As we get ready for the unofficial start of summer this weekend, I am finally in a mental place where I do not loathe putting on a bathing suit. My abs are far from perfect, but I have worked on getting them to the point where I am content and I got there without doing a single ab crunch!
Here are my top 5 ways to get your abs in great shape:
Sprints: Skip the long duration cardio and do 5 to 10 all-out sprints (about 20-30 seconds each) during your cardio workout. Sprints challenge all your ab muscles, including the obliques. Sprints also are great for burning fat, so your core will look more defined.
Planks: Planks are a fantastic way to challenge your entire core, including the deep transverse abdominis, which helps pull in your waist. They also can be done anywhere, even in your pajamas at night while watching TV! Challenge yourself during the commercial breaks, which are generally 2 minutes long. Can you hold a plank through an entire commercial break? Try it out!
Kettlebell swings: My core always gets a solid workout when I use a heavy kettelebell for swings. The key word here is heavy--it MUST challenge you. If you are unsure how to swing a kettlebell correctly, check out this tutorial from Lauren Brooks.
Clean up your diet: Abs are definitely made in the kitchen. Focus on eating plenty of green vegetables and organic lean protein. Limit the amount of processed foods and alcohol you consume.
Lower your stress level: Research has shown that stress increases cortisol levels in your body which can cause belly fat. Make time for stress relieving activities such as leisure walking, yoga, massages, etc. and make sure to get plenty of sleep each night!
Published On: May 22, 2014