10 Simple Ways to a 6 Pack Abs
Want 6 pack abs? Deploy these fat-burning and muscle-building shortcuts to earn rock-hard abs… FAST!!
- Say cayenne(ara) to fat – Capsaicin, the component of chilli responsible for igniting your tongue, is a superb metabolism-booster. Researchers from Purdue University in the US found adding just half a teaspoon of hot cayenne pepper increases calorie burn after a meal. Moreover, it also decreases cravings for sweet, salty or fatty foods, helping you resist the lure of a post-prandial Ben & Jerry’s.
- Do plenty of abs work in an upright position: “This is a lot more functional; it’s no good teaching your body to activate your core only when lying down,” says personal trainer, James Atkinson.
Try it: medicine ball wood chops. Keeping your hips fixed forward, hold a 3-5kg medicine ball with your arms fully extended to one side at head height, then power it diagonally down in a wood chop action.
“Do 30 seconds on one side, 10 seconds rest, and then 30 seconds the other side,” says Atkinson. Your shoulders should rotate while your hips remain fixed in place.
- Dairy Up: learn to love yogurt says Norris, and the belly blubber enveloping your abs will soon disappear. Researchers from the University of Tennessee found that adults who ate three servings of fat-free yogurt a day as part of a reduced-calorie diet lost 22% more weight – and 81% more stomach fat – than those who simply cut calories. The yogurt-eaters also maintained muscle mass twice as effectively.
- Get Some Shut Eye: A good night’s sleep is crucial for your core. “Lack of sleep increases your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, which causes the body to retain fat stores on the stomach,” says Sean Lerwill, personal trainer. To optimize the quality of your rest, keep your socks on and sleep on your left side. Studies at the Sleep Laboratory in Basel, Switzerland, found chilly feet interfere with the release of melatonin (the sleep-inducing hormone), and sleeping on your right hand side lifts your stomach higher than your esophagus, which increases your risk of acid reflux.
- Get intense: “A short hardcore interval workout once or twice per week will spike growth hormone and testosterone levels and give you a real head start in sculpting a perfect six-pack,” says Tim Lawson, director of Science in Sport. Try a high intensity interval workouts on a bike, rowing machine or treadmill. They hurt because they’re good for you.
- Stop crunching, star sawing: Professor Stuart McGill, an expert in spine function and injury prevention at the University of Waterloo in Canada, has shown that repeated crunches and sit-ups can cause serious damage to your spinal discs. “If you have a healthy spine and want it to stay that way, limit the amount of crunches you do,” says Christian Finn, founder of Muscle Evo. Instead, try the Body Saw. Use small weight plates on a carpet or perform in your socks on a wooden floor if you don’t have plastic sliders.
- Oil up: A recent Journal of the International Science of Sports Nutrition study found simply taking fish oil supplements for six weeks (800mg per day DHA; 1,600mg per day EPA) significantly increased lean mass and decreased fat mass. Just be sure to buy quality.
- Get Caffeinated: Follow your meal with a cup of green tea. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a cup of green tea any time up to two hours after a meal increases fat breakdown by a third. And have a coffee too…Down it half an hour or so before a workout. Caffeine increases athletic endurance, and a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found it also boosts your metabolic rate. The result? A better workout and increased post-exercise fat burn.
- That’s how you roll: One of the best ways to train your rectus abdominis is with rollouts, which can be performed using a barbell, Swiss ball or Power Wheel. “Rollouts have been shown to work better than crunches, sit-ups and even hanging knee-ups for activating both upper and lower abs,” says Finn. Learn how to master rollout variations and power up your plank!