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What’s the truth about getting six pack abs? Are those home ab workouts that are so widely advertised any good? The information below will help you find out.
It can be hard sometimes to separate truth from fiction as regards to developing the abdominal muscles. In this article, I’ll try and give you some guidance as to what works and what doesn’t. After that, we’ll look specifically at typical ab workouts for men at home so that you can get started straightaway on developing those rock-hard sculpted abs.
The first thing to say is that non-stop muscle isolation exercises are unlikely to work. This is because you simply cannot burn away fat from one specific part of the body. The body does not work like that. While muscle isolation exercises are certainly part of an ab development process, and therefore part of a good ab workout, there has to be more to it than that.
Include Cardio Exercises In Your Workout Routine
In order to support your ab workouts at home effectively, you also need to consider some kind of effective cardio routine. This will help burn fat from all around your body – and that will include your abs.
Another point to be made is that focusing exclusively on the abdominal muscles is a waste of time. Remember that the abdominals are muscles just like any other muscles in your body. You simply do not need to do thousands of repetitions in order to develop them. All that kind of over-exertion will do is result in you over-training and perhaps even injuring yourself.
While it is true that abdominal muscles are stamina-oriented, and therefore may actually benefit from a higher number of repetitions than other kinds of muscles, it is simply not necessary to overdo it. Increasing the level of the muscles’ resistance, and introducing variety into your training, will be a far more effective way of developing them. Keeping the number of repetitions down to 20 or less is a much more effective way of getting great results.
Gradually Increase The Resistance Of Exercises
As with any other kind of exercise, you should gradually be increasing the resistance of the exercise in order to continue getting effective results. And this is true for the abdominal muscles as well. The stronger you make those muscles, the more toned they will look when your body fat is reduced.
That is when you will start to see your six pack abs appearing. There are a number of different ways of increasing the level of resistance in your ab workouts at home. You may decide to use actual weights along with your ab workout or, if you are using an ab machine or ad belt of some kind, you may decide to increase the resistance of it gradually over a period of time.
Another point to be made, which people often overlook, is that it is okay not to train your abs every single day. Think about it. Do you train your other body muscles every single day?
If you are being wise with your workouts, you give your muscles a chance to rest between workouts. Just like your chest, leg and bicep muscles, your ab muscles benefit from rest and recovery time. This means that it is simply unnecessary to train your abs more than about three times a week. Relax and take a day off from time to time!
Build Your Ab Muscles
Since you should treat your abdominal muscles just like any other muscles, then also realize that if your goal is to have a completely flat stomach with a rock-hard six pack, you must go ahead and develop those abs. If you don’t, you will simply end up with a flat stomach with nothing visible beneath it.
So, like I said above, developing those abs is really a balance between reducing overall body fat and developing the ab muscles themselves. Without dealing with both aspects, you simply will not have visible six pack abs.
Now that we have exposed some of the misconceptions that people have about ab workouts, let us look in detail at some example ab workouts for guys.
While it may be the case in most people’s minds that the most effective abdominal exercise is that of doing crunches, this is actually not the case. A good ab workout will target all the abdominal muscles as well as incorporating cardio and strength exercises.
Let’s take a look at some of the kinds of exercises that should be in place for a good ab workout.
What Should A Good Ab Workout Include?
Ab crunches are definitely the classic ab exercise. It may be tempting to do only this particular exercise but your routine will be far more effective if you include other kinds of exercises that target other parts of the abdominal muscles.
These kinds of exercises can include the following:
Lying Bicycle – Lie down, and bend your right leg at the knee. Pull your right thigh up at the hip at the same time. Curl the spine up to the right, and allow your left elbow to touch your right knee. Now repeat the same process from the other side of your body, that is, from the left leg.
Standing Tower Circle – Here, you stand up holding a small towel or a resistance band tightly above your head. Stand up straight. Now contract your abs and slowly move your hands in a large wide circle above your head and around your torso.
Seated Jackknife – Lie down in a face up position. Put some kind of support under your hips, and then stretch your legs and arms. With your knees bent, pull your legs back. Simultaneously, bring your arms, shoulders and head forward into a jackknife position pivoting on your buttocks. Now, hold this contracted position.
Cardiovascular Exercises – I said earlier that cardio exercises should be part of your routine as well. Examples of these are aerobics, swimming, jogging, running and walking. By doing these kinds of exercises, you burn calories fast and shed the belly fat that would otherwise hide your abs. For women especially, belly dancing has proven to be a great combination of ab exercising and cardiovascular exercising. As well as this, it can be great fun!
Weightlifting – Another not-often-spoken-about essential exercise to getting those great abs is that of lifting weights. Just by increasing the mass of muscles in your body, you will automatically burn more body fat because you will be using up more calories to maintain those muscles.
Mind And Body – And finally, don’t forget about the link between your mind and your body. It has been found that by spending time visualizing changes to your body, you can help those changes come about.
So, if you imagine yourself with terrific six pack abs, and really believe it, your body will start to respond to that visualization. A great visualization to use would be to imagine yourself in the mirror with the perfect abs. Then, imagine yourself stepping into the mirror and becoming the person in the mirror. Allow yourself to completely merge with that person. Imagine how that feels. After feeling all the sensations of it, step out of the mirror and get on with your life.
In this article, we started out by looking at some misconceptions that people have about developing their abdominal muscles. We then looked at the kinds of exercises that will help you get those six pack abs. I hope you found this article useful and I wish you well with your abs workout goals.