Having 6-pack abs is almost everyone’s goal when they are starting or in the middle of their fitness journey; it definitely was for me. My stomach has always been my problem area, and I always had dreams of having abs. Once I seriously started my fitness journey, and I started lifting weights, the desire for abs was stronger than ever. I’m going to be honest, obtaining abs is pretty difficult, and it’s a long process. I’m here to tell you my tips on how to get poppin’ abs, and some things you should remember! *** FOOD: it’s way simpler than you think. I seriously CANNOT stress this enough! JUST👏🏼EAT👏🏼WHOLE👏🏼FOODS! Stay away from the processed stuff! Yes, everything in moderation, but try to base your eating on fruits, veggies, LEAN PROTEIN (⬅️super important!!), nuts, and seeds!! I swear this helped me so much!! I also had a lot of fiber too! Things like oatmeal, quinoa, and Ezekiel bread are great too! (Also never cut anything out of your “diet”! It’s okay to cut back, but if you crave it, have it! Listen to your body!!) ((In moderation of course)) (Try the 80/20 rule! 80% of the time you eat whole, healthy foods, and 20% you eat whatever you want! You can start with 70/30 if you want. Ease into it!) Being in a calorie deficit is helpful too, (lowering your daily calorie intake by 100-200 cals) as it helps to lose the extra fat, but if you just eat whole foods, I don't think its really necessary! I never tracked my calories when I was trying to get abs! I just ATE WHOLE FOOOOOODS! Also, drink ya water! (don't drink liquid calories. Waste of calories if you ask me.) ((Pop, juice, frappuccinos (lol sorry), etc)) You should be drinking 2-4 liters of water a day! (stay tuned for the benefits of water *wink wink*) *** TRAINING: I think there are 3 kinds of training styles that are key to abs. 1. Compound moves, 2. HIIT, and 3. Ab isolation moves. Let’s start with compound moves. Using free weights is an awesome way to train your core and make it strong! Squats, deadlifts, and chin ups target your core and strengthen it. (make sure you squeeze your abs when doing compound moves!) (think of belly button to your spine or if your about to be punched in the stomach) Yes, machines are great, but try to focus more on free weights for abs. (I stay away from machines for abs but I’ll get to that later). Free weights and compound moves not only target the body part you are after, but it uses your core to hold the weight up and keep steady!! Next is HIIT (high intensity interval training). I literally SWEAR by HIIT. It has helped me so so much. If you don’t know what HIIT is, you take an exercise, say running for example, and you sprint for a short period of time, then rest for a short period of time, and repeat for 10-20 minutes. For example 40 seconds sprint, 20 seconds rest, and you can customize it to what works for you. You aren’t going to get abs unless you break down the subcutaneous around your stomach, so doing HIIT will help get rid of that! Try skipping, sprinting, or even online Ab HIIT workouts! (I used one by Chloe Ting and I loved it! Give it a try!) Lastly, ab isolation exercises. I have to say before i go onto my favorite ab exercises, you CANNOT spot reduce fat (That basically means you can just do 1000 sit ups and have toned abs). That's why HIIT is so important! Ab isolation exercises build and strengthen the muscles in your stomach, making them show quicker, and look extra nice! My favorite ab exercises are:
Hanging leg raises : these are difficult, but it takes practice. start with tuck ups. Find a bar and hang off it as it you are about to do a pull up. (overhand grip). The goal is to raise your legs up to the bar while keeping the straight the whole way. This is pretty difficult. And by pretty difficult, I mean VERY difficult. Start with just tucking your legs into your stomach. SQUEEZE YOUR ABS!!! That is so important if you want to see your abs and get the most out of the exercise. Squeeze your abs as if someone is about to punch you in the stomach. Or think of it as you want your belly button to your spine.
Ab rollers : Again, these are very difficult! Some people can't do this exercise for the life of them! And some people can do it no problem! Try it out if you see an ab roller at the gym. (It looks like a little wheel with two little handles on either side.) You basically kneel down and roll yourself down until your stomach is just above the ground (or as far as you can go!). If that doesn't make sense, (which is probably doesn't) just look up "Ab Rollers" on the interweb OR look on my instagram account under the "training" story highlight just below my bio. Flip through an there are 2 clips of me doing it. (It says in the video its my favorite ab exercise just so you know). Again, make sure you SQUEEEEEEZE your abs!
Ball Pike : Again, i'm sorry, but these are kinda difficult too. IM SORRY OKAY!? THESE WORK SO WELL FOR ME! JUST PRACTICE, BOO! Any way... get a yoga ball, and put your feet on it and push yourself up by your hands like your in a full plank position with the ball under your feet. Then, pike up your butt and roll the ball toward your face. (that definitely doesn't make sense... just look up "ab ball pikes"...) That move is a little advanced, so start with tucks instead of pikes. Instead of piking up, just tuck your knees into your chest. (Just look up Ab yoga ball tucks. lol). It will be hard to balance the first couple times, but you will get used to it in no time! And once again, SQUEEZE. YOUR. ABS. You should be squeezing your abs for every single exercise you do!!! especially ab exercises!
