Top 7 Tips to a Tigher and Stronger Mid-Section

Looking for the “secret to tighter abs” or a “strong core”?  There really is NO SECRET!  It’s, actually, pretty straight forward.  BUT, there are some great tips to be had, if you really want to dial it in and focus on ridding that left over holiday weight, baby weight, baby fat or whatever you claim that left over flub to be from.   And NO, I’m not going to tell you to do 1000 crunches to get abs like Gwen, Fergie or Britney.

There really are two things that need to happen:


1) Rid yourself of the fatty layer that is covering your abdominal muscles; and

2) Tightening and toning your abdominal muscles.

Easy enough, eh?  And NO, I’m not going to tell you to do 1000 crunches to get abs like Gwen, Fergie or Britney.


With that being said, here are the Top Seven Tips to a Tighter and Stronger Midsection:

1.  STRENGTH TRAINING. Work your midsection with specific core strength training exercises, at least, 3 times a week.  Challenging them will build strength and lean muscle.


2.
WATCH WHAT YOU EAT. Ditch the sodium laden and processed foods, refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup – IMMEDIATELY.

The fat stores created by excess sugar intake most often accumulate around your waist, covering up your abdominal muscles. Cut these items from your diet and replace them with real whole foods such as lean meats, vegetables, whole grains (lots of fiber!!), nuts and fruits.


3. CARDIO INTERVALS.
Not only is 45 minutes on the treadmill or Elliptical incredibly boring, but it doesn’t challenge your fitness, like your body needs, in order to burn more fat.

Break up your cardio training with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), think INSANITY™, for your cardio workouts. HIIT training uses intense bursts of cardio to fire up your heart rate and metabolism. Great way to blast the blubber.

4. RESISTANCE. Crunches are boring and old school.  Not to mention your core adapts to them quickly and they become ineffective.  Add a little flavor to your abdominal exercises by incorporating some weight or resistance.  Use a dumb bell, medicine ball or resistance band to create a harder workout for your core.  This is how you’ll bring to build that definition.

5. DON’T BE A SUCKER. Never waste your time or money on:

  1. Packaged health food that come with weight loss claims. It’s likely packaged with chemical fillers that will hinder the loss of belly fat. (See Tip #2).
  1. Goofy abdominal exercise products as sold on late night infomercials – all you really need is your own body weight, an exercise ball and dumbbells or a medicine ball.
  2. So-called weight loss supplements. The magic pill for flat abs doesn’t exist, so you’d be wasting your health and money on a bogus product.

6. TARGET YOUR LOWER ABS. It’s easy to neglect the lower abs, but they are an important part of the equation. Incorporate the V-Up or Hip Raise into your exercise routine:

V-Up Starting Position: Sit on the edge of an exercise bench; lean back to a 45 degree angle. Extend your legs out until they are level with the floor.

Movement: Exhale and bring your legs and upper body close together (envision a “V” shape), while contracting your abdominals. Inhale as you slowly release your legs, returning them to the starting position.


Hip Raise Starting Position: Lay with back flat on the mat or floor, place hands beneath lower back for support, legs straight in the air with feet flexed.  Your body should look like a 90 degree angle.

Movement: With no momentum, slowly lift your hips off the mat, using your lower abdominal muscles.  Inhale as you bring your hips back down to the mat.  Accelerate the move by taking your shoulders off the mat as well to work your entire abdominals.

7. CHALLENGE YOUR CORE OFTEN. Don’t limit your abdominal exercise to the gym, incorporate core strengthening during daily life and throughout each workout.  Work on your core even while you sit at your desk.  Sit up straight, shoulders back and chest up, pull your belly button into your spine and contract and flex your core.  Breath as you would normally, then release after 30 seconds.  Continue this several times throughout the day.  Great way to get through a long boring meeting!


A strong core is the foundation for flat, tight abs.

However, keep in mind that your results will be seriously hindered if you do the same exercise routine over and over. Your abs need a progressive challenge in order to transform. This means new exercises, different resistance and increased challenge.


Your partner in HEALTH & FITNESS!

Comments

  1. I would love to have a tight midsection, but I can never give up oreos!

  2. choose2befit says:

    Well, that may have to be the first step! :)

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