Men: Guide by muscle

Are you trying to draw a nice abdominal strap, with a clearly visible “six pack” and a very flat stomach? It is a dream that many practitioners have managed to achieve, simply by following the advice that you will find in this part devoted to the development of the abdominals. Unlike other muscle groups, the main difficulty in having clearly visible abs lies in a more pronounced dietary rigor than for the other muscles. After all, we all have abs. But to see them, you have to not only grow them, but also lose the fatty tissue that covers them. Everything you need to know about abs, it’s here!

Anatomy of the abdominals: a muscle group made up of 4 muscles

Exercises to build abdominal muscles

The ground crunch

Crunch for the abs
The floor crunch is a standard exercise for the abdominals. Be sure to keep the pelvis flat against the floor. Only the shoulders should come off the ground. Pause in maximum contraction before resting the shoulders on the ground.

The combined crunch, or the “V-Up”

Combined V Up Crunch for Abs
During the V-Up, raise your legs and chest simultaneously. In maximum contraction, you should be able to at least touch your shins. Straighten your arms throughout your set.

The high pulley crunch

High pulley abdominal crunch
The high pulley crunch engages the upper and lower abdominals. Curl your upper body so you can see behind you between your knees. During the negative phase (the ascent), arch the pelvis so that the lower back supports you throughout the exercise.

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The raised legs suspended or against a backrest

abdominal exercises
This is a basic exercise that primarily recruits the lower abdominals. Lower your legs as little as possible during the negative phase, and raise them as much as possible during the contraction (you can bend your legs).

Leg lift on the floor or on a bench (pelvic lift)

Leg raises on abdominal bench
This is an exercise that primarily recruits the lower abs. Bring your legs and chest together simultaneously, and lower your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor.

Floor rotations for obliques

Abdominal obliques exercise
You are in a crunch position. During the contraction, point your elbow towards the opposite knee. Attention, only the shoulder lifts off the ground!

Plank on the ground, frontal cladding resting on the elbows

Abdominal plank
The plank is an excellent exercise to keep the stomach flat and increase the resistance of the deep and stabilizing muscles. Be sure to keep the buttocks in line with the lower back for maximum efficiency.

The scissors

Scissors for the abdominals
The scissors recruit the lower and upper abs, while soliciting the obliques.

An example of a program to strengthen your abs

abdominal programs for men

Abdominals: myths and reality

When you do crunches, you strengthen your core. To have visible abs, you must first of all have very little fat around the abdominal strap.

Myth #2 : To have visible abs, you must follow a very low carbohydrate diet

Low carb diets are very popular and many people think they need to follow this kind of protocol to eliminate visceral fat. This kind of eating plan has some benefits like controlling appetite and reducing water retention, but if you feel bad without carbs, don’t go this route. Depending on his feelings and his metabolism it is sometimes better to opt for a more balanced and less drastic approach. Vary your carbohydrate intake from day to day in order to burn fat without falling into the extreme rigor of “low carb”

Myth #3: You have to do a lot of cardio to see your abs

Another classic myth: you have to do hours of cardio to lose fat and hope to see your abs. Indeed, cardio helps to burn fat more easily but without muscle strengthening, your abs will never be visible enough. On the one hand because it is their volume that makes them stand out, on the other hand because cardio tends to inhibit muscle tone. Follow a high-protein, low-carb diet, do weight training, and save cardio for training purposes, for no more than 20 minutes.

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Myth #4: Once the abdominal definition goal has been reached, you no longer need to restrict yourself

When you have reached a goal, the first reflex is to reward yourself by having fun. Know that if you do not maintain a minimum dietary rigor, your abdominals will gradually veil and will be, quite quickly, invisible. To keep your 6 pack year-round, make your special dry food plan a habit. Not only will you keep your abs showing, but you’ll also be in better shape and health.

6 tips to have beautiful abs

1. Know Your Foods

The first essential thing is to know the foods that we ingest. The best way to know what’s on your plate is to prepare your meals in advance. When you cook yourself, you know exactly what ingredient is present and in what quantity. When you eat ready meals, you can never be sure what’s inside.

2. Eat green vegetables

Everyone knows that green vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, nutrients and fiber. However, few realize the impact of eating spinach, broccoli and green beans on muscle definition and abdominal muscle. Green vegetables are extremely low in calories. People who have difficulty controlling their appetite should increase their vegetable intake. Filling the dinner plate with a large serving of vegetables will lead to satiety with quality nutrition and less temptation.

3. Avoid refined sugars

If you consume excess carbohydrates and do not metabolize them quickly, they will be stored as fat. A diet high in sugar will obviously destroy your hopes of defined abs. Refined sugars are your worst enemies : syrups, sweets and sodas. However, the natural sugars in fruits and vegetables do not fall into this category. They have not been transformed by the hand of man and have not been deprived of their fibers: they are metabolized slowly.

4. Drink water

The major problem with sugar is that it is added against our will in many food products. Although it is obvious that drinks such as cocktails and sodas are to be avoided, many people of good will are trapped by waters with added flavors, sweet teas, fruit juices, coffees… Make a habit of looking at ingredients and nutritional information. A glass of orange juice contains over 100 calories and 20 grams of sugar! The water does not contain it. It also improves metabolism and digestion, which helps to become more defined. Water hydrates the skin and drains toxins while reducing inflammation, helping you recover better and train harder.

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5. Eat less

There are many ways to achieve well-defined abs. Although there is no universal method proven to work on every individual, the simple act of eating less comes close! Having shaped abs requires a low body fat percentage, 10% or less for a man and 20% or less for a woman. Like most people, if you want good muscle definition, you will need to eat less than usual because you must first create a calorie deficit to induce fat loss.

6. Live!

Restricting yourself is one thing, constantly depriving yourself is another.. Permanent deprivation leads to frustration, eating disorders and is generally counterproductive. It’s important to keep the big picture in mind: food is meant to be enjoyed and with the right mindset you can achieve your muscle definition goals without making your life miserable.

Abdominal Training: Mistakes to Avoid

Mistake #1: pulling on his neck

It seems natural to pull your head forward when doing sit-ups on the floor, but your hands are supposed to support it only. Hyper-flexion of the spine can have a detrimental effect on the discs. Also, the focus should be on your core, not your neck. Don’t cross your fingers behind your head. Instead, cross your hands behind your traps; your head should rest on your forearms.

Mistake #2: working only at bodyweight

Although there is controversy between working the abs with short series (with additional loads) or with high series (at bodyweight), one thing is certain: if you do not subject them to a certain volume of workout and if you don’t vary the rep ranges and exercises, they won’t progress.

Mistake #3: not holding the contraction

The abdominals serve to maintain your posture and are constantly recruited. It is therefore much more difficult to tire them through training since they are mainly made up of slow fibers. These muscles, very enduring, require maximum contraction with each repetition. Like any other muscle, it is your ability to contract your abdominal strap optimally that will give you the best result.

Also to read

Abs session at home

how to draw abs

abs for women

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