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Abdominal Tips

Abdominal Tips & Techniques

Abdominal Tips, defined abs with a few key concepts and techniques.

Articles Provided by: Justin Leonard @

5 Tips for Building Abs

 5. Train your abs on an empty stomach.

This allows you to burn bodyfat as fuel instead of carbohydrates.

4. Perform cardio activity before your workout.

When the body is warmed up as a result of cardiovascular activity, you're able to get a better contraction on your abs when you work them. The warm up enables you to better feel the deep muscular burning sensation when your abs are trained.

3. Contract and flex your abs in between sets.

This technique helps to build abdominal definition. Bodybuilders have been know to stretch and flex in between sets to increase muscle definition. It works!

2. Minimize rest time in between sets.

Try to only take 1 minute of rest [or less] time in between abdominal exercises. The goal is to keep rest to 30 - 40 seconds in between sets. Keep those abdominals burning!

1. Focus on the diet.

Your diet is the main factor in how your abs will look. My famous saying goes, "Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!"

How to Diet for Awesome Abs

What's the best way to diet for awesome abs? This is one of the most frequently asked questions I get. This article will highlight some of the tips and tricks used for obtaining killer abs.

It's one of the biggest concepts I advocate. "Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!" The concept is simple: The majority of your carbs should be eaten in the morning, but should fade throughout the day. Each meal should be just enough to carry you over to the next meal. Ideally, you want to eat approximately 4 - 6 times per day.

Your final (last 2) meals should be low-calorie. For example lean meat, vegetables, and water. I know it sounds boring, but there are ways to spice it up without worrying about meat fat and butter.

Cutting calories is very important. Excess calories are what become love handles. In other words, when you eat and don't burn (fat), you store (love handles). It's as simple as that. Cutting calories minimizes the chances of calories turning into fat.

If you're wondering how you're supposed to eat 6 meals with a busy work schedule, a technique that works for many is the use of meal replacement powders or homemade nutritious shakes. They are what they are; nutritional low-calorie meals in drink form. They actually help to curb the appetite, they're high in protein, and they taste good . . . excellent "fill-in" calories without the bad stuff.

Another beneficial abdominal dieting technique is to reduce the amount of sodium added to food. Salt + water + fat = prominent fat around the love handles. Cutting sodium can make a huge difference in the way your abs look.

If you're worried about cheat days, it really depends on your body type. Some can get away with eating pizza, donuts, and chips. Others are less fortunate. The main point is that you have to constantly be in tune with your body. Know your limits! For example, some may be able eat whatever they want, but only on weekends. Others may be able to get away with eating 1 fattening meal per day and still have a decent set of abs. Experiment with different diet strategies to find out what works best for you.

My main points:

Abdominal Exercises


There are several exercises you can do for abs. Many of the people I work with don't realize that most abdominal exercises are either ineffective or not needed. To set the record straight on which work and which don't, I have listed five noteworthy abdominal exercises.


Most already know how to perform this upper abdominal target exercise. It's basic, yet highly effective. Perform crunches by lying on a flat surface with your hands either across your chest or behind your head. Contract your abs. Hold for 2 seconds, then return to the starting position. Crunches should be performed in a continuous and controlled fashion.

Side Crunches

Side Crunches are basically the same as regular crunches, except the main focus is on the oblique muscles (love handles). The same technique applies, only your crunching to either side of your abs. You should feel the burn of the sides of your abs.

Lying Leg Lifts

This exercise targets the lower abs. Use the same position as crunches. Lying flat on your back, lift your legs 6 - 12 inches off of the ground. Perform repeatedly until you feel the burn in your lower abs.

Tip: Place your hand under your buttocks when performing lying leg lifts. It adds leverage and helps you get your feet elevated. It works!

Hanging Leg Raises

This exercise is another good lower ab target. It's a little more of an advanced exercise because it requires a strong back, shoulders, and chest (secondary muscles) to prevent swinging on the bar. Start hanging from a bar with your feet dangling freely. Pull them toward your chest in a slow and controlled manner. Repeat until you feel the burn. This exercise may be hard at first, but if you can master the technique, you can get awesome results!


