My inquiry is regarding my abs workout. I do 20 minutes of abdominal training in the morning and then again in the evening. My workouts are exactly the same, except that I don’t do weighted resistance exercises in the evening. My abs workout consists of 2 sets of half crunches for 30 reps, 2 sets of full crunches for 15 reps and 2 sets of leg raises for 10 reps. Right after this I also do 15 minutes of brisk walking around my building. I particularly want to flatten the lower area of my stomach. My upper abs are in pretty good shape using this workout routine. I’ve been doing this for about 2 months now. Is my abs routine fine or does it need any improvements?
Congratulations on sticking with your routine for the past couple of months! It appears you are already showing some great results from your hard work and that’s fantastic. The exercises you are currently doing for your abdominals are all great and there are many more that you can add into your routine as you feel comfortable. Abdominal exercises can really tone and strengthen your midsection but if you are really looking to flatten your midsection we need to increase your cardiovascular exercise and take an in-depth look at your nutrition. This combination of strength exercises, cardio exercise and proper nutrition is really when the magic happens.
Strengthening the muscles of the midsection gives them the ability to hold their shape better. This is important as the midsection is composed of the core muscles that provide support for the entire body. Because of this improved tone to the core muscles you will notice a flatter appearance to the stomach area. In order to maximize this flattening effect, you will also need to burn the fat that sits on top of these muscles. This is where an increase in cardio exercise and some changes in your dietary intake will be very beneficial.
If you are currently doing a 15 minutes of brisk walking, look for ways to add some more challenging elements to that routine. Here are a few suggestions:
- Increase your time by 5 minutes a week.
- Walk with some light hand weights.
- Add in some hills to your walking routine.
- For every 5 minutes you walk, jog for 1 minute.
There are also many other great exercises you can try such as swimming, rollerblading, hiking, biking and jumping rope. The important thing is to find as much variety as possible in order to increase the energy output. The greater your energy output means a greater number of calories are being burned and the more likely you are to burn fat.
Last but definitely not least is your dietary intake. In fact, I’d say this is the most important of the areas to focus on. The simple fact is that if you are consuming as many calories as you are burning on a daily basis, the body has no reason to burn the excess body fat you are storing. In other words, you have to create a caloric deficit so that the body will use its fat stores for energy. The easiest way to decrease your overall calories is to eliminate processed foods. Processed foods are generally high in calories and low in nutrition so we want to avoid them whenever possible.