How to Make Your Abs Pop: A Six-Step Guide
If we are given a chance to change one body part, most of us will go for flat bellies with ripped abs in a heartbeat! The reason is simple – six-pack abs are super attractive on both men and women. They can increase your sex appeal and make you look like a Vogue model.
However, the importance of strong and ripped abs goes beyond aesthetics. Ripped abdominal muscles are considered the ultimate indicator of fitness. They stabilize your torso and help you maintain a good posture. Secondly, developed abs and back muscles help prevent lower back pain and injuries. Every action that you perform involves your abs. You are always using your abs, whether you sit, stand, walk, bend, or stretch. This makes it essential to strengthen your core.
The good news is that getting the golden-standard six pack abs is not difficult if you know how to make your abs pop. With a strong resolve and my six-step insider guide, the perfect Michelangelo body is now within your reach. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what you can do to get the perfect pack of abs that will earn you many compliments.
- How to Make Your Abs Pop: A Six-Step Guide
- Step 1 – Train Your Abs
- Step 2 – Add Resistance to Your Abs Workout
- Step 3 – Hit All Areas of Your Abs
- Step 4 – Cardio is a Must
- Step 5 – Maintain the Right Diet
- Step 6 – Stay Hydrated
Let’s get one thing straight – you’ll need to do a lot more than repetitive crunches to make those abs pop. Defined abs require low body fat. Showing abs with a potted belly is simply impossible, which means that you’ll need to get rid of all the extra fat, especially around the waist. Unfortunately, the rules are not the same for everyone. While some people can show fully defined six-pack abs at around 12% body fat, others may hardly show two abs even below 10%. The results vary depending on a number of factors, including your body types, and the size and shape of your abdominal muscles.
Nevertheless, hard work always pays off. So, even if you have to work harder than most people, don’t be disheartened. Continue to work towards your fitness goals until you get those perfect abs. So, now that we have sorted that out, scroll down to take a look at how to make your abs pop.
Step 1 – Train Your Abs
When it comes to getting ripped abs, one of the most common mistakes that people make is that they forget that abs are just like any other muscle in the body. This means that you’ll need to train the abs gradually. You can’t perform 200 reps of some abs exercise in a day and expect to get the abs of your dreams. Sorry to burst your bubble – but you are more likely to get a hernia than defined abdominal muscles if you take this approach.
The best way to go about this is to train your muscles gradually. Start with 10 -15 reps only and gradually increase the number of sets if you want. It is also important to give your muscles time to recover. So, make sure you perform abs exercises on alternate days. Train your abs at least three times a week. Keep in mind that the abs are the center of the core and are always working, which is why they require more training.
Over the years, I have tried and tested different methods to train abdominal muscles. I learned some extremely valuable lessons through trial and error. Today, I am sharing some golden ab-training tips and tricks that I learned along the way. Following these tips will revolutionize your training sessions and will teach you how to make your abs pop.
· Follow an All-Round Course of Exercise
Your core training sessions must be flexible and include different types of exercises. Include flexion exercises, like crunches and squats. This will strengthen the abdominal muscles and gluteals. Extension exercises, like hamstring stretch, are also essential. They strengthen back muscles and improve the overall posture. I also like to include various rotational exercises in the mix. Finally, end your ab training session with a static hold, like a plank. This will help you make those abs pop.
· Mind Your Breathing
Regardless of the exercise you are performing, it is essential to mind your breathing. For the most effective results, inhale as you stretch the abs. Then, hold your breath as you perform the contracting motion. Exhale only towards the end of the contraction. Holding your breath at the right time will help you maintain intra-abdominal pressure and strengthen the core.
· Use a Wobble Board or Stability Ball
Abdominal muscle growth is essential to get defined abs. Exercising causes microscopic tears in the muscle. Muscles grow as these tears repair. Since a wobble board or stability ball allows you to train in an unstable environment, you recruit a lot more muscle tissue than usual. The more muscle tissue you use, the higher the microscopic tears. As they heal, your abs develop quickly.
· Focus on Your Abs
If you want to make your abs pop, you’ll have to pay extra attention to them. It is best to devote separate sessions to ab training. Another way is to start your workout routine with ab training and then follow with whatever you want, except heavy lifting workout. Engaging in heavy lifting training after ab training can put excessive pressure on the abdominal muscles. It will exhaust the core muscles and also lead to injury.
· Take Your Sweet Time
Muscles develop due to tension. The longer the muscles are under stress, the quicker they will develop. So, instead of rushing the reps, take your sweet time to complete each one. For instance, if you are doing crunches, count to three on your way up and down instead of quickly performing a rep in a second or two. This will elongate the time your muscles stay under tension and strengthen them.
Step 2 – Add Resistance to Your Abs Workout
This is perhaps the most important step in knowing how to make your abs pop. Most people stay focused on increasing the number of reps instead of adding resistance. This is a big mistake. The secret to getting perfectly defined abs is resistance. So, aim to increase resistance by adding weights and decreasing the reps. However, you may have to increase the reps in the beginning to build strength. Once you get strong enough, decrease the number of reps and add resistance.
