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Simple 5-Step Tutorial To Reveal Your 6-Pack Fast

Simple 5-Step Tutorial To Reveal Your 6-Pack Fast

There’s a lot of conflicting information on the internet about how to reveal your abs. Some say you have to eat no carbs. Some say you have to do 100 crunches every day. Some say you have to eat only clean foods.

None of that is true. It’s actually simpler than you think.

1. Learn How Fat Loss Works

6-pack

    The first thing you need to know is that your abs will not show unless you first make changes to your diet. Ever hear the saying “abs are made in the kitchen?” It has been popularized because nutrition is the single most important factor when it comes to revealing those 6 small bumps that men and women alike inexplicably drool over.

    You don’t have to do anything as drastic as eating a zero carb diet. While this works for some, it is 1) typically not the best method considering it’s a tough diet to stick to long term, and 2) no fun.

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    In order to reveal your 6-pack, you need to decrease your body fat percentage. In order to decrease your body fat percentage, you need to lose weight — and not just any weight. You want to lose fat while maintaining your lean body mass. This can be accomplished by consuming fewer calories than you burn throughout the day (this leads to weight loss) and following a high-protein diet* (this helps your body maintain it’s lean mass). Doing so forces the majority of the weight you lose to come from fat stores.

    *I suggest 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight

    2. Cut Out The Junk

    cut out junk food

      Yes, you can eat a high-protein diet that puts you in a calorie deficit while eating junk food. Junk food is just less filling and craving-inducing. Your life will be much easier — not to mention healthier — if you make clean food choices most of the time. These include fresh fruits & vegetables, nuts, meats, and dairy.

      200 calories of cake and 200 calories of fruit will have a similar outcome at the end of the day when it comes to your weight. Therefore, I do recommend including an occasional treat if it promotes sustainability and diet retention. Just try to eat healthy most of the time while sticking to your daily calorie goal; it will curb your hunger and keep you more satisfied.

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      If you stall losing weight, simply decrease your daily calorie intake or perform more physical activity.

      3. Perform Cardio

      cardio for abs

        Remember how I said you need to consume fewer calories than you burn? Cardio is the fastest way to burn more calories. This, in effect, allows you to eat more while also losing more fat. Studies have shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns a similar amount of calories as moderate intensity cardio, but promotes a small increase in lean muscle mass. That means high-intensity cardio will decrease your body fat percentage a little bit faster than low-to-moderate intensity cardio.

        Try jump roping or sprints — anything that will get you pushing your max heart rate quickly and in short bursts. Intervals of 20 seconds of high-intensity work followed by 40 seconds of rest for 10-15 minutes is plenty to get the fat melting off.

        4. Lift Weights

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        how to get a 6 pack

          What does lifting weights have to do with revealing your abs? A whole lot. Resistance training is one of the best possible things you can do to decrease your body fat percentage. It burns calories to help you lose weight and promotes lean body mass retention (and even growth in some cases) when eating in a calorie deficit. Also, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories your body burns at rest — AKA you’ll lose fat even faster.

          Find a good lifting routine that hits all of your major muscles. Compound movements such as squats and deadlifts provide the best bang for your buck. Lifting weights 4-6 times per week will maximize your lean body mass and reveal those abs even sooner.

          5. Exercise Your Abs!

          ab exercises
            pennstatenews THON Fitness Class 005 via photopin

            Now that your nutrition and exercise are on track, you need to make sure you actually have abs to show!

            Well, that’s only half true. Everyone has abs under the belly fat. In fact, you can have a 6-pack without ever doing a single abdominal exercise.

            So, why work your abs if you can get a 6-pack without exercising them? Answer: working your abs will make them thicker and harder, causing them to poke through the belly fat much sooner and with less dieting.

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            Find a good ab routine and make sure you’re hitting both your Rectus abdominis and Transverse abdominis. The function of the Rectus abdominis is spinal flexion, AKA crunching motions. The Transverse abdominis is a flat layer underneath the Rectus abdominis; you can work it with planks.

            You can find a list of over 100 full ab workouts that are guaranteed to work up a burn here.

            And that’s it! It takes time to reveal your 6-pack, so follow these 5 steps and be patient. Those starting with a lower body fat percentage will be able to achieve chiseled abs sooner than those starting with a high body fat percentage. Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you would like. Learn to love the process and you’ll reach your goal in no time.

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            Drew Kocak

            Online Personal Trainer / Fitness Blogger

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            Published on October 11, 2018

            7 Killer Upper Back Stretches to Reduce Pain and Boost Endurance

            7 Killer Upper Back Stretches to Reduce Pain and Boost Endurance

            Building and maintaining a strong upper back depends not only on strength-training, but stretching and nutrition as well. Stretching the upper back muscles, along with a healthy diet can help alleviate pain while improving endurance.

            Did you know that stretching your upper back builds endurance for sports, your job – which may require heavy lifting – and simple, everyday activities? Many people who exercise don’t recognize the importance of having a strong upper back, and often neglect this part of the body, focusing more on the lower back where injuries are more prone to occur.

            Upper back endurance is necessary for runners, hikers, golfers, tennis players, bowlers, cyclists; the list goes on and on. If saving time is important to you, you want to reduce chronic back pain, boost your energy levels, or you simply need ways to get through a day at the office while confined to a computer, you’ll begin to understand why the following upper back stretches and exercises are necessary.

            Here are seven stretches, combined with exercises, to help you maintain a strong upper back:

            1. Lat Pull-Downs

            By contracting and lengthening your latissimus dorsi muscles, trapezius, deltoids, rhomboids, teres major, along with the other muscles groups in and around your upper back, you are building muscle endurance and increasing mobility.

