Fitness Tips For Flab-less Abs
Submitted by: Jack Hazelton
In both men and women, the midriff area is probably the part of the body that gains the most attention. In fact, it could safely be said that a large majority of people work out because they want to get rid of stomach fat. Most feel that using the latest fancy equipment can give them the six pack abs they want while others believe that crunches and push-ups will do the trick. However, these are just ab myths!
An overweight person can perform ab crunches all day and still not develop flat abs. They might develop stronger muscles in the abs and there might be some visible toning, but the abs are not going to get flat.
To get flab-less abs, it is first necessary to get rid of the flab. The fat in this area is deposited under the skin and the muscles. Crunches alone cannot get rid of this fat.
The following factors play an important part in developing flab-less abs:
1. Cardiovascular exercises
2. Weight training exercises for the entire body
3. Healthy diet
Cardiovascular exercises are important because they melt fat. Any exercise that elevates the heart level up to the training zone and maintains that level for twenty minutes is great for burning fat. Examples include jogging, swimming, walking, aerobics, cycling, step climbing and sport activities like badminton, tennis and the like. As the fat below it melts away, the skin becomes taut. There is simply no getting away from cardio, thirty minutes a day, five days a week!
Weight training is crucial for great abs. However, spot training or training only the ab muscles is ineffective. It is necessary to work out all the large muscle groups. To get this in perspective, think of the body fat as a big organ much like the skin. It is impossible to burn a hole through one part of this organ. One can only shrink the overall fat percentage in totality.
As muscle mass increases, the resting rate of metabolism also increases. Extra calories are burnt to maintain and develop muscles mass. Furthermore, cardiovascular exercises make the body more effective in burning calories. Thus, a combination of cardio exercises with weight training is the best way to melt fat and become flab-less all over.
The most important muscle groups that need training include the chest, biceps, triceps, back, buttocks and thighs. Shoulders, forearms and hips are also important.
The abdominal muscles keep the body in balance because they stabilize it and allow versatility and flexibility of movement. So, the ab muscles are used exhaustively when working out all the other parts of the body. When the abs are worked out first, these muscles may tire and this could affect other exercises too. Therefore, it is best to save ab exercises for the end of the training program.
When performing abdominal exercises, different abdominal muscles must be worked out separately.
- Sit-ups and crunches exercise the rectus abdominis, the large muscle of the stomach. These muscles strengthen and tone when they are compressed.
- The obliques are located at the sides of the body and are the muscles that help the body twist and bend. Side bends are a great way of working out the obliques.
- The transverse abdominus is located below the obliques. Typically, this is where women put on weight after their pregnancy. Exercises that depend on raising the legs are effective for these muscles.
The above exercises may become routine after a while, in which case it is necessary to increase the challenge by using dumbbells and leg weights.
Losing abdominal fat is much like losing fat in other parts of the body. The lesser the amount of body fat, so much better defined the abs will be.
About the Author: For advice on health and fitness, visit Weight Training Tips to learn about all aspects of weight training and nutrition as well as strength training exercises.
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