I feel like this article has been long over due because almost on a daily bases, questions that are directly related to this topic are thrown at me. I have noticed that this is the most discussed topic in the fitness industry and a lot of people are searching for an answer to this question; how can I get a well trimmed or defined mid-section? Well read on, and you will get all the answers you seek. Now I’m not claiming to have all the answers but this is pretty much all the basic information you need to reach your goal. In this article we will treat the basics of tummy trimming and abs building. Now to business….
When it comes to burning fat around a particular part of the body, people get it twisted, by thinking that they can concentrate on one part of the body and loose the fat around that particular part of the body without affecting the other parts. Well sorry to “burst your bubbles”….it is not possible except through surgery. When it comes to working out to loose fat any workout you do has the same effect all through the body. For example sit-ups will burn as much fat around your arms, legs and other parts of your body as it would around your mid-section. The point here is that when it comes to weightloss you can’t focus on a particular part of the body, you can only do that when you are trying to build muscle. That understood, there are two steps to a well trimmed and toned mid-section;
1. Burn the fat
2. Tone the muscle.
A point to note about this steps is that none comes before the other, they work together to achieve one goal, which is a wonderful mid-section. Now let’s expand a little on these two steps.
#1. Burn the fat;
For most people this is the hardest part, not because its hard to burn fat but because as I have said earlier they are deceived by the illusion that sit-ups and abdominal workouts in general will help them burn the fat around the tummy. So they keep on doing countless number of sit-ups and crunches which at the end of the day leads to frustration. Now don’t get me wrong, its not wrong to do abdominal workouts infact they are essential when it comes to building a well defined mid-section but the thing here is that doing only abdominal workouts is wrong because the ratio of the effect abdominal workouts have on both muscle and fat is like 10:1. Abdominal workouts do much more of muscle building than fat burning. To really burn fat and get a flat mid-section you need to really increase your body’s metabolism and this can be achieved through several ways;
-building more muscle all around the body
-eating certain types of food (dieting).
Amidst all of these, cardio and dieting are at the top of the list when it comes to the amount of fat burnt and how fast the fat gets burnt.
Cardiovascular workouts are workouts that increase your heart rate. These workouts make you breathe more rapidly than other workouts. They strengthen the heart muscles which increases your cardiovascular endurance, make for better blood and nutrition circulation and increase the body’s metabolism which burns more calories/fat. Another very effective way of burning fat as I said earlier is through dieting; eating the right foods and watching/manipulating your diet in such a way that you are at a calorific deficit which forces your body to more readily use fat as a source of energy.
#2. Tone the muscle;
When it comes to abdominal muscle toning, workouts that involve the contraction and expansion of the abs/midsection, are what is needed. Workouts like situps, crunches, side-oblique-raise, etc. The contraction and expansion motion help to pump the muscles and stress them to the point of growth. The type of abdominal workout you use and the amount of reps and sets you do, depends on whether your goal is to build small feminine looking abs or to build thick and well defined masculine abs. To build thick masculine abs you might need to go to the point of ‘failure’ on every set and do a lot of sets or better still use extra resistance, like weight plates and dumbbell, while doing your abdominal workouts. You can’t use extra resistance on all abdominal workouts but you can use them on workouts like crunches(plates), side-oblique-raise (dumbbells), reverse crunch (weighted ankle straps) and so on. The use of extra resistance is a fast, and as far as I’m concerned the best, way to build rock solid abs. Like the saying goes “the heavier the weight, the bigger the muscles”. The ladies don’t really need extra resistance except they want a lot more than just a moderately toned feminine midsection or they want to build a stronger core muscle.
That brings us to core training. Core training is similar to abdominal training, only that in the case of core training, it is not just the abdominal muscles that are involved but all the muscles around the midsection, from the armpit down to your hips. Core training is more like torso stability training, in that it deals with the stability and posture of your upper body. Core training is very important because it strengthens the core muscles which helps for good posture. There are a lot of people who have well defined abs but a weak core muscle and that’s why you see some people with a protruded tummy and a six pack on it – very rampant amongst “bouncers” and bodybuilders who drink a lot. Examples of core workouts are plank, seated torso twist, leg raise and so on.
It’s always a good idea to work your core as well as your abs so as to get a complete package. There you have it, all the basic knowledge you need to get it right when working to have a trimmed and well defined six pack abs. Now all you need to do is go out there and source for exercises that can effectively help you tone up your midsection and get the results u want. On the other hand you can follow this blog and wait for the next article on abdominal workout or simply subscribe to my ‘Perfect Body’ online fitness training program for the most affordable high quality training in Nigeria.