If you are an athlete or not, if you run or play a sport, getting abs is not easy. Other parts of the body are hard to define, the abdominal area is still more difficult.
Which does not mean that it is impossible, with this article I want to help you from my experience as a runner and athlete.
One of the reasons that prevents the correct definition of the abs is the accumulation of body fat in the abdomen area. Many people have good abdominal muscles, but the fatty deposits in the area prevent them to show up.
Now another benefit of defining the abdomen is that a strong and defined abdominal area reduces the chances of injury, helps with body balance and also prevents back pain.
Now, we are going to know the techniques and exercises to define abs and the most appropriate diet to complement it with them.
Define abs quickly and from home
The key is the will and the constancy.
With a goal-centered mental state, it must be clear that to achieve the definition of abs you will need:
- Reduce accumulated abdominal fat.
- Burn calories.
- Perform exercises to define specific abs.
- Eat a proper diet.
To define abs, your fat percentage should be around:
- 18% if you are a woman / 10% if you are a man.
If your fat percentage is higher than these figures, you need to lose body fat. You can only do that by:
- Reducing calorie intake until caloric expenditure is higher than intake.
- Maintain calories consumed and increase caloric expenditure.
- Reduce calorie intake and increase caloric expenditure. This is the most recommended option.
And to increase that caloric expenditure, aerobic exercise is the most indicated option. Exercises that need a good source of oxygen and that after 40 minutes (approximately) the source of energy begins to be body fat itself.
Activities such as running, cycling, spinning, swimming, elliptical or even going up and down stairs are worth it as aerobic exercise.
But what does all of this have to do with defining abs?
Well, basically, the mix of aerobic activity with abdominal exercises will be the second key part to achieving defined abs.
Here you’ll find a full body routine that you can repeat 3 times per week. This includes compound movements that will increase our caloric burn. Losing weight and defining abs in a short time is possible.
Focus on these two points:
Exercises to define abs
The constancy, the technique in the execution, an adequate rhythm of breathing during the concentric and eccentric phase of the movement, always being fully aware of the muscle we are exercising, together with large doses of variety (look for the surprise effect, break the routine with new stimuli) and intensity will be key in achieving the objective.
In case you did not know, the muscles of the abdomen support and facilitate movements of the spine, as well as the lower body. Therefore, due to its importance, it is recommended to carry out three types of abdominal training exercises:
- Trunk bending exercises.
- Rotation and lateral flexion exercises.
- Spinal stabilisation exercises.
Whatever abdominal exercise you do, keep in mind that it can be static or dynamic, both being equally effective. Of course, make sure that you run them with a moderate speed that prevents damage to spinal structures.To do this, I propose that you carry out this 10-minute daily routine. Here are two 10-minute routines with the necessary exercises to do at home:
Diet to define abs
Last but not least, we have to talk about the recommended balanced diet to reach those abs, nutrition in the key to achieve your goal. As I said above, it’s the percentage of fat above the abdomen that prevents the abs to look defined.
This diet should contain:
- 45-55% of calories from carbohydrates. (Rich in fibre, replacing white rice and white bread with brown rice and wholemeal bread, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, and barley, as well as non-starchy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans, rather than potatoes and corn)
- 30% fat (As for fats, we know that eating certain types of fat, such as extra virgin olive oil and avocado, rather than unhealthy fats like chips, cookies, and cakes, can help reduce risk of heart disease)
- 15-25 % protein (be it chicken or turkey, fish, tuna, tofu, beans, or egg whites)
CARBOHYDRATES are not the enemy, you don’t have to follow a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates to lose fat. In the end, what counts is how many calories you have consumed.
Consider including low-glycemic foods in your diet, such as rice and whole wheat pasta, vegetables, potatoes, oats, cereals, or citrus. In this way you will induce the body to burn fat, both from the diet and that which accumulates in the abdomen and hips.
As an athlete you always have the option of starting to take stimulants and body fat reducers such as L-Carnitine. A molecule from which our bodies can burn fat. Personally, I do not use them, but if you are interested, I can make an article about them.
- Drink plenty of water. Do you drink enough water? Don’t underestimate the liquid calories you consume if you drink fruit juices and sugary drinks. A high sugar content can sabotage your weight loss efforts
- Regarding protein, give priority to eggs and fish. Eat lean meats and, if possible, skinless.
- Make 5 or 6 meals a day, Eat before you feel hungry.
- Have healthy food on hand, storing healthy foods in the refrigerator and pantry so they’re ready to eat means you’re less likely to be looking for junk food.
- Avoid foods like industrial pastries, white bread, juices and packaged foods, and sugary foods and drinks.
- Avoid alcohol consumption.