One of the most frequent questions we hear from 8fitters is how to get abs. It’s nothing new. Even in the old days, people were flaunting their abs — Michelangelo’s David, we’re looking at you — while shows like Baywatch certainly have helped cement this physical aesthetic into our public consciousness.
Whether you like the look of defined abdominal muscles or you simply want a strong core, knowing how to get abs the correct way is essential so that you don’t end up wasting time or end up injuring yourself.
So, if you’re interested in how to get abs, keep reading as we uncover the best possible methods.
How to get abs: 5 tips
For those of you longing for that six pack in vain, despite doing crunches every day, this list is for you.
Top tip #1: Watch what you eat
There’s a saying that abs are made in the kitchen and guess what –it’s true! The thing is, you could have the most muscular abdominals in town, but if they’re covered hidden under a layer of extra fat, you won’t be able to see them. If you want six-pack abs, eat healthily alongside your workout routine. Here are a few ways to do that:
Increase your protein intake
Eating protein can help you feel fuller for longer, will repair and rebuild muscle fibers and allow your body to retain muscle mass even if you’re embarking on a weight loss journey. We don’t mean that you should start replacing your meals with protein shakes; instead, aim to get your protein from lean organic meats, wild fish and seafood or plant-based sources like tofu and tempeh.
Avoid processed foods
Pre-packaged foods are generally brimming with additives and preservatives. In addition to a lengthy list of ingredients (some unpronounceable), these foods are often high in calories, trans fats, salt, and sugar. When going grocery shopping, do your best to stay stick to the whole foods aisle.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
If you follow our first tip and avoid processed foods, you’ll probably naturally end up eating a lot more fresh produce than you normally would. Most fruit and veggies are high in fiber, keeping you feeling satisfied for longer. In addition to that, they deliver a good dose of vitamins and antioxidants, which support your body’s all around health and wellbeing. Lay the focus on high-fiber veggies like broccoli and spinach that are rich in vitamins and minerals, when creating a healthy meal.
Top tip #2: Exercise your abs and the rest of your body
Even if you enjoy a healthy and balanced diet most of the time, you’ll still need to work out your abs to get that defined look you’re going for. Crunches are fine, but what’s more effective is a variety of core exercises. Some of our favorites include:
- Forearm plank
- Isometric v-ups
- Butterfly sit-ups
- Russian twists
The good thing about working your abs is that you’ll never get bored because there are so many targeted exercises that help work your core. For more activities that target the abs, be sure to subscribe to the 8fit Pro app for targeted, fun and challenging ab workouts.
Even though you may wish to focus on your abs by training your core, it’s also not a bad idea to engage muscles in your body as well. It may sound counterintuitive, but doing this can increase calorie burn, which is vital if you want your abs to be visible. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body burns, improving your overall fat loss.
Top tip #3: Break a sweat with cardio
Doing cardio is another tool in your belt in the quest to get visible abs! Cardio is great as it helps burn extra body fat, especially pesky fat around the belly region. Doing cardio three to four times a week while in a caloric deficit is recommended for weight loss and fat burn.
So, your best bet is to target your abs with strength exercises while also incorporating cardio into your weekly routine.
Top tip #4: Drink water
Oh, how we love H20. Water is without a doubt an essential factor in all around health and wellbeing. It’s not only ideal for quenching your thirst, but it’s also fundamental for your bodily functions, weight loss, disease prevention, and energy levels. Alongside proper nutrition and exercise, drinking water can help you reach your fitness goals by revving up your metabolism and assisting digestion and waste excretion process.
Let’s get one thing clear, just drinking water isn’t going to give you abs — if that were the case, you’d see way more people rocking six-packs! However, staying hydrated is key, especially when working out.
Top tip #5: Be patient
We all know abs don’t appear overnight, even if you did work out all week. Getting frustrated because you’re not getting results fast enough can cause stress, and stress can result in high cortisol levels. Cortisol? This is an essential hormone responsible for waking you up in the morning and keeping you alert during the day. It’s also the trigger for your fight or flight response in high-stress situations. When cortisol is high over a prolonged period, it can lead to a host of negative health issues including unstable blood sugar levels which results in an increase in fat storage around the belly area.
Remember, learning how to get abs takes time, and it’s not always going to make sense at first. Trust us: slow and steady wins the race. Remember, it’s about prolonged results rooted in healthy daily habits instead of quick fixes the result in quick losses.
If you want to work towards strong abs, why not sign up for subscribing to 8fit Pro and try our targeted abs workouts. No matter whether you’re new to exercise or a seasoned veteran, you’ll reap the benefits of exercise and nutrition paired together to get you one step closer to the abs of your dreams.