Abs are not only made in the kitchen. Let’s get that out of the way right now. No amount of exercise can help you see your abs faster. Yeah, I said it. We all know it, but we all fail to do the obvious: eat well and stay active.
There is, however, a few tips and tricks you can add to your routines to improve strength and maybe definition! Let’s look at some of them.
Toning is for printers. I hate it when I see people do hiccup crunches like there is no tomorrow. To perform hiccup crunches, you must not lift your shoulders more than ¼ of an inch from the floor and go as fast as possible. You can obviously do a thousand or more of them, which only proves their ineffectiveness. Stop wasting your time.
For abs, I go for full-on hypertrophy protocols. Once or twice a week, 2-3 exercises, 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps. As an interesting program, you can do swiss ball crunches (full range), kneeling high pulley crunches and toes to bar. If you can do more than 15 reps, it’s not heavy or difficult enough. For best results, never give up quantity for quality. Respect the full range with an adequate amount of resistance.
Go unconventional. Rope climbing, skin the cat, deadlifts, loaded carries will recruit the core and abs more than any other exercises you can think of.
Rope Climbing: The toughest version is trying to pull yourself up using only your arms while having your legs extended forward. You don’t need to have a high ceiling. Attach the rope to a chin-up bar, start on your butt and try to climb up while using only your arms. Once at the top, lower yourself back down under control.
Barbell deadlift: It has been shown that deadlifts and even pull-ups are better for the core than any other abs exercises.
Stone Carry: A heavy Medicine ball or sandbags will do the trick. Aim for a load that you can’t carry for more than about 50 feet.
Chill dude! Stress is the stomach number one enemy. It impairs digestion and will for sure inhibit your ability to burn fat efficiently. The other problem with extended exposure to stress and elevated cortisol is that it favors visceral fat storage (around the organs), something that is way more dangerous than subcutaneous fat (under the skin).