down with time. That is the same with the abs.
So, change or modify your workout routine from time to time.
You can replace exercises with others. Raise the number of reps or sets. Increase the intensity. Or add extra resistance by using equipment.
This way you and your muscles will not get bored with the same routine.
What is the best way to lose belly fat?
Most of the people start an abs training plan because they want to get rid of belly fat. But, you have stomach fat because your body fat level is high, right? So, you should decrease it.
The way to lose fat is to burn more calories than you take in so your body will use its storage to maintain. The best combination to reach that state is by paying attention to your diet by taking in fewer calories and/or doing cardio training which burns calories efficiently.
The problem with most of the abdominal exercises is that they are somewhat small movements that do not increase your heart rate so much (unless you make an intensive circuit such as HIIT.) They make your abs strong and shaped, but they do not burn much fat.
So, to get rid of belly fat you should pay attention to your diet and do cardio as well.
If you want to get one step forward, you should do strength training as well, mainly compound exercises such as squat, deadlift, etc.
That is crucial not just to make your body strong, symmetric and balanced, but to get more muscle mass. The more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism will be. Hence, you can burn calories more adequately throughout the day.
To Sum Up
I think, after reading these tips you now understand what a good abs workout program is. It must be complete, intensive, well-performed and versatile. But to get a killer tummy, you have other tasks as well.