Shredding for the beach this summer? Here’s some pointers to turn out with a six-pack…
Target all six sections of your abs
Your abdominal muscles are split into six parts, three we can see — the rectus abdominis (the six or eight pack), external obliques (love handles), and serratus (those thin muscles next to your rib cage under the armpit) — and three we can’t — the transverse abdominus (inner core), internal obliques (same function as external obliques), and intercostals (beneath the ribs, helping respiration). You need to target all six sections to produce a razor-sharp eight pack that will turn heads this summer.
To crunch or not to crunch?
Smash out all manner of exercises — kettle bell crunches, mountain-climbers, flutter kicks, planks, leg raises, gut busters — until it burns like hell . . . or not. Many professional athletes don’t do any exercises focused specifically on their abs, and instead concentrate on exercises that work out the entire body, plus plenty of cardio to burn fat. Toning your whole rig and sticking to a strict diet will produce the same result.
The nutrients provided by sports bars are all found in normal foods that are a lot more pleasant to eat, and protein powders often give your body more protein than it actually needs — message being, just stick to a healthy diet rather than whipping out the cash in a supplement store. You can’t put a price on diet and exercise, nor can those two things be compacted into a gel, bar or powder, so steer clear of the supplement shop — it’s not your credit card you should be giving a work-out.
A disciplined diet is the key to burning off the layer of stomach fat sitting on top of all the hard work that’s building muscles underneath. Nothing groundbreaking, just avoid processed foods and stick to protein (chicken, fish, eggs), fruit and veg (especially fibrous fruits like apples and pears) to trim the fat and flaunt the abs you’ve been sculpting. It’s all about discipline — do you reckon that shredded bloke with one million Instagram followers indulges in a cheat day?
Again, do you reckon Insta’s Mr Eight Pack is letting his hair down with a couple of schooners on a Friday evening? Alcohol is out of the picture if you’re working towards picture-perfect abs — stick to water and keep yourself well hydrated. You need to be strict with what you stick in your mouth before you can flaunt those Channing Tatum abs you’ve been slogging away for.