Summer is just around the corner and you know what that means: it’s swimsuit season! While it’s still a bit chilly to head to the beach right now, you don’t need to worry about shedding any layers at the moment. But it’s the perfect time to head to the gym to work on your toned abs before summer starts!
Toned Abs Are Made in the Kitchen
If you are serious about blasting stomach fat and toning your stomach muscles, you need to change your diet. The best way to get a flat stomach is to ditch the junk food. That means alcohol, soft drinks, and foods high in sugar or carbs. Drink heaps of water, as water is essential to flush toxins and fat from your body.
To get your six-pack abs to show, you need to drop your body fat percentage to about 16-19%. This means no more junk food. Clean out the fridge and fill it with nutritious foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats. Focus on eating between 5-6 small meals throughout the day. Each meal should contain a lean protein, like chicken, fish, eggs, or a protein shake.
Toned Abs Require Work
You can’t achieve a muscular stomach without some exercise. Cardio exercise is a great way to burn fat but skip the hour long run on the treadmill and focus on 15-20-minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts. Here’s an article that gives a good place to start and 3 mistakes to avoid.
Once you finish your cardio, it’s time to hit the mat to work those ab muscles. Ask any trainer how to get a toned stomach and they will tell you lots of crunches and sit-ups. But crunches can injure your back and neck if you’re not careful. Skip the boring crunches and focus on these ab-strengthening exercises:
- Barbell Squats
- Hanging leg raises
- Inchworm to plank to side plank
- Stability ball rollouts
- Russian twists
Train your abs 3-4 days per week with no or light weights. As your strength increases, you can start to add weights or more advanced exercises. Start with only do 3-4 sets of each exercise and build up to 6-8 sets.
Sexy toned abs are achievable for everybody willing to put in the work. With a healthy diet full of lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables, and the right ab-focused training, you too can get toned abs before summer!