Creating Ripped Abs and a Defined Six Pack
The midsection is one of the most challenging areas of the body to tighten and sculpt. People often have a clear vision of how they’d like their stomachs to look, but defined six pack abs require a workout plan that pays equal attention to strength building and fat loss. When yos focus exclusively on only one of these, the results can be frustrating and sometimes confusing.
Why the Abs Require a Two-Fold Approach
The fascia and connective tissue around the abs provide the midsection with its distinctive lines, and some people naturally have more of this connective tissue than others. To those with natural definition, six pack abs come somewhat more easily. But even with the assistance of genetics, the deep definition of six pack abs requires an abs workout that burns fat as fast as it builds muscle.
Endless crunches and body weight exercises that work the abs to the point of failure will cause the muscles deep in the abdomen to grow stronger, larger, and harder. But after thousands of crunches, you often feel the tone and firmness in the abs area and wonder why these muscles aren’t becoming visible. This is usually because 1.) A great abs workout doesn’t depend on body weight only; after a certain point, additional resistance has to play a role, and 2.) a great abs workout requires attention to fat loss. The abs usually remain invisible because they’re covered by a thin layer of stubborn body fat. This abdominal fat layer can persist even when the rest of the body seems lean and fat-free.
Attacking the Abdominal Fat Layer
While muscle building efforts can target specific areas of the body, fat loss cannot be isolated or directed toward certain areas and away from others. As the body burns more calories than it takes in, fat reserves are depleted and converted into energy. But the body depletes some fat reserves and ignores others according to its own methodology. Nutritionists and exercises scientists have not yet found a way to remove fat selectively from specific parts of the body. And for its own reasons (possibly related to survival and the protection of our vital organs), the body is often reluctant to remove fat from the abs area until other reserves have been used up. This means that six pack abs happen only when you wage a sustained, full-body campaign against excess fat.
Since weight loss is directly connected to heart rate, a successful abs workout and defined six pack abs will depend on an your ability to elevate the heart rate into the fat burning zone and keep it there for as long as possible. This means high intensity cardio exercises can accelerate the development of six pack abs, and so can total body workouts like the ones demonstrated in the video below. The best abs workout of all will be a routine that quickly drives the heart rate up above 50 percent of its maximum speed, sustains that rate for several minutes at a time, and simultaneously works the abdominal muscles to failure using more resistance than body weight alone can provide.
The abs workout below, which relies on the additional resistance of the Kbands, offers all of these benefits.
Six Pack Abs: Wide Knee Ups
The first exercise in this abs workout begins in the push-up position with the Kbands secured in place around the upper legs. The body line should be straight and the abs should tighten as they keep the back aligned and the rear from rising up or sinking toward the floor.
When in position, you should lift the right knee and drive it up toward the elbow. The knee should rise up at a wide angle that stretches against the limits of the resistance bands. Then knee should then return to its original position and you should drive the other knee up toward the left elbow. This move should be repeated on alternate sides for 20 reps.
Six Pack Abs: Planks
After 20 wide knee ups, you should adjust their position so their weight is on their elbows instead of their palms. The feet should be widened by several inches, and the back should be kept flat. The rear end must stay low during this abs workout move or you won’t get the six pack abs they’re looking for.
When in position, you should raise the right leg into the air and off to the side, keeping the leg straight at the knee. The leg should stay elevated for a count of three full seconds. If this exercise is done correctly, you will feel a strong pressure in the hips and lower abs. This move should be repeated 10 times.
For a complete abs workout, this set of moves should be completed twice with a very short rest period in between each set.
Six Pack Abs: Additional Notes
Six pack abs typically result from intense exercise that raises the heart rate and targets the muscles of the abs and obliques. But since fat loss plays a vital role in the process, you also need to pay close attention to their eating habits. To maximize the results of this abs workout, you should try to eat several small meals throughout the day instead of one or two large meals, and they should never skip breakfast. This workout should be balanced with a diet that contains plenty of green vegetables, lean proteins and whole grain carbohydrates. You should also avoid foods that can undermine a great abs workout like fatty red meats, sugary soft drinks, and processed foods containing high fructose corn syrup.
A fat burning diet should also be supplemented with adequate hydration (in the form of water or low fat milk), and healthy sleep habits. Stress, insufficient sleep, and dehydration can slow the results of a fat reduction plan and interfere with the development of six pack abs.