The V-crunch is best when performed on a flat bench. It's another lower ab target. It's almost like lying leg lifts except your chest is at a 45 degree angle starting out. Sit at the edge of a bench and reach back just enough to support yourself from completely lying on the bench. Once you're stabilized, bring your knees toward your chest. You basically want to create a V motion when you perform them. For example, one end of the V is your head, the other is your knee. The base of the V would be your abs.

7 Myths About Abs

Anyone would agree that abs are the most wanted muscle on any physique. But what's realistic when it comes to abdominal endeavors? I decided to write about the 7 myths I hear most often. Hopefully, this clears up any misleading information.

7. I must train abs for hours for them to be defined.

Absolutely not! Long workouts provide no additional benefit to your abs. It will only cause you to get weaker as a result of overtraining. It should take less than 20 minutes per abdominal training session. Less is better!

6. Fat burners will help me burn fat around my abs.

You're better off buying two candy bars instead. Although they can be effective, fat burners do not target specific areas of the body. Fat is burned throughout the entire body. Plus, the "best" fat burner is the food you eat! It's all in the diet!

5. I'll have to go on a strict diet to get good abs.

Nope! Through the use of simple diet modifications, anyone can turn their abs into a chiseled work of art. Use my basic, but highly effective abdominal dieting techniques: Cut sodium, cut calories, lower fat, and drink water. There are still ways to enjoy what you eat using these modifications. You don't necessarily have to "diet." You just have to know when you can eat certain foods. Be creative. It works!

4. If I use weights with abdominal exercises my abs will show up better.

Don't waste your time! Weights provide no additional benefit to your abs. Abdominals will never bulge like the leg or pectoral muscles will. Abs "barely" increase in size when you train them. To get your abs to show up better, you have to sculpt them. The sculpting of the abs is done through strip-away-fat dieting, not heavier weights!

3. I can eat fattening meals because if I workout, I can burn if off.

You might as well add three more candy bars to the two I mentioned earlier. Most people don't workout long enough to burn even half of the calories they ate. The unburned excess will more than likely become fat. You can combat this problem by working out on an empty stomach. This allows your body to burn its own fat as fuel, since carbohydrates aren't readily available.

2. Sit-ups are bad for your back.

Not necessarily. How bad can they be? We do them everyday to get out of bed. Who said you had to touch your elbows to your knees for them to be effective? Why not come half way up, then back down? This still allows constant tension on the abs. I say, "If you perform them correctly, they're perfectly safe.

I have never heard of anyone complaining of back problems as a result of sit-ups. The bad back theory probably came about as a result of someone with an already bad back trying to do sit-ups.

Bottom line: The only reason I don't recommend them is because they're a waste of form when you can do crunches and get the same results.

1. If I do hundreds of sit-ups everyday, I'll have ripped abs.

You can do 200 sit-ups a minute and still wouldn't have abs. It's because exercise doesn't define the abs. It only makes them more prominent once the fat has been removed from around them. The kitchen is how you get ripped abs!

Abdominal Tips

Abdominal Workout Tips


The proper way to train abs is widely debated by experts. The truth is, there is no right or wrong way to go about training abs. What works for someone else may not work for you. Everyone has a different body type. Results will vary from person to person.

As stated before, the most fat is burned when abs are trained on an empty stomach. It's also recommended to perform some type of cardiovascular (bike or treadmill preferred) activity prior to beginning your training session. This minimizes your chance of overexerting or pulling a muscle. Yes, you can pull abdominal muscles!

I have designed a sample ab workout for starters. Feel free to modify as needed. This routine uses a traditional one-after-the-other technique. You could also use a supersetting technique by switching back and forth between 2 or more exercises, with little or no rest in between sets.

Crunches - 5 sets to failure

Lying Leg Lifts - 5 sets to failure

Side Crunches - 5 sets to failure

Crunches - 2 sets to failure

That's it! There is no hidden secret to training abs! You don't need all the fancy equipment either! This ab routine may look wimpy, but each portion of the abs including the upper, lower, and sides are trained! Trust me, you'll feel it!

The word "failure" means, "until you can't do anymore in a single set because your abs are burning too much." Don't count reps! Instead, concentrate on feeling the burn!

It should take less than 20 minutes to complete this routine. If you wanted to, you could add or substitute exercises such as side bends for obliques, hanging knee raises for lower abs, and so on . . .

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