With summer here, having your best looking abs might be motivation enough to work extra hard during your workouts and keep your nutrition habits in check to reveal your “summer abs”. After all, we all want a “flatter” and more defined midsection. As motivating as achieving your best abs can be, there are many reasons why building a strong core is beneficial to our overall health, longevity and improving your fitness in every way.
As great as it is to have abs that show off your hard work and dedication, having a strong core is crucial to help you prevent injuries, protect your inner organs and nervous system, prevent and alleviate back pain, improve your posture, and help you perform better in sports and during your workouts!
Our abs definition and shape is determined by our lifestyle, nutrition habits, genetics (the shape of your muscles, and places where you store fat), and your workout regimen. Knowing these will help you create a strategy to train smarter and customize your nutrition.
You can achieve a strong and healthy core without being very defined, and you can have defined abs muscles and not have a healthy core.
It is important to understand that we can’t spot reduce by performing hundreds of crunches and doing tons of abs work. It is ok to give your core muscles extra love but it’s important to know that our abs muscles get a lot of work from compound movements like Squats, Pushups, Deadlifts, Hip Thrusts, Lunges, Presses, Rows and Pull-ups to name a few. They work hard to stabilize while you perform these movements. By prioritizing strength training and focusing on working your mayor muscle groups with compound movements, you will increase your total body fat loss, burn more calories, increase your metabolisms and in the process achieve a stronger core and better looking abs!
I asked one of the best trainers in the country, Andy Speer CSCS, SFG 1, to share with us his top tips to help you achieve your best abs this Summer and all year around. We also filmed a great core workout that will hit your abs from all angles, and you can do anywhere! Watch video Here !
Here are Andy’s top tips:
1. Breathing and Rib Tension – “When you are setting yourself up to do a Hollow Body Hold or a Plank, give a quick breath out and tighten your ribs, this is going to put your trunk and pelvis in the best position for stability and maximizing your muscle activation” – says Speer.
2. Don’t Overdo the Cardio – This is a common training mistake I know some of you do to this day because you think that cardio is better for fat-loss and prioritize cardio over resistance training.
“Cardio is great you need it to burn calories. But combine it with at least 2-3 strength training sessions in your routine to really shred abdominal fat and reveal that summer six pack” says the creator of Men’s Health Anarchy ABS .
3. Don’t Try to Spot Reduce with Crunches – Instead, focus on your big muscle groups: your glutes, your lats, your entire body, that’s gonna help you burn fat faster” .
4. Cut out the Junk – We all know that abs are made in the kitchen. Eating the wrong foods will sabotage your abs progress and all of your hard work during your workouts. “Cut out the junky white stuff: the sugar, flour, all the bad carbs like muffins – instead up your veggies and eat more fiber and drink more water, it does the body good and helps you flush all the toxins in your body.” – says Andy.
Keep in mind that it takes time to see results. The important thing is that you stay consistent applying these tips and change your nutrition habits in a sustainable way!
To recap, prioritize strength training and compound movements, and add cardio as a supplement in your fitness regimen. Cut back on sugar, processed foods, and junk food. Choose foods that are in season and fresh, and eat lean proteins, healthy fats and nutrient filled superfoods instead. Drink tons of water since it helps every part of your body to function effectively and detox your body. Check out ” “Foods that Beat the Belly Bloat” !
And remember to add this quick and effective workout into your regimen ! You’ll target your core muscles in a smart way.
Here is a breakdown of the workout :
- Hollow Body Hold + Suitcase Crunches – 10 Reps
- Side Plank Pulses – 10 Reps each side
- Reverse Plank Gold – 20 seconds
Complete 3-5 Rounds.
Connect with Andy Speer on social media @andyspeer and checkout his killer program Anarchy ABS – here !