and 2 quick workouts to get your there
By Chanel Collette
In the fitness world abs are the hottest commodities – everyone wants them and only a select few achieve them. There is no secret weapon for two easy payments of $29.95 that will get them for you, and we all know “problem spotting” doesn’t work. We only wish our bodies’ listened when we told it where to store those cookies and where to burn them.
Consistent body fat loss, targeted exercises and genetics are the three factors that together could help you uncover the mystery six-pack you’ve all heard about.
Stated earlier “problem spotting” does not work. When one begins to lose boy fat the body typically loses it all over in a gradual process. Sadly one of the first rules of body fat variations is; the first place you gain the fat is typically the last place you lose the fat.
The coveted six-pack region, actually called the rectus abdominis, is a single muscle that is long and flat and runs vertically from your ribs to your hips. You could absolutely have abdominal muscles and core strength in that region but you will not see to coveted rippling of the muscle if your body fat isn’t low enough.
Targeted ab exercises are another convoluted term. If you ask any fitness professional or avid gym-goer what the best ab exercises are you will get a vast array of answers. Let’s debunk the most common – the plank. They do not build the muscle. The rectus abdominis is like any other muscle in the body – do you try to build other muscles with static holds? The plank and other static hold exercises are worth your efforts but they are more for improving your stability and protecting your spine than building muscle.
The rectus abdominis has a couple functions for the body, and these functions must be involved in your ab exercises to target the region. The primary role is, anti-extension of the spine, or in common terms maintaining a neutral spine and not allowing the lumbar spine (lower back) to hyperextend. The secondary role is to pull the hips towards the chest or vice versa. These two actions must occur in abdominal training if you truly want to build strength and improve definition.
Last but definitely not least is your favorable or unfavorable genetic predisposition for abdominal muscles. The rectus abdominis is made up of mostly slow-twitch muscle fibers. An individual is built with two types of muscle fibers, slow twitch and fast twitch, and the percentage of each varies from person to person. Sure, like any muscle, it can be trained, but others will have quicker results.
The mystery has been solved, but don’t throw in the towel (or cover up with it) on your ab training. Stay consistent with a body fat loss training and diet program and incorporate these three ab routines. Slowly, but surely, you can uncover your six-pack this summer.