V-Ball tosses : Creds to my brother for this one! (Thanks, Justin). This one, everyone can do. Here's how to do it. Sit in a v position, like your doing a Russian twist. (basically you're sitting on your butt with you legs elevated bent at the knees and your calves to feet are pointed strain forward and your back is straight and elevated. You should look like a V with your body kinda... Just look up "V-hold yoga pose" and that's how you're supposed to sit.((the only this is you don't want your legs straight up in the air, you bend at the knees so that your feet are facing straight forward!)) Jeez I SUCK at explaining.) If you have a partner it's better for this exercise. Get a medicine ball (just one of those heavy balls) that is a comfortable, but challenging weight for you. Sit in the V position and get your partner to lightly toss (NOT THROW BECAUSE IF IT HITS YOU IN THE FACE IT HURTS A LOT AND WE DON'T WANT A BROKEN NOSE HERE NOW DO WE) ((but seriously be careful those balls are heavy and they actually can hurt you!!)) anyway, get your partner to toss the ball right into your hands at your chest, toss it back, and repeat 10 times. You can stop there, but, if you want to have more fun with it, try this! 10 tosses towards your chest, 10 tosses that you catch over your head and toss it back X10, then your partner tosses from one side, and you throw it back sideways 10 times (this is good for your obliques which is the sides of your abs) and then the other side 10 times. I really hope this makes sense! if it doesn't then i'll post a video of me doing it on @jeccafit! (SQUEEZE YOUR ABS! FIGHT THE URGE TO PUSH THEM OUT! SQUEEZE THEM IN!!!)
PATIENCE: OH LORDY LORD. I literally CANNOT stress this enough. PATIENCE IS SO KEY. I always used to look up "How to get a 6-pack FAST" Girl (or guy, idk who reads this!), it does not come fast. It took me MONTHS to get abs. I also always saw "patience is very important" and "you have to be patient". It got to a point where I was doing ab HIIT workouts almost every day, and I seriously thought "I'm NEVER going to get a toned stomach. I've been working so hard for 3 months. Where are they!?" Just keep working. Keep weight training, keep eating whole foods, keep training your abs. (You certainly don't/shouldn't train them everyday. I'd say 5x a week MAX for like 10-20 minutes! That's all you need!!!) And lastly, one of my most favorite, important tips, for any physical/appearance goal: DO. NOT. COMPARE. YOUR. SELF. DAY. TO. DAY. And if that doesn't make any sense, it basically means this: I used to check my abs to see if they were there every single day right before showering. I NEVER SAW A DIFFERENCE. Why? You don't notice a person change from day to day. You notice when you haven't seen them for a while, or if you **LOOK BACK AT OLD PICTURES OF THEM!** What i'm getting at here, is TAKE PROGRESS PICTURES! I did this right when I started my fitness journey with no real intention or thought that I was going to see a difference. Little did I know, it was the smartest thing I've ever done. (Regarding my fitness journey, that is.) Take a picture of yourself in a mirror in a bathing suit (bikini preferably so you can see your whole, beautiful, body) ((if you don't own a bikini, which I totally understand, I never had them when I was younger, then just take it in your bra and underwear. sorry if that's a little personal lol)) TAKE PICTURES OF YOURSELF IN THE SAME BIKINI/UNDERWEAR AND BRA IN THE SAME MIRROR EVERY 1-2 MONTH/S!!! You will thank me later. I swear, every time I think I "look worse" or that I'm not seeing the results I want, I take a picture, and every. single. time. i'm so pleasantly surprised. You won't notice day to day! ONE MORE TIME FOR THE PEOPLE IN THE BACK! TAKE PROGRESS PICTURES!!! I absolutely WISH I could say it takes a week, but, i'm sorry, it doesn't. Life challenges you. Keep pushing. If you don't feel like you're progressing (you probably are), fix what needs to be fixed, and get back out there.
Okay. That's it from me! I really, really hope this helps you guys. I SWEAR by all of these tips, (especially the last one) and if you start doing all of these things, I guarantee you will see your stomach tone up in NO TIME! (well, I mean, maybe not no time, because it's a process, but, you will see it one day I promise!)
((You will feel the difference in NO TIME though ;) )) I love you guys so much and I love helping you. Please let me know if you try any of these, and please let me know if you see results using any of my tips. you can contact my email below, on the chat to the bottom right, or on instagram @jeccafit . DONT BE SHY. And PLEASE let me know if you have ANY questions at all. I absolutely LOVE helping you guys. It makes my day every time when you ask for advice (which is a bit weird but I just love it!). I LOVE YOU! YOU CAN DO IT. KEEP PUSHING. BE PATIENT. RESPECT, AND LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.
Your body knows best.