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Summer abs

04th July 2016

How to get the perfect summer abs for your body
Summer is peeking its way around the corner, and it’s high time to dig out the flip flops, dust off your favourite sunglasses and prepare to show off that perfect summer body.

But is your abdomen more cheeseboard than washboard? Take a trip through just a handful of LifestyleFitness.co.uk tips to ensure your abs are touch tight and tip top ahead of the summer.

You must lose fat
If the secret to a chiselled stomach was ten minutes of sit-ups a day, well, it wouldn’t be a secret. The fact is that you could follow all the top tips in the world religiously, but without blowing away that pesky coating of winter blubber, your finely-tuned new abs have no chance of bursting through. Deep down we all know that most new fad trends are nonsense, and there is no substitute for hard work - the combination of committed cardio and a healthy diet will see you shedding the pounds in no time.

Don’t take shortcuts
There are no shortcuts to a washboard stomach. It’s sad, but it’s true. Those QVC wonder products are an expensive waste of time, and if you want a ripped tummy ahead of the summer months, there is really isn’t a shortcut worth taking, no matter how much money you have to throw at the latest ‘Ab Blaster 3000’. Your body is a simple thing, and requires respect, hard work and dedication.

HIIT it hard
HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is a far more effective way of producing tangible fitness results fast than simply trudging around an athletics track for hours on end. HIIT training involves a short period of very high intensity exercise, such as hill sprints or rapid crunches, followed by a rest period of a similar length. The trick is to go again, between five or ten times, and to keep that intensity up - remember, no pain, no gain!

Work the abs
It might sound a little too obvious, but you’d be surprised just how often even the most committed fitness fanatics target the wrong muscle groups with a poorly thought-out workout routine. It’s not all about sit-up after, sit-up, either. There are dozens of muscles in your abdomen and a range of exercises that will maximise each area of your abdominals. A carefully thought out plan is imperative.

Stick to your programme
No one likes a quitter, and the sinking feeling you get when you abandon your fitness programme is an all too common reality for many people. Whilst willpower and a clear sight of your end goal is the most important factor in any programme, it’s also vitally important that you are realistic about your aims and schedule, that you look after yourself to avoid injury and that you include some cheat days - yes, cheat days - in order to keep yourself going and keep your abdomen on it’s toes.

Try the LifestyleFitness.co.uk sample workout!
Now, all workouts should vary depending on level and ability, but alongside a robust and committed cardio programme, this should be a basic, equipment free and easy to follow workout aimed at uncovering that beach ready midriff.

Abdominal Crunches (Sit-ups)

  • Lay flat on your back with your knees up at a comfortable height
  • Place your fingers to your temples and bring your head to your knees
  • 3 x 30 repetitions, allowing for a rest period in between

Static Abdominal Crunch

  • In a basic sit-up position, bring your opposite arm up to your opposite leg
  • Hold for 30 seconds and rest for 10, before swapping sides and repeating for five minutes

Plank

  • Facing down, rest on your elbows with your body completely straight, ensuring only your forearms and toes are touching the ground.
  • Hold for 30 seconds or for as long as you can, before resting for the same period. Repeat five times.