            Seated at a lat pull-down machine, select a weight stack that is comfortable. Remember, you’re not preparing for a bodybuilding competition, you just want to exercise the back, so heavy weight is unnecessary.

            Grab the wide bar above your head, palms down, and using a wide grip, pull the bar down to your chest and contract your upper back muscles.

            Keep your head up, looking at the bar. This also helps keep your spine straight and provides a clearance so that the bar doesn’t hit your face. Slowly return the bar to the top and repeat for 15 reps. Do three to four sets.

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            Here’s the correct technique by Denice Moberg:

            2. Indoor Rowing

            If upright exercises like walking on the treadmill or running outdoors bore you, you can strengthen your core using a rowing machine. Not only will you chisel your back, but the elongation of the upper back during the stroke motion creates a good stretch.

            First, select a tension that is challenging but not a struggle. Make sure that your feet are securely placed in the machine’s foot straps, nice and tight to prevent the feet from moving while rowing.

            Next, slide yourself in the rowing saddle forward toward the row bar and pull the bar toward the mid-section of your trunk area, which is the finish. Pulling the bar, bring your elbows beyond your back while contracting your upper muscles and rear shoulders.

            Your back should be straight with a slight angle of around 100 degrees. Do not hunch.

            During the catch, your legs should be at a 90 degree angle while locking out your arms completely. As a stretching exercise, repeat this motion for five minutes.

            Here’s how you can do it:

            3. Side Plank Rotation

            If you’re short on time, floor exercises such as planks strengthen your core and can be done at home or during your lunch break at work. They can be done in 30 to 60 second increments.

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            There are a few plank variations:

            The low-position forearm plank in which your body weight is supported by your elbows; the straight-arm plank, which is a high-position plank; side plank in which your body is turned to one side and supported by one straightened arm; the stability-ball plank which is more challenging for your trunk; and the plank that gives you a good stretch is the side plank rotation.

            To begin the side plank rotation, begin in the high plank position. Slowly turn your body to one side while stacking one foot on top of the other. Extend the opposite arm toward the ceiling and as you lower your arm, reaching underneath your body and rotating your trunk.

            Done properly, you will feel the stretch along your rhomboids and shoulders. Repeat the rotation – reaching and tucking – 10 times. Switch sides.

            Here’s a Side Plank Rotation demonstrated by Train Aggressive:

            4. Yoga Stretches

            A good way to incorporate breathing with stretching and gain flexibility in your core is Kundalini yoga – an intense yoga practice – gets your blood flowing and works wonders for the spine and posture.

            The “Cat-Cow” pose is a great upper back warm-up, and when combined with the “Breath Of Fire”[1] or “fast breathing,” energy is sent through the entire body which stimulates the flow of cell activity and increases lung capacity.

            On all fours, arms straight and directly below your shoulders, and knees directly below your hips, hunch your back, inhaling as you tuck your head into your chest, then exhale while arching your back and raise your head toward to sky.

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            The rapid inhaling and exhaling in this exercise is known as the “Breath Of Fire,” as mentioned above. Increase the pace of both the “Cat-Cow” and “Breath Of Fire” and repeat this movement for up to five minutes.

            This is how to do a Cat-Cow pose for energy:

            5. Side Bends

            This is a simple stretch to elongate the space between your ribs and increase range of motion, which helps achieve flexibility in the abdominals, spine, and lateral core.

            Seated or standing with your back straight, raise your arms above your head and firmly hold your wrist. Gently pull your trunk to one side and hold for 20 to 30 seconds. When finished, repeat on opposite side.

            Note: If standing, keep your feet shoulder width apart, if seated keep your feet flat on the floor.

            Let’s take a look at how to do a standing side bend:

            6. Pole Stretch

            By creating opposing force and pulling on a stationary object, you are stretching your lats. The upper sides of your back. Here, you are performing a static stretch which is a stretch held beyond its normal range.

            Find a pole, mounted gym apparatus, or other floor-affixed object and, while standing, pull on the object with slightly bent knees and back flat at a 45-degree angle.

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            Continue to pull while extending your arms, feeling the stretch in your lats and rhomboid muscles. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat if needed.

            7. Shoulder Blade Stretch

            The shoulder blades are connected to the rhomboid muscles in the upper back. Sudden, quick movements like pulling a heavy object or even tossing a near-weightless object overhead, like a tennis ball during a serve, can strain the unstretched muscles between your shoulder blades, causing spasms.

            Here’s how to avoid muscle strain:

            Standing tall with feet shoulder width apart, gently pull your elbow across your chest, just beneath your chin, and hold for 15 seconds. If you do not feel immediate relief, try lowering or raising the elbow and perform the stretch again. Different angles can make a big difference.

            There you have it – Seven upper back stretches and exercises to reduce pain and improve endurance. But while upper back stretches are important, a diet rich in antioxidants is equally key.

            Bonus Tip: Getting a Diet Rich in Antioxidants

            Antioxidants, also known as “Super Foods,” prevent the build up of free radicals in your body and control oxidative stress. These free radicals are toxins that get in the way of endurance, flexibility, and cause inflammation, among other fitness obstacles.

            How do you incorporate antioxidants into your diet? Here are some common foods and beverages rich in antioxidants:

            A good combination of quick and easy targeted cardiovascular exercises, static stretches, range-of-motion stretches, and yoga poses can increase upper back endurance and boost your energy levels, making your activities – both sedentary and active – manageable and fun.

            Once you begin to incorporate these methods of relief into your routine, you will begin to walk taller, run farther, and hike longer!

            Featured photo credit: Geert Pieters via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1]Yogapedia: Breath of Fire

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