I think I speak for most women when I say that there is nothing like topping off great glutes and lean legs with a set of awesome abs. Yet, so many women remain dumbfounded as to how to achieve a sexy stomach.
Although I've been blessed with good genetics, I still needed the "know how" to create a defined midsection. It really isn't a big secret. Just follow the next six steps, and you will uncover a six pack by summer after all!
1. Perform Cardiovascular Exercise
I know, I know. You were expecting to hear about the latest and greatest abdominal machines and exercises. You do need to work those abdominals effectively. However, if they are covered by a layer of adipose tissue (that's fancy for fat) you won't see the results of your hard work!
Any cardiovascular exercise involving continuous rhythmical movement of the extremities that elevates your heart rate to target heart rate range will do the trick. For example, jogging or walking outside, cycling, walking/running on a treadmill, or climbing on a stairmaster are all good choices.
2. Eat A Clean Diet
Again, you must lower your body fat levels to see your abs. If you are eating donuts for breakfast and McDonald's for lunch, it's time to re-evaluate your nutrition plan. Try to eat small frequent meals with a combination of protein, fat, and carbs at each meal. Stick to lean protein sources such as chicken, tuna, egg whites, and lean ground turkey.
Eat moderate amounts of carbohydrates, from foods like brown rice, yams, and fruits/vegetables. Try to stay away from pasta, bread, and processed foods (cookies, crackers, cereals high in sugar). If you do eat bread, choose whole grain brands. Lower your fat intake but be sure to get some essential fats in your diet.
Sources of good fats include those found in olive oil and salmon. Sweet cravings can be hard to overcome but with great tasting protein bars, it is easy to find a healthy substitute. I highly recommend the new Pure Protein Revolution bar by Worldwide Sport Nutrition.
3. Focus On Form
Okay, you will also have to put some effort into performing abdominal exercises. Make sure that you are using proper form and focus on quality over quantity.
4. Lift Weights
I find that my abs get a lot of stimulation just from stabilizing my body to maintain proper posture while lifting particularly for free weight exercises. Lifting weights also increases metabolism by increasing lean tissue mass.
Lean tissue is more metabolically active than fat thus burning more calories at rest and helping you to decrease body fat levels. So, building muscle helps burn the fat away.
5. Drink Water
If your body is dehydrated, it will retain water, giving you a "smoother" look. Make sure you are well hydrated to avoid water retention. I personally drink a half to one gallon of water a day. Remember, water "in" means water "out".
If you have honestly tried steps 1-5, and are still not happy with the results, you can blame your parents! Okay, maybe it's not their fault, but genetics do play a role in how far we can go to change our bodies. In that case, celebrate who you are, and just feel good knowing that your abdominal muscles are strong. Even if you can't see them!
In the end, it's quite easy to get confused by the myriad of fad diets, supplements, and exercise machines available on the market today. We are constantly bombarded with infomercials promising miracles for our midsection. Remember, there is not "one" particular trick to getting six-pack abs.
A combination of cardiovascular activity, lifting weights and a balanced diet prove imperative, in order to reach your desired physical-fitness goals. I hope these hints have armed you with knowledge to improve your physique. Overall, the best remedy is consistency, and before you know it, you will achieve the toned tummy that you have always wanted.