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Fab Abs

by Krissy Adams-Schofield, PtD, PTS, BScAHN

fab_absHands down, the most common questions I get involve toning the midsection. Unless you genetically blessed in this area then you too would probably like some advice on how to shed stomach fat and get a flat defined stomach. Whether you are looking to lose some fat on your stomach or six pack abs, here are some tips to combine with your exercise and clean eating plan to help you get the abs you want.

1) You may or may not have heard it before but there is no such thing as spot reduction. The fact is you can do as many crunches and abdominal exercises as you want, you won’t see results unless you reduce your body fat and shed the layer of fat that lies over your abs. The only way to do this is by combining cardio and strength training with a healthy clean eating diet. Have you ever heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym”? Its ab-solutely true! At least 80% of fat loss is diet related. The remaining 20% is due to exercise and genetics.

2) Do a variety of abdominal exercises to help strengthen your core and build muscle in your abdominals to help them look defined as you lose body fat. You core is made up of several abdominal muscles: rectus abdominis (six-pack muscles), transverse abdominis (deep lower abdominal muscles), internal and external oblique muscles (side muscles), and serratus anterior muscles (high side muscles by your rib cage). Your core also includes the errector spinae muscles (lower back) and you should include exercises to help strengthen your lower back to prevent injury. For best results you should include a variety exercises that target all muscle groups in your core (see below for sample workout to get you started).

3) Give it all you’ve got! Most people give up way too easily when it comes to training abs. If you want to see definition in your abs you need to work them hard! Do at least 3 exercises for 3 – 4 sets until exhaustion (that means until you feel like your abs are going to rip apart!). Your abs get very accustomed to the same exercises, reps, and sets. For best results change your routine often varying the order, exercises, resistance, and repetitions.

4) Do not train abs everyday!!! You may be thinking to yourself “why in the heck would I do that?”, but you would be surprised how many people make this mistake. Abs are just like any other muscle in your body and you should not train them everyday. Doing so could lead to over training resulting in injury, and you will be wasting your time, as you will not see the results you want. You need at least one day of rest after you do abs to help the muscles heal and grow properly. For best results do abs 2 – 4 times a week.

5) Most importantly, make sure your form is 100% at all times! If your form is not spot on then you have the risk of injuring yourself or doing the exercises without seeing results. You need to make sure you are squeezing the proper muscles and you are using your abdominal muscles instead of your arms or momentum to help you through the exercise. Ask a professional (aka personal trainer) for help in this area so you are not wasting your precious time and energy.

What are you waiting for? Get off your computer and start your Fab Abs routine today!

Krissy’s Fab Abs Workout

Day 1:

– Hanging Leg Raises (Rectus Abdominis)

– Bicycles (Obliques, Rectus Abdominis, Transverse Abdominus)

– V-Sit Up (Rectus Abdominis, Transverse Abdominus)

– Swimming (Errector Spinae)

Day 2:

– Ball Oblique Crunches (Rectus Abdominis, Obliques)

– Reverse Crunch on Bench (Rectus Abdominis, Transverse Abdominis)

– Pull Overs on Bench (Serratus Anterior)

– Back Extension (Errector Spinae)

For questions and fitness tips please email me at krissy@achievefitnessandnutrition.com

Filed under: Fitness

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