Six pack abs is one of the greatest physical achievements one can gain in his or her life. A manifestation of health, nutrition, passion and dedication, six pack abs remains one of the most coveted gifts one can gain through physical exercise. While very few are actually able to boast their six pack abs, for many others it’s just a long cherished dream that seems like impossibility, especially for the people with that extra bit of fat near the stomach. But, is it really impossible? Or is it even so hard? Fortunately, the answer is “no”! Like all great achievements, it’s something for which you have to have a lot of motivation, and sacrifice many things too. But, trust me, it’s worth the effort.
Are you slightly obese and have trouble while trying out those tough exercises you read in that health magazine? Or are you the real fitness freak who is done with the basics and wants to move on to more advanced techniques for that picture perfect physique? Or are you somewhere in between trying to figure out what more you need to do to cover that extra mile? From exercises to diet plans, this article serves as your perfect guide in achieving exactly how you imagined yourself to look like in those sweet dreams!
Your diet is one of the most important factors in determining if you will be able to pull off the feat of perfecting your abs. You might even have the most impressive set of muscles in your abs, but a thick layer of fat is going to keep that hidden from view. To start with, divide your entire day’s food into five to six mini meals; this helps to increase your rate of metabolism.
It’s very important that you understand what you need in your diet and what you don’t. Here are some types of food that you should never include in your diet – white bread, fast food, candy, pasta, dessert, corn syrup, sugars, soda, hydrogenated oils, etc. All these hinder your metabolism and add to that fat bit that always seems to accumulate near the stomach. Instead, you should opt for the following – fruits, green vegetables, olive oil, oatmeal, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, whole grain breads, peanut butter, green tea, and loads and loads of water to keep your system free of toxic materials.
It’s understandable that you may not be able to stick to this diet strictly all the time. It’s okay to slip here and there as long as you are making a conscious effort to minimize such slips, and trying not to let things out of your control. A great set of six pack abs can never do without healthy diet – that’s a given.
Quest for the picturesque six pack abs
Next come exercises – the most effective tool in your quest for the picturesque six pack abs. You will find a huge array of exercises through many resources such as books, magazines and the internet. However, it is important to understand that every exercise is not for every individual. The one that requires you to stand on your arms is perhaps not a good option for the obese beginner. Hence, you should do your research correctly before moving forward with your set of exercise. It’s always great to seek professional help, either from the gym instructor or from a personal trainer. He or she will guide you to the ones your body type is suited to.
The slightly obese beginner should start off with walking. This is the easiest form of exercise and an extremely effective one at that too. Also, it puts little stress on your body, meaning the heaviest person can also do it. Start by walking normally for fifteen to thirty minutes every day for a week or so. Then increase your duration by 10 minutes every week till you are walking for an hour per day.
Now it’s time to move on to a more advanced form of walking – the walks, brisk walk, and jog cycle. Start off with a five minute warm up normal walk, then increase your walking speed appreciably so that it seems challenging to you and do this for three minutes. Now perform jogging for a couple of minutes before taking a brief rest and then repeating this cycle.
After a period of about 8 weeks, your weight must have reduced appreciably and you must be feeling more agile. It’s time to move on to some light weights training. Don’t forget the walk cycle just yet – instead, repeat the walk cycle every alternate day with weights training in between. It’s better to join a gym if you are worried about doing it the right way. By the sixteenth week, you would have turned into a new avatar that hardly has a trace of fat in his entire body!
Now it’s time for the advanced techniques. Rectus abdominis is the technical term for the so called “six pack” and the obliques are that for the waist. Here we intend to tell you about the exercises that you can perform in order to bring these two vital parts of your body into shape.
The bicycle move
Lie down on a mat face up and support your head with your fingers. Now bring up the knees towards your chest and lift your shoulder off the ground simultaneously. Then rotate towards the right, bringing down your left elbow towards your right knee while straightening the left leg. Repeat by switching sides and then the entire exercise.
The vertical leg crunch
Similar to a normal crunch, you need to keep your legs straight up in this exercise, meaning that your abs come into the picture. Lie on the floor with your head resting slightly against your palms while extend your legs upwards with crossed knees. Contract your abs to lift your shoulders, as if trying to bring your chest towards the feet. Repeat for about twelve to sixteen reps.
The long arm crunch
This one makes you straighten the arm behind you, thus taking the difficulty level up by a notch and also focusing primarily on your upper abs section. Lie down on a mat with your clasped arms extended behind your head. Contract your abs and lift your shoulders while keeping your arms straight all the while, without hurting your neck.
The reverse crunch
This one complements the previous one by focusing mainly on the lower section of your abs. You should avoid swinging your legs in this move so that you can raise the hips properly. First lie down and bring the knees together towards your chest. Then contract your abs and try to curl your hips off the mat. Repeat and try to keep your legs still while raising your hips.
The plank exercise
To perform this, lie face down and rest your forearms on the floor with your palms laid flat. Push yourself off the floor taking support of your toes and resting on your elbows. Without bending your back, tilt the pelvis region and contract the abs to avoid your rear end from sticking up. Hold on to this pose for twenty to sixty seconds, release and then repeat.
Apart from nutrition and exercise, it’s important to realize that one should abandon his sedentary lifestyle in order to attain the perfect six pack abs. There is no way diet and exercise will help if your lifestyle doesn’t change for the better.