Abs, Abs, Abs – The abs are one of the most popular areas that men and women want to tone up. And who doesn’t want a toned, flat mid-section, after all? But sometimes people don’t go about achieving that elusive, perfect abs washboard the best way.
The old school of thought was to do a ton of sit-ups or crunches each day to get ripped. Now we know that this targets only the rectus abdominus – otherwise responsible for the washboard look – and doesn’t do much for the other 3 muscle groups in the abdomen.
The internal and external obliques, which are your side pockets that make up your waist, serve to rotate and laterally bend the torso; and the transverse abdominus is a horizontal band of muscle located deep in the core, and it functions like a girdle to help suck everything in.
To shape the center of the body and achieve a flat belly, you need to do cardio (which burns fat) regularly. You can have the shapeliest midsection muscles, and if they are covered by a layer of fat, no one will ever see them.
In addition to cardio, perform a wide variety of core exercises that hit all four muscle groups in the abs. Today, there are multiple ways to strengthen the core, such as Pilates, yoga, planks, twists and many more that use tools such as weights or stability balls. Check with a local fitness professional or seek out books or online resources to develop a routine.