One of my clients’ most frequent questions is how to get the illustrious ‘six pack’. There are of course health benefits to training the abdominal area (reduces risk of lower back pain, promotes improved posture etc.), but when it comes to ‘abs’, health seems secondary to cosmetics! First, if the stomach isn’t flat, there’s likely too much fat being stored; sit-up after sit-up won’t help, as they burn fewer calories vs. proper cardio. ‘Spot training’ simply doesn’t work for this.
The solution is genuinely simple – reduce body fat by increasing activity, whilst controlling calorie intake – abs then will begin to show definition of their own accord. Exercises can improve the shape and bulk of the muscles, but they won’t show unless the fat layer goes first. To do that, above all, engage and work the transversus abdominal muscle, which acts as a muscular corset connecting the upper and lower body, holding in the waist. Try to hit the stomach muscles from all angles. Here’s a 3-point attack plan, with photos! …. (more…)