Despite doing an array of abdominal exercises, there are two reasons your abs won’t show: the exercises aren’t being performed properly, or there’s layer of fat covering that ridge of hard-to-reveal muscle.
Cynthia Ekman, a physical therapist and former fitness competitor, debunks the myth that a simple 15-minute abdominal routine is enough. “You can’t expect to see your abs unless you stay consistent with a regime of exercises done with strict form, high-intensity cardio and a low-fat, high-protein diet.” Cynthia continues, “I recommend splitting the cardio sessions into two-minute intervals, alternating between two minutes of higher intensity (75 to 85 per cent of max) and two minutes of lower intensity (55 to 65 per cent of max) for a total of 35 to 55 minutes.”
These two moves are great tummy toners and they require no equipment. Try them during your next core workout for enhanced abdominal definition.
Target Muscles: transverse abdominis
Set Up: Lie in prone (facedown) position, with your weight supported on your forearms.
Action: Lift your body up onto your toes, contract your abs and try to keep your body in line; don’t sag in the midsection. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. To increase intensity, walk your elbows slightly forward and hold a little longer. Rest for one minute when you are through, and repeat up to three times.
Target Muscles: rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, obliques
Set up: Lie on your back on a mat with your arms extended by your sides or tuck your hands beneath your lower back [A].
Action: Lift your feet off the floor and slowly open your legs [B], then cross your right ankle over the left; open and cross in the other direction for one rep. Do three sets of 20 reps on both sides or until failure.