Strengthening my core and trying to achieve ‘abs’ are something I’ve had to work INCREDIBLY hard at. Some people (my sister) can dream about abs only to wake up the next day sporting a 6 pack. The only way that can happen for me is if I literally hit the liquor store and fall asleep with a case of Corona beside by bed.
We all have abs and core muscles but for most of us, they are covered by a layer of body fat. Just like anything, with a lot of dedication, patience, time, and guidance within your workout, lifestyle and eating habits, you CAN makes moves to achieving more defined core muscles. Not only will you feel confident when a last minute hot tub party occurs but feel strong in your every day life.
Abdominal muscles are one of those muscle groups that you could be working on everyday but without proper form, could potentially just be wasting energy without producing results.
And who likes to work out abs for fun really?
A huge role of achieving ab definition happens outside the gym. Lifestyle including sleep, diet and of course, and how we move our bodies are decipher how quick and efficiently we attain our core goals.
In this blog you will walk away with 5 tips on how you can get your moneys worth when it comes to defining and building your core- in and outside of the gym.
1. Switch Up WHEN You Train Abs
Many people save their ab exercises until the end of their workout when their fatigued and ready to bounce out of the gym. This could mean on intense workout days, like the quiet employee in the back of your office, your abs can be forgotten or ignored.
Try beginning a couple of your workout days with an ab circuit like the one below so you’re able to really push it on full tank of energy.
2. Muscle-Mind Connection
It’s easy to go through a series of core exercises barely breaking a sweat as your mind has run off deciding what kind of post workout protein shake to enjoy.
To perform effective ab exercises you must connect with the muscles being used. This means putting your mind into your core and feeling the burn of every rep. Not feeling it? Add weight, slow the movements down, do what you can to stay focused.
This tip applies to all exercises especially squats, deadlifts, bent-over rows, military presses, Romanian deadlifts and even bicep curls. Engaging your abs not only protects your back and spine, it strengthens the core and aids in keeping a tall strong posture.
Try engaging your abs as you walk down the street or sit at your desk. This practice will help strengthen the core and improve muscle tone. Set an alarm on your phone to reminder you to sit up tall and squeeze that core in! Come gym time, you’ll have already built up a baseline and are ready to get those abs poppin’!
3. Mix Up Your Ab Exercises
If you’re a fan of crunches because you know them and their comfortable…Switch. It. Up.
Hint- no results come from being comfortable 🙂
Create a list of ab exercises picking a handful to focus on 2-3x per week. Add a quick HIIT cardio session at the end of your workout to really give fat burning a kick in the butt.
4. Diet, Diet, Diet
You knew it was coming.
Eating clean is imperative in how and when your ab definition comes through. Ensuring you’re eating a balanced diet of protein, fats, and carbohydrates focused on consuming whole foods. This means limiting the amount of process foods within your diet.
Not sure how many macros (proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) you should be eating? You can use a simple macro calculator like this one to get a basic idea. If you need assistance in how to translate that into a balanced meal plan, hit me up!
5. Drink Up!
Water helps rid the body of toxins, reduce cellulite, keep skin clear and glowing, helps eliminate mindless snacking….need I go on?
Studies go as far to say your intake of water can also play a role on your metabolism. I recommend drinking upwards of 1 1/2 + litres of water a day. More if you’re active or had a big workout that day.
Not a fan of drinking plain ol’ agua? Infuse your water with some of favorite flavored water recipes found here.
Be patient and don’t give up. You may not see results right away but that doesn’t mean they aren’t packing their bags and about to board the train.
Find accountability- buddy to keep you accountable to your eating habits and workout routine. As always, I’m here when you need me!
You got this sis!
Stay Positive. Work hard. Stay Focused.