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Exercises For Abs

Updated on August 25, 2009

The Best Diet & Exercises For Abs

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what the best methods are for getting rid of that stubborn belly fat once and for all. Much of the problem lies in the fact that the majority of people are going about it the wrong way. Ask ten different trainers what the best exercises for abs are and chances are you'll get ten different answers. What we do know are the tried and true methods that work time and time again.

One of the main things that people get wrong is in obtaining the proper nutrition when it comes to losing body fat. The problem here is in the fact that there is so much conflicting information out there as to what a healthy fat-loss diet really is that most people just don't know where to turn. Seems like every time you turn around there's some new gimmick or fad diet that's all the rave so you go out and waste more time and money on something else that doesn't work. I'd be willing to bet you have several of these books on your shelf and a few of these devices stashed in a box somewhere, right? What it boils down to is that you have to lose the stomach fat that's covering up your abs before you can even begin to see them. We'll address this more below and in future articles to come.

Another misconception people have is when it comes to the actual exercises for abs themselves. Here again, many people are just wasting their time by targeting abs-specific training. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that crunches, leg raises and other exercises for abdominal fat loss are a waste of time. They just don't provide enough of a metabolic response when it comes to increasing hormones to levels necessary for burning fat. Which brings me to my next concept regarding body fat reduction...

As I've said before, the best exercises for abs aren't really the best abs exercise for obtaining flat, lean abs or for revealing that six-pack that's hiding underneath all that belly fat. If you want a real abs work out you need to look at the bigger picture. High intensity, full body workout programs provide a much better stimulus when it comes to exercises for stomach fat loss. If you want real results, forget about crunches and sit-ups because crunches provide the least amount of resistance and that is what you need in order to develop and tone your muscles. Focusing on working out the body as a whole by targeting larger muscle groups instead of isolating specific smaller muscles will give you a much better response.

By controlling your diet and eating for fat loss in order to get to where you can actually see your abs, continue to work them by incorporating a full body training regimen instead of just concentrating on them by themselves and soon, before you know it, you will have the abs that you will be proud to show (off).

Front Squats

Front Squat - Standing Position
Front Squat - Standing Position
Front Squat - Squatting Position
Front Squat - Squatting Position

The Best Abs Exercise?

Squats are one of the most effective overall exercises for muscle gain and fat loss because it uses more muscle groups under a heavy load. And, as has been said before, exercises that involve larger groups of muscles stimulate a greater hormonal response that's needed to burn fat.

Now the type of squat exercise that you are probably most familiar with is the one where the barbell is resting on the muscles of your upper back behind your head. In contrast, front squats rest the barbell on the shoulders in front of your body and are more functional when it comes to exercises for stomach fat loss. Front squats are moderately more difficult than back squats so before executing the exercise make sure your body is stable and that you're comfortable with your grip.

If you are unfamiliar with performing front squats, it may take you a little while before you become comfortable with them. I recommend you start out light and, if possible, have a spotter with you when you do them at first. They'll get easier once you've done them a couple of times and then you can add more weight to the barbell.

In addition, the front squat can also be a little difficult when it comes to learning how to properly rest the bar on the front of your shoulders. In order to stabilize the barbell, cross your forearms and put your hands over the top of the bar while keeping your elbows up high so that your arms are out in front of your body. Then, with your feet about shoulder width apart, initiate the squat by lowering your body down while keeping your back straight and your head looking forward. Try to keep the weight on your heels as opposed to the balls of your feet. Lower yourself down to a position where your thighs are at about 90 degrees, parallel to the ground. Hold this position for a couple of seconds then raise back up to the starting position and repeat.

Although most people refer to squats as a leg exercise, the stabilization strength required from the abs when the weight is transferred to the front of the body make this one of the best exercises for abdominal fat loss and strengthening that there is.

What are your best diet tips and exercises for abs?

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