How to develop Six Pack Abs
How to develop Six Pack Abs
Exercise your way to six-pack abs!
Ladies can do some of these at lower intensity.
Males who are not fit enough can still do these at lesser intensity.They will surely improve your central core.
It's the talk of the town and on every fitness freak's wish list, age no bar! The good news is that apart from looking fab, six-pack abs cut down your risk of heart disease too. The bad news is that they take a lot of hard work!
A well-developed six-pack is achieved by a combination of cardiovascular exercise, resistance training and of course, healthy eating. Understanding the structure of the abdominal area will help you see why two forms of exercise are required.
The top layer of the abdomen consists of fat. The only way to burn fat is by cardiovascular exercise, which will supply oxygen to the fat in order to burn it. Below the fat layer lie the abdominal muscles, which when developed make up a 'six-pack'. This requires resistance training (floor work using your own body weight as resistance). Until the fat is burnt off the top, the underlying six-pack will not be visible, no matter how toned it might be.
It is important to also train the muscles that support and oppose the six pack muscle in order to protect your spine, which could get injured by training just the main abdominal muscle. Also, your entire midsection will then look well-toned.
The six-pack routine :
Frequency -- 5-6 days a week
Duration --Minimum of 30 minutes, non-stop (can go up to 60 minutes)
Intensity -- Brisk
Choice of exercises
-- Walking, aerobics, swimming, cycling, stair climbing
Resistance training :
Frequency -- 3-4 days a week
Sets -- Start with 2 of each exercise, consisting of 16 reps per set. You can increase to 3 sets as you progress.
Level -- Start off with the moderate level. Try the advanced once the moderate becomes easy to do.
Time of exercise -- Do this right after your cardiovascular workout since your body is warmed up.
Breathing technique -- Exhale as you lift, inhale as you lower.
Upper abdominal curls :
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Bend your elbows and place your hands behind the head to support it. Keep the elbows out to the side and don't bring them forward at any point. Keep your chin off the chest, but relaxed. Squeeze your abdominals tight; pressing your navel down into your spine and lift your upper body till the shoulder blades come off the floor. Slowly lower and just before you head touches the floor, lift up again.
Advanced level: Hold a pair of light dumbbells in your hands overhead as shown in the illustration.
Reverse curls :
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet up at 90 degrees. Place your hand on the floor either side of the hips. Head stays rested on the floor. Squeeze the lower abdominal area and lift your hips off the floor in a smooth movement without any jerks, curling and bringing the knees towards your chest. Slowly lower down. Lift up again without allowing the muscle to rest between repetitions.
Advanced level: Do the same with your legs straight up towards the ceiling.
This is a combination of the first two exercises.
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet up at 90 degrees. Bend your elbows and place your hands behind the head to support it. Keep the elbows out to the side & dont bring them forward at any point.Simultaneously, lift your upper body till the shoulder blades come off the floor and raise your hips lifting them off the floor, drawing your knees towards the chest. Squeeze the whole abdominal muscle hard, pressing the navel down to the spine.
Advanced level: Do the same with your arms straight above, stuck to your ears and raise them as a part of your head. Don't swing the arms forwards and backwards.
Get into the same position as for the first exercise (upper abdominal curls). This time, instead of lifting your upper body straight up, twist and reach your shoulder (not elbow) towards the opposite knee. Feel a contraction going diagonally across your tummy. Complete one set, then change sides.
Side-lying hip lifts :
Lie on your side and prop yourself up on the bottom hand. Keep the elbow straight but not locked. Cross one foot over the other for balance. Now lift your hip off the floor till your body is in a straight line. Slowly lower and before your hip touches the floor, lift up again. You will feel a contraction on the underside at your waist. Do one set, then change sides.
Lie on your tummy and place your hands at your mouth. Keeping your head facing down, towards the floor, lift your upper body till the chest comes off the floor as you squeeze your back hard. Slowly lower and raise again just before your face touches the floor. Make sure your feet stay firmly on the floor all through to avoid undue pressure on the back.
Lie on your tummy and place your hands straight down along your torso. Keeping your upper body on the floor, raise both your legs off the floor squeezing the lower back. Lower and lift up again before the feet touch the floor.
Cut back on all fattening foods (fried, oily, sweet, refined and processed foods). Eat a light dinner (low on carbohydrates), 3 hours before bedtime.