It is important that you get a good variety of training in weekly to bring out the six-pack that you have always wanted.
Many people make the mistake of completing crunch after crunch and forget that this is such a small movement and doesn’t target the whole core. It is important to include compound movements such as the squat and deadlift, to target your core throughout movement. It is then important to do a functional core workout so that you are strengthening your core as a whole and not just the rectus abdominis and finally you need to target your oblique muscles to bring out those chiseled sides! If you are going into your workouts with the same abdominal routine every time it is more than likely your body has become very used to the exercises you are completing. It is important to mix your exercises up and to always try and challenge your muscles in new ways.
Next you need to work on your body fat percentage. You can do thousands of abdominal exercises, but if you haven’t looked at ways to reduce your body fat, unfortunately all your hard graft is going to waste! I always go on about nutrition, but if a flat six-pack is what you desire, then you really need to be aware of what you are putting into your body. Stay away from refined sugars, excess carbohydrates (1) and keep your protein intake higher, especially in your meal after training.
Finally you need to be getting enough rest, as this is the time when your body works to reconstruct and rebuild your muscles. If you deprive your body of this then you will not be getting the full benefit of all the hard work you are doing. In addition your cortisol levels will be higher and this encourages fat storage around the middle (2).
Follow the advice above and you will be well on the way to getting that stomach you have always wanted!
- Hu F. Are refined carbohydrates worse than saturated fat? Acjn. 2010;91:1541-1542.
- Epel E, McEwen B, Seeman T, Matthews K, Castellazzo G, Brownell K, Bell J, Ickovics J. Stress and body shape: Stress-induced cortisol secretion is consistently greater among women with central fat. Psychosomatic Medicine 2000;62:623-632.