You’ve been doing sit-ups and crunches for the past three decades, and they’re just not doing the trick any more. So what can you do to get back your six-pack today? You’re about to find out.
Step#1: Lose the First Layer
You may have heard the notion that a killer set of abdominal muscles is hiding just out of sight, tucked away neatly behind a layer of fat on your stomach. In case you thought this was a quack idea dreamed up by people who wanted an excuse for their beer bellies, you may be surprised to find out this claim is true.
Before you can firm up your abs, you have to get rid of that first little layer of flab. Of course, you can do thousands of sit-ups and relish the knowledge that a fabulous six-pack rests beneath a protective shield of fat, but wouldn’t you rather show off the abs you’re working so hard to accomplish? To do this, you’ll need to either reduce the calories you eat or burn off more calories each day. Regardless, a full-body workout is the only way to lose weight and begin to see your rock-hard abdominal muscles peak out.
Step#2: Get on the Ball
To help your abs get the biggest impact without too much extra effort, try taking your workout on top of an exercise ball. As any exercise on a ball requires additional balance, you’ll strengthen your core and your abs during any exercise.
In addition to sit-ups and other abdominal-specific exercises on the ball, do any other exercise activities you can think of using your exercise ball. To get a good work out when you’re not working out, keep an exercise ball at your office desk. Every other hour, swap your regular desk chair for your exercise ball. Getting used to sitting on an oversized bouncy ball will take some time, but the effort will be well worth it, as your abdominals reap the tight, muscular rewards.
Step#3: Keep Them Off Balance
Want those regular old abs to turn into washboards that could be used for cleaning clothes if needed? You’re not going to get there if you only push your abs with one or two specific exercises. In order to drive your abs to their muscular limit, add plenty of variety into your abdominal routine.
Since you may not know many abdominal exercises beyond the traditional sit-ups and crunches, consult a personal trainer to learn what unique exercises you could perform to get maximum performance out of your abs. A few good exercises to help your abs shape up include a Pilates zip-up, canoe twist, and cat kick*. Sound fun? Then what are you waiting for? Stronger, better-looking abs await!