Six-Week Ab Workout

Six-Week Ab Workout

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Your six-week ab workout will include a variety of crunches, like bicycles.

Six weeks isn't very long -- just over a month. That's not a huge investment to make when the payoff can be flatter, toner, tighter abs. Sometimes the hardest part isn't the workout; it's taking the first step to start an exercise program. Wrapping your mind around a short, six-week regimen can make that first step seem doable. A surprising bonus is that, once you start working out and seeing results, you will probably continue on after six weeks.

It's Possible

Part of what's held you back from tackling your tummy in the past might be skepticism that you could have great abs in as little as six weeks. The truth is that there are no guarantees when it comes to fitness. Everyone begins from a different starting point and their bodies respond at different rates, so you might not see overwhelming results from the same six week program that worked for someone else. Commit to doing the workout for six weeks and see where you are at that point. You could end up getting better results than you expected, but you won't get any positive results at all if you don't work out.

Effective Exercises

A variety of crunches are always included in ab-essential exercises: basic crunches, reverse crunches, double crunches and twisting crunches. Other exercises to do on ab day are hanging knee-ups, standing cable rotations, bicycles and good old sit-ups. Do three sets of 25 reps of each and allow at least a full day off in between working your abs. In his book "Essential Abs: An Intense 6-Week Program," Kurt Brungardt recommends that you don't work your abs more than three times a week and that every six to eight weeks you take a full week off from working out.

Include Cardio

You won't see obvious results unless your six-week ab workout includes cardio. That's because aerobic exercise is vital for losing weight and shedding the layer of fat that's hiding your ab muscles and keeping your stomach from looking flat. At least four times a week, walk, run, swim, bike or participate in some other cardio exercise for 30 to 45 minutes to complement your resistance training.

The Diet Factor

Diet is a four letter word that most people shy away from, but it does play an important part in your six-week ab workout. Look at it this way: doing one set of 20 crunches will burn off 90 calories. That number looks pretty good until you consider that a double cheeseburger with all the fixin's has about 570 calories. That means increasing your workout seven times just to take care of one lunch. You don't have to entirely avoid your favorite things, but if you take some precautions like steering clear of red meat, fried foods and cheese six days out of the week, you can allow yourself a cheat day for the cheeseburger to make dieting doable. Also increase your water intake to at least three liters daily, using it to replace soda, and try to get five servings of fruits and veggies each day.