The best approach is to keep the repetitions down to only 10 – 15 reps and increase the weight gradually. You can also increase the reps if you want, but your first priority should be to add more resistance to the ab workout. The reason why increasing resistance provides maximum results is that it allows you to train in the lower rep ranges. This works in your favor as it breaks down the muscle fiber. As a result, your abdominal muscles thicken and your six-pack is more defined.
Step 3 – Hit All Areas of Your Abs
If you are aiming for beautiful, sculpted abs, make sure you hit all areas of your abs. Abdominal muscles can be divided into three main categories, namely upper abs, lower abs, and obliques. Training all three of them is extremely important to develop well-defined Michelangelo abs.
Keep in mind that it is easier to hit the upper abs, which is why most people manage to achieve 4 pack abs. The lower abs are a bit trickier to pop. So, make sure your ab training regime is well-rounded and hit upper as well as lower abs.
On the other hand, obliques are equally important. When we talk about core exercises to develop six-pack abs, we usually fixate on the front abs. However, your side abs, a.k.a. obliques, are just as important. These muscles run down along the sides of the body from the ribs to the hips. These muscles stabilize the body and protect the torso. You use them every time you turn, twist, or bend the torso. Hitting them is essential to get the ideal V-shaped body with six-pack abs.
Let’s take a look at a few exercises to get a good idea about how to make your abs pop by hitting the right areas.
- Perform Hanging Knee Raises, Plank Jacks, or Shoulder Tap Planks to engage your entire core.
- Perform Hanging Knee Twist to engage the core and upper and lower abs.
- Perform Sit-Up Twist to engage all abdominal muscles and obliques.
- Perform Trunk Rotations to engage the upper abs and obliques.
- Perform Tri-Set or Hanging Knee Twist to engage your lower abs and obliques.
- Perform Hanging Leg raise to engage your lower abs and core.
- Perform Alternating Leg Raises to engage your lower abs.
- Perform Side Planks or Side Plank Dips to engage your obliques.
This should give you a pretty good idea about the kind of exercises that you should do. As you can see, different exercises target different regions. It is up to you to pick the right ones to include in your ab training workout. Since lower abs are harder to pop, make sure you include exercises that focus on them. Also, don’t forget to train your obliques!
Step 4 – Cardio is a Must
Want to know how to make your abs pop? You need to burn fat while building muscles. Steady-state training will not give you the desired results. Sure, it will burn fat, but at a slow pace. It won’t work if your goal is to make your abs pops and achieve an overall fit and attractive physique. Hence, it is essential to do cardio intervals. It will help you lose fat while maintaining lean muscle.
However, keep in mind that when I say cardio, I don’t mean slow-walking cardio. Instead, aim for High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) cardio that burns fat quickly. Here’s a list of some of the best exercises for beginners to include in their HIIT cardio workouts:
- Squat Jumps
- Mountain Climber
- Bicycle Crunch
- Sled Pull and Sled Push
- Hanging Leg Raise
- Short Distance Sprint
Work up to doing HIIT cardio exercises at least 3 times a week for maximum results. You can start with ten-minute long flat runs with a 60-second rest period. In this way, you will work for less time but burn more calories. If you are just starting HIIT workouts, it’s best to start with one HIIT workout per week. Then when you feel you are ready, add a second workout per week. Never do HIIT workouts on consecutive days.
Step 5 – Maintain the Right Diet
All your efforts of learning how to make your abs pop will go to waste if you don’t eat right. Eating a clean and healthy diet is crucial to support your body through intense workouts. Plus, eating the right kinds of food can also help you achieve your goals faster. There are two main things to keep in mind when you are trying to eat healthy with the goal to get six-pack abs.
· Rule # 1: More Protein, Fruits, and Vegetables
Increase your protein intake to develop muscles. It is advisable to consume around 2g of lean meat/kilo of your body weight in a day. This will allow you to develop the muscles you want to show. Some great sources of protein include lean meat, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and beans. You can also consume dairy products, like cheese, milk, and yogurt, to increase your daily protein intake. However, make sure they are low-fat.
· Rule # 2: Fewer Carbs and Lower Fat
Now, to actually show the muscles you developed, you must bring your body fat down to at least 10%. This will be achieved by cutting back on calories and fats. Some foods that you should avoid or at least limit include bread, grains, pasta, starchy vegetables, cereal, etc.
Step 6 – Stay Hydrated
Last but not least, it is extremely important to stay hydrated. The more hydrated you are, the more your abdominal muscles will stand out. Plus, water regulates the body temperature. This means your body needs it in sufficient amount to perform your daily exercises without producing excessive heat.
Water also helps transport nutrients around the body. So, drink plenty of water to keep your energy levels high, stay active and make your abs pop!
Ripped abdominal muscles are attractive on both men and women. Muscular abs are also a primary indicator of a person’s fitness level. A muscular core provides torso stability and helps to protect the vital organs. There are six steps you need to learn to know how to make your abs pop:
Step 1 – You must train your abs
Step 2 – Add resistance to you abs workout
Step 3 – Hit all areas of your abs
Step 4 – Cardio is a must
Step 5 – Maintain the right diet
Step 6 – Stay hydrated
The above steps describe step by step how to make your abs pop. If you are committed and patient in implementing the above six steps, you will be successful and have abs that pop!