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How To Get A Six-Pack In One Month

How To Get A Six-Pack In One Month

I have a six pack. Ok. Sometimes I have a six pack. Ok, Ok. For like 2 months of the year I have a six-pack. I mean, give me a break. I am not a fitness model or anything. I am just a regular old 37 year old. But, I can whip out a six pack given a month’s notice.

I am not going to sit here and insult everyone’s intelligence and effort by saying everyone is going to be able to pull off a six pack in one month. One month is not long enough for some peoplebecause there are many factors that go into fat loss. Genetics, current weight, current diet, injuries, etc.

But, there is not a doubt in my mind that almost anyone could have a six pack. If you exercise regularly and you eat somewhat healthy, have an injury free body that only carries a small spare tire and can be pushed hard, it is definitely possible for you to make your abs pop with a month’s notice. The way is simple but it requires some discipline and hard work and it goes like this:

Number 1 Six-Pack Rule: Create Calorie Deficits!!!

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    Despite all the diet voodoo you read and hear about, losing fat comes down to one tried and true simple fact. You need to burn more calories than you take in. That is how you get rid of fat sitting on your belly and covering up the abs that are living under there.

    So how do we create calorie deficits?

    1. Cardio AND Weights!

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      There are basically two schools of thought in the fitness world regarding cardio for fat loss. There are the high intensity cardio folks and the steady state cardio folks. High intensity cardio will get you a faster burn quicker, but it is a lot harder. Steady state cardio will take you longer to burn the same calories, but it is more sustainable. Pick whichever one you want and remember that all that matters is the calories you burn.

      Just hitting cardio will do nice things for your body. It will lean you up, but it better be combined with weights, otherwise you will be plenty skinny without an ab in sight. When I want to get my stomach ready for taking off my shirt, I never stop hitting the weight room. I just add my cardio on to the time I train. I may lift lighter than usual with less rest in between sets, in order to balance the stress and strain of the added cardio, but I keep lifting, because the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn, as I said above, we are all about burning those calories!

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      2. Diet

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        I cannot sit here and suggest a specific diet that will work for everyone. Everyone is different and I don’t think diets as a whole work. You have to know your body and know what works for you to lose weight. I personally use intermittent fasting as a means to maintaining a functional eating plan for myself. It has a lot more health benefits than simply weight control.

        If you eat lots of lean protein, about as many grams as you weigh, eat lots of greens, fruits and veggies, and fill the bit that’s left with some healthy carbs and healthy fats, I’m confident to say that you are on the right track for fat loss and a six-pack.

        3. Drink Water!

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          A gallon a day. Drinking water helps you to stave off hunger as well as helps with water retention – a big issue when trying to get that six-pack showing. Get a gallon jug, fill it up in the morning and every time you’re are hungry, jug water before you reach for food. Most of the times we seem hungry it is because we are thirsty, so stay hydrated and you will eat less.

          4. Stop Spot Training

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            I just want to dispel a general myth about weight lifting. You cannot burn fat in particular areas of your body by spot training. More often, you can only build muscle by doing so. Spending 20 minutes a day at the gym doing crunches and planks are not going to burn belly fat. Your time is better spent elsewhere in the gym to maximize results.

            5. Diet Pills and Weight Loss Supplements

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              Most of the diet pills out there are chalked full of ingredients that have never been actually linked to fat loss, or are seriously dangerous when taken in dosages high enough to make a difference. I recommend you skip the diet pills and weight loss magic and just put in the hard work necessary to achieve your six pack goals.

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              Exercises to do for your six-pack

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                We have addressed some of the simple advice for getting your six pack, it’s time to look at some of the exercises you can do to make you’re abs pop. The key here is not to constantly train abs, as we discussed above about the myth of spot training, but you should be throwing in some ab work at the end of your workouts 3-4 times a week in order to bring them out.

                Below I list a few of the best exercises that you can fold into any workout. I suggest you pick two of these exercises and hit about 3 sets of 30 reps for each every other workout.

                Cable Crunch

                Bicycle Crunch

                Hanging Leg Raise

                Spiderman Plank

                Lower Ab Leg Lift

                Conclusion

                Bringing out your six-pack requires hard work, discipline, structure and some physical and mental pain. If anyone tells you any different, they are lying to you. There is no secret, mystical fast track way to make your abs pop. So put in the work, create caloric deficits, exercise regularly with weights and cardio, eat clean and healthy, stay hydrated and skip all the magical promises that are out there. If you do all this, you can get your six-pack showing in a month and you can keep it for as long as you continue to put in the work!

                Featured photo credit: Jasminko Ibrakovic via shutterstock.com

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                Last Updated on November 27, 2020

                12 Stretching Exercises to Increase Your Flexibility

                12 Stretching Exercises to Increase Your Flexibility

                When thinking about stretching and learning how to become flexible, consider you are doing more than just elongating and strengthening your muscles. You are, in fact, improving circulation of the blood (lymphatic system), and optimizing the depth of your breath, which further enhances circulation[1].

                Stretching and yoga aren’t just trends; they are practices that have been utilized by humans arguably for hundreds of thousands of years or more. In many cases, modern humans have simply forgotten much of their ancestry, and stretching/yoga is certainly an integral part.

