Cardio routine for fat loss, strengthening exercises for the abdominal muscles, and a healthy diet plan, are essential to achieve toned abs.
If you desire to have sculpted abs, you need to have an intelligent and effective training plan. If you want to get rid of belly fat, you can indulge in a cardio routine. To tone the abdominal muscles you need to inculcate weights in your exercise routine. However, all the weight training and cardio is not going to be enough, if you do not follow a diet plan to support your goal.
Fitness experts say that at least 40 minutes of cardio training is necessary for effective fat loss. An important tip, when it comes to cardiovascular exercises, is to add variations to your routine, and avoid boredom. Fitness experts believe that over 60% of people discontinue their training because they get bored doing the same exercises again and again.
You can use fitness equipment like the treadmill, exercise bike, cross trainer, etc., in your routine. You could spend 15 min on the bike, 15 min on the cross trainer, and 10 min on the treadmill one day, and on other days you could use a stair stepper and a rowing machine. If possible, include aerobic exercises and kickboxing routines in your cardio workout to make it interesting.
If you are a beginner start without weights, but engage in weight training as your endurance and stamina increases. Exercises like the traditional crunches and leg raises will help to strengthen your abdominal muscles.
Use a weight plate for crunches, and ankle weight belts for leg raises and reverse crunches. You can also increase the difficulty level by performing the crunches on a decline bench, with the help of your trainer or gym partner. For reverse crunches use the incline bench. You can also use a stability ball for your plank routine. Some effective exercises to get toned abs are:
- Knee crunch
- Bicycle crunch
- Hip lift
- Oblique crunch
- Heel touch
The secret behind losing fats is eating right, and eating 5-6 small meals evenly spaced in a day. Avoid eating foods like deep-fried chicken, fries, cookies, ice cream, etc., since they have a high fat content. However, you can have a small portion of any one of these foods, once in a week, otherwise you might fall off the diet wagon, and your craving will overtake all your good intention.
Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet, and consume at least one serving of fruits and vegetables in your meals during the day. Also consume low-fat dairy products like skimmed milk and low-fat yogurt, as well as whole grain breads. You can also include almonds and other nuts, as well as oatmeal, egg whites, fish and other lean meats like turkey, etc.
If you want toned abs, you need to follow a combination of cardio, weight training, and a low-fat diet. Keep realistic goals, and follow the workout regimen religiously.