Updated: May 20, 2021
The first bikini season post-COVID is right around the corner. You already will look fierce in your swimsuit, but you may be mildly freaking out at the idea of a two-piece. You know, like girls do every year even when there isn't a global pandemic.
But the weather is warming up, and you may find yourself in a mad dash to figure out how to get abs fast.
We have to be honest with you, though. Unless you're already primed for cut abs, it will take longer than you want it to take. We mean this with all the love in the world, but you can't jump from keg to six-pack in a month.
Expecting to do so is incredibly unhealthy. The most important thing you can do is get a realistic goal and be patient with yourself.
So let's talk all about your abdominals. We'll go over:
What Your Abs Are Made of
For everyone who didn't take anatomy, your tummy muscles are made up of four muscle groups:
• External Obliques
• Internal Obliques
• Rectus Abdominis
• Trans versus Abdominis
Your abdominal region also includes your lower back muscles, but most people just think of the ones in the front. When you're working your core, you have to work all of it.
But when it comes to the movie star "washboard abs'.' The definition comes from those four tummy muscles in the front.
The outer layer of muscles on your sides that run diagonally downward. You engage these guys when you do Russian Twists.
The muscles that lay under your external obliques and run diagonally up your sides. You feel these when you do windshield wipers.
The "six-pack" muscle that is two sheets of muscles from the ribs to the pelvis that help you bend forward. You can feel these when you do a V-up.
The deepest ab muscle that wraps all the way around your waist to support your back. You can burn this muscle out with bird dogs.
You won't be able to define these ab muscles until you shed the fat on top of them. And maybe your goal isn't to get a six-pack, and what you really want is to get rid of that layer of fat.
Remember how we said it's a process?
You can do crunches all day until the cows come home. But anatomically speaking, it's impossible to spot-reduce fat. It's a whole-body effort, and you don't get to choose where the fat disappears from first. (Hence why girls always lose fat in their breasts first)
How Abs Are Made In The Gym
Yeah, we don't like it either. But cardio is the ultimate fat-shedder, and it helps the entire body. So if you scoffed at our Marathon of Warriors, it's not too late to join.
But getting in your cardio doesn't necessarily mean you do nothing but go on five-mile runs every day. You can go on walks. You've probably got a Fitbit laying around somewhere if you want to set a step goal.
If you have to sit at a desk for most of the day or don't have time for long romantic walks, that's where HIIT comes in.
High-Intensity Interval Training is short bursts of extreme exercise with breaks in between. If you're ever worked out with Samantha, you've had the chance to experience HIIT firsthand.
HIIT is fantastic because you can accomplish more in a shorter amount of time than you would with regular cardio exercises. If you want to learn more about HIIT, schedule a session with Samantha.
Target Your Abs with Compound Exercises
Getting at your abs in the gym isn't just about those crunches. Any exercise you do should engage your trunk, which means every exercise is an ab exercise.
Deadlifts, bench press, squats, lunges, rows, and pull-ups all contribute to your ab strength.
Target Your Abs with Ab Exercises
Yeah, it's not just about crunches, but ab-specific exercises are necessary for visible ab muscles.
Dead bugs, V-ups, planks, Russian Twists, leg lifts, and all your other favorite ab exercises should still be on the menu for core strength.
Up Your Weights
Just like your biceps and quads, your abs are made up of muscles. If you want to keep developing them, you have to increase the weight steadily and safely. Consult your trainer if you're unsure about heading to the next weight level.
How Abs Are Made In The Kitchen
Maintain a Calorie Deficit
Okay, first of all, that phrase sucks. It sounds so negative and restricting, but let's clear something up:
The deficit does not equal starvation.
Supreme restrictive eating and starving yourself are eating disorder symptoms. Eating less than 1,000 calories a day is unhealthy. We're here to get abs healthily.
By calorie deficit, we simply mean that you ingest fewer calories than you burn. If you're working out, you need to eat more calories than you would on days you don't work out.
If you have questions about your calorie intake, reach out to our favorite nutritionist Mel Cabey or us for guidance.
If you eat more calories than you burn one day out of many, it's not the end of the world. Be kind to yourself. That's sexier than a six-pack will ever be.
Abs are muscles! Muscles need protein to grow! Eat lots of protein!
Cut Processed Food, Not Carbs
No, going gluten-free will not make abs appear. You need carbs in your diet.
However, the carbs you do ingest should be unprocessed and unrefined. Whole grains will keep you feeling full longer and help you stick to that calorie deficit.
Putting the right foods in your body will help you get the abs of your dreams. So don't be afraid of fruits, veggies, meats, brown rice, couscous, and other naturally made goods. If there are no added sugars in a product, you're on the right track.
It's the ultimate problem solver.
It takes a lot of dedication to get "ripped" abs. You can be a healthy warrior and not have a six-pack. But if that is your goal, we're here to help.