                The following stretching routines, if practiced consistently (every day, or a few times a week), will improve your physical and mental well-being, so let’s get into them!

                Here’s a breakdown of all the exercises I’ve covered in the video:

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                1. Standing Hamstring Stretch

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                  • Stand straight and tall with your feet hip-width apart, knees just slightly bent, and arms by your sides.
                  • Exhale as you bend forward (think of a door hinge movement at the hips), lowering your head toward the floor (imagine the top of your head being parallel with the floor), while keeping your head, neck, and shoulders relaxed (do not tense up).
                  • Wrap your arms around the backs of your legs, or simply grab and hold the back of your legs; holding anywhere from 45 seconds to two minutes.
                  • Bend your knees and slowly “roll up” back to the standing position when you’re done.

                  2. Downward Dog

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                    • Start standing with your feet hip-width apart.
                    • While exhaling, hinge at the hips and lower your head toward the floor.
                    • Place your hands/palms on the ground.
                    • Step back with your feet while keeping a neutral back/spine and with your head/neck in-line with your shoulders and arms.

                    3. Deep Lunge and Twist

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                      • Start standing with your feet together hip width apart.
                      • Take a large step forward with your right foot.
                      • Bend your right knee and drop into a lunge, keeping your left leg as straight as you can behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at the front of your left thigh.
                      • Place your right hand on the floor or in a pray position, and twist your upper body to the right as you extend your right arm toward the ceiling (for a deeper stretch).
                      • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes while taking slow and steady breaths.
                      • Repeat on the other side.

                      4. Piriformis Stretch

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                        • Sit on the floor with both legs extended in front of you to start.
                        • Cross your left leg over your right, and place your left foot flat on the floor.
                        • Place your left hand on the floor behind your body.
                        • Place your right hand on your left quad or your right elbow on your left knee (as shown), and press your left leg to the right as you twist your torso to the left.
                        • If the spinal rotation causes back discomfort, remove the twist and simply use your right hand to pull your left quad in and to the right.

                        5. Figure Four Stretch

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                          • Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor.
                          • Cross your left foot over your right quad.
                          • Lift your right leg off the floor. Grab onto the back of your right leg and gently pull it toward your chest.
                          • When you feel a comfortable stretch, hold there.
                          • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
                          • Switch sides and repeat.

                          6. 90/90 Stretch

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                            • Sit with your right knee bent at 90-degrees in front of you, calf perpendicular to your body and the sole of your foot facing to the left. Keep your left foot flexed.
                            • Let your leg rest flat on the floor.
                            • Place your left knee to the left of your body, and bend the knee so that your foot faces behind you. Keep your left foot flexed.
                            • Keep your right butt cheek on the floor. Try to move the left cheek as close to the floor as possible. It may not be possible if your hips are tight.
                            • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
                            • Repeat on the other side.

                            7. Frog Stretch

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                            See the source image

                               

                              • Start on all fours.
                              • Slide your knees wider than shoulder-width apart.
                              • Turn your toes out and rest the inner edges of your feet flat on the floor.
                              • Ensure your legs are maintaining approximately a 90-degree angle (squared off).
                              • Shift your hips back toward your heels.
                              • Move from your hands down to your forearms to get a deeper stretch, if possible.
                              • Hold for for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                              8. Butterfly Stretch

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                                • Sit tall on the floor with the soles of your feet together, knees bent out to the sides.
                                • Hold onto your feet (or ankles), engage your abs slightly to keep an upright posture with steady breathing, and slowly lower your body toward your feet as far as you can while pressing your knees toward the floor. Keep a neutral spine during this stretch.
                                • If you cannot lower your torso, then simply hold the stretch and aim to lower your knees closer to the ground gradually.
                                • Hold this stretch for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                                9. Tricep Stretch

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                                  • Kneel, sit, or stand tall with feet hip-width apart, arms extended overhead.
                                  • Bend your right elbow and reach your right hand to touch the top middle of your back.
                                  • Reach your left hand overhead and grasp just below your right elbow.
                                  • Gently pull your right elbow down and toward your head.
                                  • Switch arms and repeat.

                                  10. Extended Puppy Pose

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                                    • Start on all fours.
                                    • Move your arms forward a few inches.
                                    • Push your hips up and back halfway toward your heels, or until you feel a deep stretch.
                                    • Push through the palms of your hands to keep your arms straight and engaged.
                                    • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                                    11. Neck Stretch and Release

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                                      • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, or sit down with your back straight and chest lifted.
                                      • Drop your right ear to your right shoulder.
                                      • To deepen the stretch, gently press down on your head with your right hand.
                                      • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

                                      12. Standing Quad Stretch

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                                        • Stand with your feet together.
                                        • Bend your left knee and use your left hand to pull your left foot toward your butt. Keep your knees together.
                                        • If you need to, put one hand on a wall for balance.
                                        • Squeeze your glutes to increase the stretch in the front of your legs.
                                        • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
                                        • Repeat on the other leg.

                                        Conclusion

                                        The key take away here is that consistency with your stretching routine, followed by good quality sleep and lots of hydration, will instantly begin to improve your quality of life. Find which stretches feel the best in your body and add them to a daily routine you can enjoy.

                                        More on How to Become Flexible

                                        Featured photo credit: Scott Broome via unsplash.com

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