Weight training, cardio training and proper nutrition are the keys to perfect abs. All three should be combined to achieve maximum results. A great weight training program can provide you with a rock solid set of abs but without the proper diet, your abs may be covered with a layer of fat and no one will see them.
Conversely, you may have an excellent diet and have a very lean physique but without a proper exercise program your abs will be weak and under-developed.
Weight training includes any type of resistance exercises. You don't have to join a gym and work out with barbells loaded with hundreds of pounds of weight to get perfect abs. Body weight exercises and simple dumbbell exercises can easily be done at home with excellent results.
Workouts should start with a combination of multi-joint exercises targeting the large muscle groups. This will increase the resting metabolic rate which speeds up the metabolism and burns more fat. Body weight and dumbbell exercises that can be included in this routine include:
- Mountain Climbers
- Dumbbell Rows
- Dumbbell Bench Press
Try to keep the time between exercises to less than 30 seconds. This will help maximize the cardio effect of the session and burn even more fat. Ab-specific exercises should be done at the end of the workout and should last about 5-10 minutes.
Try to mix-up your ab workouts using some of these effective exercises:
- Lying leg thrusts (hip thrusts)
- Reverse crunches (crunching hips off floor)
- Ab bicycles (alternating knees to elbows)
- Ab scissors
- Jack Knife
- Bench crunches
- Alternating (oblique) crunches
Rest time between sets should last no more than 30 seconds.
Another key to getting perfect abs is cardio workouts. To maximize the fat burning benefits of cardio training, try using short, high-intensity sessions. The residual metabolic after-burn effect of short, high intensity sessions will keep your body burning fat long after the session has ended.
High intensity cardio routines include:
- Wind sprints
- Stair climbs
- Hill climbs
- Jumping rope
Try to keep your high intensity cardio sessions in the 15-20 minute range with 30-90 second rest periods between sets. One of the most important aspects of how to get perfect abs is a proper diet. Obvious guidelines for a healthy diet is to avoid deep fried foods, sweets such as soda pop and foods containing trans fats or high fructose corn syrup.
Other recommendations include:
- Eat 5-6 small meals per day of equal size.
- Try to include lean protein, complex carbohydrates and some healthy fats with each meal.
- Avoid highly processed foods and try to eat more foods in their natural state such as nuts, raw fruits and raw (or steamed) vegetables.
These are some of the main guidelines on how to get perfect abs but the most important rule is to get started. The sooner you get started, the sooner you will see results.