With spring finally here and summer rounding the corner, I think we are finally able to ditch some of the layers and wear some cute clothes. I was just in some super fun boutiques over the weekend with some girlfriends, and one of the big trends this season is two piece outfits that show a little midriff. Sooooo cute!
That said, one of the topics that kept coming up was abs. I mean, if we are gonna wear one of these trendy pieces, those abs have got to be on point. A lot of my clients are working out and eating clean and are starting to see that six pack. They are excited about the possibility of wearing a 2 piece outfit or a bathing suit and feeling confident. You may be doing the same, but just can't seem to get your abs to show up. Well, I'm here today to tell you the fastest way to get your abs to pop. Whether you are dreaming of lounging pool side, at the lake or putting your toes in the sand, you are going to want rock that bikini, and you can!! (at any age)
So, let's get to it. Here are my top 3 Tips to widdle that middle.
1. You are what you eat!
First things first, you may have heard the phrase "abs are made in the kitchen". guess what??? It's true. What we eat and drink really makes all the difference. You may be eating clean and working out but can't seem to see any definition. I hear this a lot. The fact is, your abs are there, you just have a little padding. If you are ok with that, then enjoy the occasional splurges. However, if you really want to show off that six pack, your diet requires a bit more discipline. Sugar and processed foods are 2 big culprits. You MUST omit the soda, artificial sweeteners, and processed sugar if you want to show off your abs all summer long. You also need to limit alcoholic beverages as they too, are going to turn to sugar which just adds to the padding. Limit wine to 1-2 times a week and, if you must have a cocktail, try to avoid they sugary syrups. Vodka soda with lime is a better choice. As for food, think GREEN! Leafy greens have a lot of fiber and will keep your digestive system running smoothly. (minimizing bloat) Lean protein like chicken, fish, shrimp, pork tenderloin, grass fed beef will help build lean muscle and keep you feeling satiated. Fruit is good, but enjoy it in moderation since it is a natural form of sugar. I suggest berries as a fruit of choice since they are lower on the glycemic index. Keep healthy fats like nuts, seeds, and avocados on hand as a quick snack that will for also keep you feeling satisfied for hours.
One of the BEST things you can do for your abs is Drink plenty of water (1/2 your body weight in ounces should be your daily goal) I love to add lemon and apple cider vinegar to mine to boost my metabolism and help burn unwanted fat) I also love to infuse my water with fresh herbs like mint, basil and rosemary. They are especially delicious pared with berries or cucumber. Here are a few of my favorites for you to try.
2. Do the right kind of exercise – We know that diet is 80% of what your abs need to pop, but what you do with your WORKOUTS is also a very important part of the equation. A lot of people spend hours at the gym slaving away on the treadmill or elliptical thinking that it will get them their dream body. Plain and simple, we can’t spot reduce fat. When you start burning fat, sadly it’s not guaranteed to come right off your abs just because you’re running 3 miles a day or doing 100 crunches. ( more on that in number 3) No matter how many crazy core moves you do, you will lose your body fat in the same order you put it on. That order is largely due to genetics.
My recipe for creating a flat belly with definition when it comes to exercise is to do HIIT workouts 2-3 times a week followed by some ab finishers. The HIIT will boost your metabolism and keep it revved hours after your workout is over. The Great part is that neither one of these workouts require much time.
Nothing burns fat faster than high intensity interval training (like in my online and local bootcamps) and moves that work your entire core.
You can add 15-20 minutes of explosive movement to your workout and reap the benefits all day long. Do that consistently 3 times a week and that bikini bod will be on point
The second way I target body fat is by adding in resistance or strength training. I generally use both dumbbells and body weight resistance to target all my muscle groups. It depends on the type of workout that I am doing, but both are awesome and effective ways to get a great physique, burn fat and show your abs. Remember that the more lean muscle you have on your body, the more calories you can burn at rest, so be sure to balance your HIIT with some strength training 2-3x a week to see amazing results.
3. TRAIN YOUR ENTIRE CORE TO MAKE YOUR ABS POP
If you really want hot abs, you need to get away from just training your stomach 10 different ways.
This is actually a little known fact. You actually need to focus on strengthening the ENTIRE core in order to see your ab definition.
That means doing moves that activate your lower back muscles, your deep core stabilizers (psoas – pronounced SO-az), and the layers of abdominal muscle that protect your organs and keep you standing tall.
The body is super smart and when you are building muscle on only one side of your body for example, you actually will hit a wall in the amount you’re able to develop.
This is your body protecting you, as too much muscle on one side will put undue stress on your underlying bones and pull you out of alignment.
So be sure you’re adding moves that target your lower back as well as the different layers of abdominal muscle too! I like to focus on 3 areas when doing ab exercises; top down movements, bottom up movements and side to side movements. By doing movements that hit each of these areas, the entire core is worked and the definition really comes into play. Here is one of my favorite workouts for that chiseled core.
You will never see me doing hundreds of crunches because they focus on one small area of the abs and aren't really effective. I would much rather do movement that doesn't require a ton of reps and gives me more bang for my buck.
So let’s Recap:
Getting hot abs is easy when you follow these steps:
- In addition to clean eating, do HIIT 2-3 times to melt off the padding that’s hiding your abdominal muscle.
- Train your entire core – upper abs, lower abs, obliques and back to speed up your results.
Here' s to boosting your confidence and helping you love the body you live in.