Best exercises (and tips) to keep a 6-pack year round

Who doesn’t like to have a strong core and set of abs? We all do, however they take a TON of work to achieve and can come and go every day. For me changing up my fitness routine every 2-3 months keeps me motivated and never bored in the gym – if you are having a tough time staying on a fitness regiment make sure to find a program that you enjoy. Abs can be targeted with isolation movements and training days, but they are also working during compound movements like dead lifts and back squats. Any exercise that requires you to stabilize yourself and keep balance is always working your core.

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Today calls for a “rest” day but for me on rest days I like to do non-lifting workouts that include cardio paired with ab work. Just like any other muscle group you need to train and condition you mid section in order to develop muscle. Then in order to SEE your abs you must drop overall body fat to remove the layer of fat covering those bad boys! For cardio today I did 6 miles on the eliptical trainer and then jumped right into this ab day circuit. Repeat all of these exercises for 3 rounds with 10 reps per exercise. 🙂

Top Tips to Achieve and Maintain Abs Year Round:

  1. Workout your core 2 times a week for no less than 15 minutes.
  2. Add big compound lifts into your routine like squats and dead lifts which also work your abs
  3. Increase your water intake and lower your salt intake to reduce water retention and bloating
  4. Add a probiotic into your routine in order to keep your digestive system working properly and digesting big meals
  5. Avoid sugar alcohols and aspartame products which can cause you to bloat and hold on to water (look puffy)
  6. To see abs you must drop body fat overall so add in HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio 2 times a week

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I started off with 35 minutes of cardio on the Eliptical Machine and that turned out to be 6 miles! I guess my pre-workout was in full effect because I didn’t realize until it was over that my entire hoodie was drenched in sweat! After that I headed over to the cross fit area of the gym where it is quiet and empty to do my ab workout. It also have TRX straps hanging which I used today in my routine. I also used a 10 pound medicine ball for this workout.

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All of these exercises are challenging and work various muscles in your core; upper and lower abs and obliques. Usually the day after dedicated core training I always feel sore and it hurts to even laugh but it reminds me that all that hard work was worth it!

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Before I head to the gym I take 1.5 scoops of C4 Ripped and then during my cardio or training I am constantly drinking a 20 ounce shaker bottle of water with 1.5 scoops of a BCAA powder. This helps with muscle recovery, repair and to keep me fueled and hydrated during intense workouts. If you are battling muscle soreness I highly suggest adding a BCAA to your water and sipping on that during workouts and anytime during the day. Also for night time recovery I take 2 capsules of True Athlete ZMA with theanine which also helps me to get a restful nights sleep – which is a crucial part of your training recovery too.

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Keep in mind that abs are a funny body part; one day they can appear and then the next day they are gone. Fluctuations in weight and water retention, especially in us females, can make them come and go. Tomorrow I might be bloated and holding on to tons of water and have no abs at all – it’s so crazy. Don’t let that deter you or disappoint you in your training. Just keep at it and know that it happens to ALL of us!