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When trying to achieve an effective abdominal workout you must remember one important lesson first. All the sit-ups, crunches and leg lifts in the world will not give you the famed "6 pack" stomach if you have a high degree of abdominal body fat. Therefore, dietary restrictions become as important to success for the stomach as does the type of exercises that you do
For the best results you must consider these basic principles for working the abs. Exercising this region actually does not require much movement at all. When working out you want to keep your abs in a contracted state as much as possible and limit the range of motion to approximately 30-730, from the starting surface. Otherwise, when you pass a certain point doing a crunch, for example, you disengage your abs thus becoming wasted motion. When strengthening the abs, there is no time to "waist".
You must also realize that when doing abs you should not do it all in one day. Therefore I have posted two different abs routines in the workout section so that you can get the most efficient workout. If you want to work them as hard as possible, then do each workout on consecutive days, then rest the third day; repeat the workouts back to back again the following two days.
For those of you who can not make it to the gym I have posted exercises under the Sub-forum "floor" in the Abs forum that can be done at home. There will also be my very own abs video coming out soon!
Superset those abs
When your core becomes strong enough, I highly recommend super-setting in your ab routine. This means that instead of having a rest period in between sets, alternate between two different machines or exercises to keep a good burn (muscle fatigue) going and lead to an extra strong/hard stomach!
Any suggestions for getting great definition in your abs?
I suggest doing abs first! Really push yourself too. Your abs can be pushed pretty hard and you may find it necessary to do so in order to see great definition. For example, you shouldn't be able to think about how many repetitions you have left if you are working your abs to exhaustion. How many repetitions you do is just a number. Just like weight lifting, if you aim for a certain number of reps per set for any workout, sometimes you will be able do a few more or a few less. No matter what, you push until momentary muscle exhaustion!
When I do my ab workouts I aim for 3 sets of 20-30 reps no matter what machine I am using. However, if I get to 30 and can still do more, I will keep going. You need to feel a deep burn, then when you hit that burn and it feels like you couldn't possibly do another crunch; you do 10 more! Focus is the key here and your focus should be "I want awesome abs!" not "Only 5 crunches to go until 30". Also, 3 sets for an exercise is just a rule of thumb. For example, if you are doing leg lifts and you are starting to feel a great burning sensation in your abs and you are on your second set, do not stop!
Do not sacrifice good form for more reps.
IMPORTANT: YOU CAN NOT SPOT REDUCE FAT!
Unfortunately doing an ab routine will not eliminate your belly fat. It will build muscle UNDER the belly fat thus resulting in a stronger core. The key to losing belly fat lies within your meal plan. For the best results check out the SHF Meal Plan, do my awesome abs workouts and in time you will be enjoying the best stomach you have ever had! Keep your abs as tight as you can while sitting in your chair reading this site. You will feel great by the time you get up!