Building the perfect abs without working out
Getting abs outside the gym
Some people of a certain age remember a time long ago when they didn’t need to work out to keep a fit and trim stomach. It was when they were a young teen. They never had to worry about what went past their lips because they knew that it wasn’t going to stick to their hips. Sadly, those days are gone.
Today, everyone knows that there isn’t a magic pill or program that can change a body’s shape overnight. If one want to see results, one needs to put in the work. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean that one needs to hire a personal trainer, join a gym or even sign up for the latest trendy meal plan. Losing weight and getting the abs that one desires may not be easy task, but it is certainly a do-able one without having to spend a lot of money on equipment unless they want to.
It is always a good idea to speak to one’s doctor about any new changes to one’s diet or exercise routine.
Watching What You Eat
Sometimes, all a person wants is to lose a few inches around their waist and call it good because they feel that the rest of their body looks pretty good. Unfortunately, one can’t spot reduce or work out in just one area of the body to achieve good results. And unless one is able to control how much food they are taking in, the world will never see those hard-earned ab muscles under all of those layers of fat.
The expression, “everything in moderation” is very popular, but very few people follow this advice. One of the easiest ways to control one’s weight is to reduce one’s portion size of foods during meals. Many people will cut out certain foods from their diet only to return back to them a few days later. A better approach is to allow oneself to eat anything that they like but within an acceptable portion size. Now, what is “acceptable” is going to be controversial to some people.
The USDA Food Patterns guidelines for those age 50 or over recommend that one eats the following every day:
- Two to three cups of vegetables
- One and half to two cups of fruit
- Five to eight ounces of whole grains
- Three cups of fat-free or low-fat dairy products
- Five to six and a half ounces of protein
- Five to seven teaspoons of healthy fats or oils
Too often though, people fudge here and there eating to many sugary treats or snacks full of carbohydrates and do not pay attention to portion size. It takes will power to say no, but it is easier if one doesn’t have to say no to everything that they like the best. Most people would prefer some cheesecake instead of no cheesecake. (https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/serving-and-portion-sizes-how-much-should-i-eat)
It is also worth mentioning that even if one “thinks” that they are consuming a reasonable amount of calories, they may be fooling themselves. Be sure to read labels to see what a portion size really is. One will not lose weight if they are consuming more calories than they are able to burn off. Some people find it useful to keep a food journal while others will use a special app for their phone.
Other tricks to try include drinking more water (one feels fuller when fully hydrated), eating more smaller meals instead of three larger ones (and not skipping any meals) and keeping “good” snacks like fruit and vegetable sticks within easy reach.
Know Your Abs
Getting great abs takes more than just doing a bunch of sit ups. In order to get that six pack that everyone is craving, one needs to work the three different ab muscle groups and work them from different angles.
Simply put, the three abdominal groups of muscles include the upper, lower and side abdominals (also known as the obliques). By creating different workouts with different exercises, one can effectively come up with a variety of exercise routines to help keep things interesting. And despite what some people think, it isn’t necessary to do super-long exercise sessions to see results either.
Brendan Meyers, owner of CalAesthetics and YouTube star, features an intense home ab workout video that only takes five minutes to complete. That isn’t to say that it’s an easy workout. It’s a challenge and shouldn’t be done by beginners, but it’s nice to have something to aspire to. Until one is ready for Meyer’s routine, one might want to try some of these exercises and mix and match as needed.
The uppers abs are located right below one’s sternum and these are the ones that get all of the glory when a six pack is looking its best. Perhaps the best exercise for these is the good ‘ol crunches. To do them, one simply needs to lie on one’s back with their knees bent and their feet flat against the floor. With arms crossed over the chest, roll up toward the knees keeping the lower back flat on the floor.
Other exercises that are good for the upper abs include crunches with elevated legs and hip lifts.
Personal trainer Michele Dolan says that some people find that working their lower abs are the hardest ones to master the exercises, but they shouldn’t be skipped. To work the lower abs, try leg lifts, torso twists and scissors exercises. She also mentions how people are not typically fans of the obliques, but again, one needs to work them in order to see the results one wants. “Failure to do so will result in an imbalanced core and a six pack that looks strange or misshapen,” says Dolan. She recommends performing oblique crunches and Russian twists. Complete instruction on how to perform these exercises may be found at WikiHow.com. (https://www.wikihow.com/Get-a-Six-Pack-Without-Any-Equipment)
Finally, planks is a great exercise to finish a workout because it uses all of the abs muscles as once. Simply get in a push-up position resting on the elbows and keep the back and legs straight. And then hold. That’s it. It is simple to do, but tough to master. Just start out doing a ten seconds or so at a time and then work up to a minute at a time. Side planks are also a good idea. They help to keep the obliques toned.
If a person keeps a better eye on the foods and the quantities of those food that they are consuming along with performing a variety of ab exercises, they will be well on their way down to road to great looking abs. But to get to the destination quicker, doctors recommend adding some aerobic activity to one’s lifestyle as well. That can be taking a simple walk, but running, hiking, biking and swimming are good options as well.
When at work, try to take a short walk every hour or so keep the blood circulating in the body. Use the stairs instead of the elevator and take Fido for a walk. He can benefit for good exercise habits as well.
Finding Helpful Tools
Knowledge is key when it comes to physical fitness and health. Fortunately, we live in age where one can get the information one needs relatively easily, quickly and cheaply. Don’t forget the local library. Many stock a variety of resources including tons of books, recorded books and magazines to read up on diet plans and exercise routines.
Many free apps are available too to help one track their progress to help them achieve their fitness goals. Some even offer ab exercise plans with step-by-step instructions.
What to Expect
How long will it take to get those abs of steel? Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer. As they say, this process of seeing great abs isn’t a sprint, but rather, a marathon. It depends on how many pounds and inches a person needs to lose around their waist, how much time they can dedicate to good exercise routines, the amount of sleep one gets and how much they are able to eliminate stress in their lives.
According to Dolan, if one is fairly in good shape and doesn’t have a lot of flab covering the muscles in their waist, one could reasonable expect to see their abs pop within four to eight weeks as long as they are working their ab muscles at least three times a week. Be sure to vary exercise routines to keep things interesting and effective. One should feel some muscle soreness, but not actual pain. If one experiences pain, one should give their body a day or two of rest.
Brendan Meyers YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=317&v=vyv1k5BHl18&feature=emb_title
Abs and hand [ID 106712510 © Josep Curto | Dreamstime.com]
Abs man standing [ID 144411190 © Dragosh Cojocari | Dreamstime.com