Published: 01/29/2015 - Updated: 01/29/2015
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Do you want to get rid of those stomach rolls and harden them up, but you don’t know how many reps you need to do for effective results?
We all want a flat, delineated and fat-free belly, but we don’t really know how many abs need to be done, and if they need to be worked everyday.
A lot of people overwork themselves doing these exercises to no end, day and night, without noticing the consequences. Remember that the muscles that make up your abdomen function just like all the rest of the muscles in the body. That means you need to tone them, not over train them.
Not every day
Work each part. Abs are the best exercises for delineating your abdomen and making it flat. But it is not advisable in the least to do them everyday. According to experts, if you strain your abdominal muscles too much, they could suffer from small tears that later can only be repaired with rest. That is the only way you’ll see results. The healthiest option would be to rest for 24 hours.
If you were to work on your abs every other day, you would be practicing three or four sessions a week, when starting on a Monday and ending on a Sunday. That is sufficient exercise to slowly tone your abdomen and chisel it out.
Aerobic exercise and diet
However, if you want to achieve your goal, you need to pay a lot of attention to your diet and cardiovascular exercise. Just going through an abs routine won’t help much if you continue eating excessive amounts of fats, flour, and sugar sweetened foods.
Performing cardiovascular or aerobic exercise is recommended daily. You could choose to run, swim, bike, dance, or go for walks, at least 20 minutes a day.
In this same way, it’s also a good and healthy idea to include salads, fruit, vegetables, grains, and a lot of liquids in your daily diet.
Abs and fat
Ab exercises harden the muscle. If you continue ingesting fat through your diet, all your abs will do it hide the extra fat, making it hard, which is not what you want.
In order to eliminate fat, as mentioned above, you need to do some sort of cardiovascular exercise, and of course, don’t forget your ab exercises every other day.
How many reps to do
We’re already talked about the ideal time frame in which to do your abs: every other day, resting 24 hours between each session.
The next question is: how many reps are the most effective? Well, that depends on every body, as well as each person’s routine…whether you’re used to exercising, or if you’re a novice.
If you’re just starting out, you should measure your energy levels and then accommodate it to your fitness level, 30 reps might be good. You could increase this number until reaching 50, then 100, until reaching 300 daily, for more skilled individuals.
You could divide them into 4 reps of 25 conventional ab exercises, and another 4 reps of 25 right oblique exercises, another 4 reps of 25 left oblique exercises.
Don’t forget: the key is to combine these exercises with diet.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 01/29/2015
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