WATCH: How to get popping abs
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To lose body fat and reveal a six-pack, targeted abdominal exercises help - but they certainly aren't enough on their own. Regular cardio, such as jogging or cycling, promotes heart health and helps you burn calories, so you can lose fat more easily.
Regularly incorporating cardio into your routine can help you burn extra fat and speed your way to a set of six-pack abs.
Another review of 16 studies titled ‘Dose-response relation between aerobic exercise and visceral fat reduction’ found that cardio is especially effective when it comes to reducing belly fat, which can help make your abdominal muscles more visible.
Getting a six-pack requires dedication and hard work, but you don’t have to hit the gym seven days a week or become a professional bodybuilder to do so.
Exercising these muscles is key to increasing muscle mass and achieving six-pack abs. However, keep in mind that abdominal exercises alone are unlikely to decrease belly fat.
Abs aren’t just made with just exercise - the real work starts in the kitchen. You’re going to need to approach your diet with the same discipline you bring to your workouts.
Some experts recommend eating six small meals a day, instead of the more conventional three, cutting out added sugars and processed foods, and loading up on dependable sources of protein to help build new muscle in your midsection.
A holistic approach to getting abs is important, PopUpGym co-founder Khethiwe Mlangeni says. She says that just as with any muscle group in the body, abs develops over time if you follow a consistent exercise plan that you stick to daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly. If you live an active lifestyle and complement this with healthy eating habits, you’re on the right track to meeting your abs fitness goals.
She says if you, for example, exercise for five days a week for minimum 30 minutes, set aside extra 10 minutes daily and dedicate this time to focusing on abs exercises. This can be performed in a fun way if you put together your favourite 10-minute music playlist. Pick about 20 abs exercises and set a 30-second timer for each abs exercise.
Abs exercises can include Crunches, full sit-ups, bicycle crunches, elbow to knee crunches, mountain climbers, leg raises, elbow plank, russian twist, heel touches and toe touches
Consistency is very important. You have to show up for these exercise sessions even if you don’t feel like it. Remember why you started, says Mlangeni.