Uncover your six pack by following these simple rules…
1. Start each set tight and engaged
When you train your abs you must ensure there is tension on your entire core before starting a set. Doing so will recruit more muscle fibres into action, and the greater the number of fibres you fatigue during a workout, the better your size and strength gains. Fully contract your abs at the top of moves like crunches or hanging leg raises, and lower slowly and under complete control. For static holds such as the plank, focus on keeping your core braced for the entire duration of the move.
2. Work through different angles
Your abs, like all muscle groups, must be worked through different angles to recruit as many muscle fibres as possible to stimulate size and strength increases. It’ll also give you a balanced set of abs, which not only looks better but also offers greater injury protection. So include exercises that require your torso or legs to move not just up and down or back and forth, but also to the sides to work all the muscles that make up your abdominals. The more you ask your abs to do, the greater the benefit.
3. Lift with added resistance
Using your own body weight as resistance is a great way to starting building core strength. But once your abs can comfortably manage your weight you need to add more resistance to the moves to keep making progress. Once you feel that, say, a bodyweight crunch is too easy, it’s time to increase the workload by holding a dumbbell or weight plate. Start light and increase the extra weight gradually to minimise the risk of injury.
4. Get clever with cardio
Your cardio sessions need to be short and intense because high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has a very similar effect on your body as weight training – it builds muscle and burns fat. HIIT also works your heart and lungs extremely hard to supply your muscles with blood and oxygen quickly. Slow, low-intensity cardio is not great for burning fat. If you need convincing, just picture the physiques of a sprinter and an amateur marathon runner.
5. Banish your beer belly
The truth is that it doesn’t matter how smart you train in the gym: you’ll never have rock-hard abs if you’re not as disciplined in the kitchen. Basing your meals around lean protein, veg and some slow-release carbs is the way to go and most men begin to get a visible six-pack when their body-fat percentage drops below ten per cent. Everyone stores body fat in different places, but the bottom line is you need to eat to reduce body-fat levels to showcase your six-pack.