SCORE THOSE ABS

Fit­ness train­ers from Ul­ti­mate Per­for­mance re­veal their best ex­er­cise tips for a strong and de­fined mid­sec­tion.

Shape (Singapore) - - Contents -

1 DO A VA­RI­ETY OF CORE EX­ER­CISES

For a toned tummy, a strong core is ev­ery­thing. I rec­om­mend all my clients do a core-fo­cused rou­tine for 10 min­utes ev­ery day, in­clud­ing ex­er­cises that are done pronated and supinated, and which in­volve di­ag­o­nal and lat­eral move­ments. Some of my favourites are Swiss ball crunches and Rus­sian twists. -JOA RIVAS

2 STICK TO SHORT EX­ER­CISE REPS

Con­trary to what most peo­ple think, the best way to de­velop your ab­dom­i­nals is not to do 1,000 sit ups. The ab­dom­i­nals are made up pri­mar­ily of fast-twitch mus­cle fi­bres, which means that they have the po­ten­tial to grow quickly and re­spond best to ex­er­cise reps rang­ing from eight to 12. Make these reps count by do­ing them in good form. -CARO­LINE YEO

3 GO FOR THE SLOW BURN

The du­ra­tion of your mus­cle con­trac­tions – that is, the time spent un­der ten­sion – is key for mus­cle growth. When do­ing ab ex­er­cises, con­trol the ec­cen­tric por­tion when your mus­cles are con­tract­ing. The rec­om­mended du­ra­tion for each set is 30 to 40 sec­onds. What that means: If you’re do­ing 10 reps of bi­cy­cle crunches, you should spend 3 to 4 sec­onds do­ing each crunch be­fore re­lax­ing your ab mus­cles. -CHU SEAN

4 FO­CUS ON COM­POUND EX­ER­CISES

Do com­pound ex­er­cises like squats or dead­lifts reg­u­larly, and brace your core while do­ing so. Moves that work mul­ti­ple mus­cle groups at once will strengthen and de­velop your abs more fully. -KATE YEO

5 GET SUF­FI­CIENT REST

Rest as hard as you train. Re­cov­ery and stress man­age­ment are as im­por­tant as train­ing in­ten­sity and diet man­age­ment. The down­time al­lows your mus­cles to re­pair and get stronger. -EVY BELLINA

6 PRI­ORI­TISE STRENGTH TRAIN­ING

Over­all, strength train­ing burns more calo­ries than car­dio ex­er­cises. (Post­work­out, your me­tab­o­lism stays el­e­vated for a longer time when you do weights.) If time per­mits, strength train three or four times a week, and in­cor­po­rate one or two HIIT ses­sions into your regime. -NATALIE KUAN

7 BE CON­SIS­TENT IN WORK­ING OUT

Con­sis­tency is key when start­ing a new fit­ness regime. Keep up with your ex­er­cise sched­ule, even on days when you feel un­mo­ti­vated or if your mus­cles are aching. For in­stance, if your legs are sore from a pre­vi­ous work­out, work a dif­fer­ent mus­cle group like your arms, or cy­cle at an easy pace for 30 min­utes. Once you es­tab­lish a rou­tine that works for you, ex­er­cis­ing will no longer be a drag. -JOMEL LAW

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