Trying to build six-pack abs? This article is for you. Before we go over some simple exercises beginners can incorporate into their workout routines, let us explain how the process of getting shredded abs works.
Regardless of how well-defined your ab muscles are, no one will see them if they are covered by layers of fat. You’ll need to lower your body fat percentage to healthy levels to make your ab muscles visible. People who are overweight simply cannot have six-pack abs regardless of how hard they train. Their ab muscles will become stronger if they work them out, but no one will be able to see them.
Reducing your body fat percentage involves sustaining a caloric deficit each day until your fat loss goal has been reached. Reducing the number of carbohydrates you consume and eating smaller meals are two simple ways to reach a caloric deficit. Start by using an app or online calculator to figure out how many calories your body needs each day so you can craft a diet plan that gives you about 500 fewer calories per day. Reducing your required calorie intake can lead to you losing about one or two kilograms of fat daily.
Training consistently, sticking to a diet that gives you a caloric deficit, reducing alcohol consumption, and getting eight hours of sleep every night has a bigger impact on the way your abs look than performing exercises that target the abdominal muscles. If you’re not willing to do these things, the chances of you ever developing six-pack abs are rather slim.
Effective Ab Exercises For Beginners
As far as exercises that target the core muscles are concerned, aim for compound exercises that work core muscles along with larger muscle groups. Let’s go over a few exercises you should incorporate into your ab workouts, so your abdominal muscles are well developed. Aim for about 8 to 12 reps per set when performing these exercises, and try to complete 1 to 3 sets per exercise depending on your fitness level.
1. High-tension Plank
The plank is one of the most common core exercises, and it’s used by people of all fitness levels. The exercise works your abdominal muscles by creating tension, causing your body to contract your muscles. The plank also works as a great warm-up before more intense workouts.
To perform the exercises, get on your hands and knees, then lift yourself with your forearms. Pick up your knees off the floor and form a straight line that goes through your heels and head. Squeeze your quads and glutes to prevent your knees from sagging.
Squeeze your ab muscles as if a buddy was about to punch you in the gut. Squeeze as hard as you can and take big breaths as you squeeze. Hold the position as long as you can to complete a set.
2. Loaded Carries
These go beyond simply working your core, loaded carries are also a great way to straighten your spine. If you are one of the many people who spend a great deal of time seated at a desk or hunched over a screen, here’s one of the exercises that can help to prevent you from developing bad posture.
Loaded carries are great for conditioning as well since they train you to brace your core when performing intense movements.
Performing this exercise is easy. Grab a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells using the same form you would use to perform a deadlift. At the top of the lift, when your back is fully straightened, walk slowly, resisting the urge to shrug, lean forward, slouch, or rush. The exercise can also be performed using a single weight like barbells.
Loaded carries can be used to finish off your workouts a couple of times per week. You can also incorporate heavy-loaded carries as part of your main strength training routine. Pick a weight that is light enough for you to carry it for a minute. Aim for three to five sets, with one or two-minute rest periods between sets.
3. Dead Bug
The dead bug helps to stabilize your lower back and makes your movements more efficient. To perform the exercise, lie down on your back, keeping your knees bent at a 90-degree angle in relation to your hips.
Push one of your legs outward and tap its heel on the ground. Exhale while doing this, and make sure your lower back stays glued to the floor. Bring the knee back to the starting point and repair the movement with your other leg. You can make dead bugs more challenging by lowering your arm and leg on the opposite side or holding weights in both hands.
Dead bugs are a great warm-up exercise as they prepare your core muscles for more challenging workouts. Aim for two to three reps before your strength training workouts.
4. Reverse Crunch
Conventional sit-ups and crunches are great for building abdominal muscles, but they can lead to lower back issues, tight hip flexors, and poor posture if you spend most of your time seated on a chair. Reverse crunches target the abs without the potential posture issues caused by conventional crunches.
To perform the exercise, get down on your back with something solid an arm’s length away from your head. Your arms should be completely outstretched when you hold on to it. Now, bend at your knees and plant your feet on the ground. Push your lower back into the ground.
Pull your knees towards your chest, lifting your pelvis off the ground. Exhale while doing this and control the pace of the exercise with your breathing. Inhale while returning to the starting position and repeat the process.
The reverse crunch helps to reset your hips prior to lower body workouts and it trains your abdominal muscles to take some of the load off your hip flexors. Aim for about 10 reps and anywhere between one to three sets.
Martial Arts Classes And HIIT Can Help
Training martial arts like Muay Thai can burn over 1000 calories for each hour spent on the mat and that goes a long way when it comes to consistently reaching a caloric deficit. Stop by for one of our complimentary classes to give either activity a try.
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