How to Properly Train Abs! Almost every client or person I talk to about training and their goals, mentions wanting washboard abs! Can you blame them? Of course not! A flat stomach or ripped abs are the most desired and noticeable part of your body come beach season. Here are some tips to get those abs you’ve always wanted: 1. Recovery The abdominals don’t need large amounts of rest between sets or exercises like some of the other larger muscle groups of the body; they recover much faster. This makes them ideal for interval training. I like training abs for time, a few exercises with a short rest.  For example: intervals of 30 seconds work and 10 seconds rest for about 4-6 exercises will definitely get the burn going, do that 3-5 rounds and you have a solid abs workout in no time!! 2. Breathing When performing abdominal exercise it is important to exhale when you contract. If you are holding your breath, even a little bit, you won’t be able to contract fully. You want to inhale during the eccentric muscle contraction (lengthening of the muscle) and exhale during the concentric contraction (shortening of the muscle). For example: Sit ups – inhale as you go down towards the floor, and exhale as you come away from the floor. 3. Exercises I prefer to always train abs starting with some type of leg raising exercises. Any exercise where your legs are being moved up towards your chest or torso is going to isolate the lower abdominals. Exercises like hanging leg raises, toes to bar (advanced) and rowers, scissors kicks, v-sit (intermediate) are good examples of lower abs exercises. Once the lower abs are exhausted then move onto upper abdominal region using planks, twists, sit ups, etc. 4. Nutrition We can train our abs day and night but unless we decrease our body fat percentage they’ll never be seen.  This can be done by restricting the amount of calories we ingest and keeping a watchful eye on our macros: proteins, carbs, and fats. If we are too high in any of these areas it will lead to undesirable results.  Using a calorie counting app can be a very useful tool for those who properly use it. A few minutes a day can make a world of difference being aware of what you have consumed and what you can consume in your day. I personally use myfitnesspal and love it! 5. Cardio & Exercise Consistency Cardio is another essential part of seeing those abs appear. 45-60 minutes a day of sub maximal cardiovascular activity (jogging, fast paced walking, biking, rowing) will help the body burn fat and attribute to the mid-section you’ve always wanted! Abdominals can be trained 3 times a week as long as you are not extremely fatigued. Work your way up to 3 times a week starting with once a week!   I will be posting an example workout that follows the above listed principles very soon!!!   Brandon        

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