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Want Beach-Ready Abs This Summer?

Sit-ups and crunches are only part of the overall equation.

Summer is on the way and everyone wants to get that sexy beach body. This includes having that great looking flat stomach. A lot of people think that to achieve a great stomach they have to do thousands upon thousands of sit ups. The truth is that is only part of the equation. Having great looking abs does take time, training hard, cardio and, of course, eating clean meals. Great abs, therefore, start in the kitchen. It is important to try and cut out fried foods, sugars, refined and processed foods, alcohol, and even dairy (dairy is high in fat). That means eating more natural foods such as, vegetables, fruits, protein (such as lean meats), lentil's, brown rice, whole grain breads, nuts and drinking lots of water.

 

Another key to looking lean and showing stomach muscles is cardio, cardio, cardio! I suggest mixing up your routine and doing intervals instead of slow steady cardio. This way your body is burning more calories to the change in pace. So you can achieve more results in a shorter period of time. (LESS BORING TOO). So that means whatever type of cardio you choose pick time intervals to go hard then ease off, then hard again for at least 20-60 minutes. You will see a leaner stomach faster this way. For great abs I recommend full-body workouts that also include the following exercises to start with. They are all static and great for beginners to build up the strength in your abdominals before moving on to other exercises that require more movement.

Static Abdominal Crunch

  • Opposite arm to opposite leg
  • Try holding for 30 seconds and slowly increase time for each side

Static Opposite Arm/Leg Plank

  • Keep belly button pulled toward spine the entire time
  • Try holding for 30 seconds and slowly increase time for each side

Plank

  • Make sure that your elbows and shoulders are in line as well as your neck in line with your spine and hips
  • Keep belly button pulled toward spine the entire time
  • Make sure not to let your hips drop
  • Try holding for 30 seconds and slowly increase time

Static Crunch and Hold

This exercise is to be done in 2 segments. Keep belly button pulled toward spine the entire time.

  • Crunch and hold for 30 seconds and slowly increase
  • After the 30 seconds go slightly higher and hold for another 30 seconds

Static V-Sit

  • Keep belly button pulled toward spine the entire time
  • Create a V with your body using your arms and legs
  • Try holding for 30 seconds and slowly increase

Static V-Sit on BOSU Ball

  • Keep belly button pulled toward spine the entire time
  • Create a V with your body using your arms and legs
  • Try holding for 30 seconds and slowly increase

Static One-Legged V-Sit

  • Keep belly button pulled toward spine the entire time
  • Create a V with your body using your arms and legs while one leg is held 1 inch above the ground
  • Try holding each leg for 30 seconds and slowly increase the time each week.

For Great Abs Use These Tips:

  1. Perform cardio as often as you can, ideally 5-7 days per week.
  2. Drink lots of water.
  3. Take fried foods out of your diet.
  4. Take sugars out of your diet.
  5. Eat lots of veggies
  6. Eat lots of protein
  7. Full-body workouts (this includes abdominal exercises).
  8. Keep a good posture

Alicia Bell is an Elite Personal Trainer, NCCP Sprint Coach and Training Advisor for RIVALUS Inc.

 

 

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