Want rock hard abs? Top exercises recommended by experts for hot beach body
Getting a flat stomach is not impossible to achieve. We got in touch with experts who give us a comprehensive guide on how to achieve your goal of getting an envious core.fitness Updated: Apr 21, 2018 13:10 IST
One reason why we love our icons is that they give us goals. Be it the svelte Katrina Kaif in Kala Chashma or Kamli, Varun Dhawan’s famous eight-pack, or divas Mandira Bedi and Sushmita Sen raising the bar with their post-workout pictures on social media. But as summer approaches, our struggles with those ever-elusive beach-ready abs come back to haunt us again. According to fitness experts Amaresh Ojha and Ilu Singh, who believe in the mantra, ‘Eat clean, lift heavy’, a desirable core and abs can be achieved by keeping a few things in mind.
HOW THE AB GAME WORKS
Target the fat: Your belly has two types of belly fat—subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. The former is also known as spare tire, is the fat just beneath the skin. This cannot be specifically targeted. The only way to reduce is to by reducing the overall weight of the body, which can be achieved with proper nutrition, and an exercise regime comprising weight lifting and cardio. However, losing body weight only by doing cardio or practising unhealthy methods will cause your skin to hang and have no firmness.
On the other hand, visceral fat — also known as deep belly fat — is stored primarily around your organs such as the stomach, liver and pancreas. This can be targeted, and reduced by eating a high fibre diet, low-carb diet, complemented by proper sleep.
Most of us make the mistake of overtraining our abs. Your abs also need rest to recover. If you train your abs two days consecutively then make sure you take two days of rest: Ilu Singh
Focusing on core: The secret to a six-pack is a strong, stable core. Instead of focusing specifically on abs, focus on your entire core: the abdomen, lower back, and pelvis. This doesn’t mean you stop doing those crunches, but that you should add exercises like planks and battle ropes to your arsenal. Go for short cardio sessions (ten minutes), and focus on the right form, instead of the number of repetitions. Also remember to take fewer breaks in between.
Amp up the intensity: There is no need to do one thousand crunches a day. Avoid overtraining. Instead, focus on compound lifts such as squats/deadlifts, which are excellent for your core. They also help maintain better form in ab exercises. Three days of weight training, combined with strength and core training two days a week, is the ideal workout.
ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN
Your time in the gym is only three-tenths of what will get you a flat, strong stomach. The rest is eating clean. Without that, all that hard work in the gym will count for nothing.
Protein: Yes, the holy grail of all body-building, protein will help you gain muscle and aid recovery. But take care to opt for lean protein (eggs, chicken and turkey, low-fat dairy, and fish). Your recommended protein intake depends on a number of factors (daily physical activity, height and body weight, workout goal), and can be easily calculated online.
You need your digestive system healthy and metabolism fast. And fruits help you do that. Know your body, before you plan a diet chart for yourself: Amaresh Ojha
Chuck refined carbs out: Yes, you heard that right. Refined carbs are easily digested in the body, and can spike blood sugar levels. What’s worse — in case of excessive blood sugar, extra sugar is converted to fat. Opt for complex carbs (found in oats, brown rice, wholewheat bread, sweet potatoes), which contain fibre, and are slowly digested in the body.
Yoghurt: A fast metabolism and good digestion is key to abs. Yoghurt aids digestive health, and probiotics have been deemed helpful in reducing belly fat.
Fibre: Starving yourself is neither easy nor advisable. So, gorge, but on fruits such as guavas, raspberries and apples, and sprouts. Fibre-rich foods keep you full for longer with fewer calories.
Hydration: This is necessary to prevent bloating and to flush out the excess sodium. Excess sodium means water retention, and hence water weight in your lower stomach.
KEY EXERCISES YOU SHOULD FOCUS ON
1)Hanging leg raise
3)Side jack knives
1)Planks and side planks
3)Arm/Leg raise planks
First Published: Apr 21, 2018 12:09 IST