Happy New Year! I get asked a lot similar questions, so over the next month both on my Instagram (@fitchicnic) and on here, I’ll be going through the alphabet talking about some of the most common health and fitness related questions and topics.
A is for Abdominals
Ahh, abs. Flat stomachs. Six packs. What it seems the entire commercial fitness industry only cares about! Having visible abs doesn’t define how fit, strong, or healthy someone is. It doesn’t prove they are ‘better’ than someone else when it comes to fitness, or even that they know what they’re talking about.
Saying this, it doesn’t stop people wanting it, so how does someone actually get a flatter stomach? Think about it logically. The abdominal muscles are just like any other muscle. If you exercise them, they’re going to get tighter and stronger. However if they’re still covered in a layer of body fat then you won’t be able to see them.
- Be in a calorie deficit. This means burning more calories than you’re taking in. However crash dieting and simply not eating won’t work and isn’t healthy (more on this another time) but essentially, decreasing your body fat is the only way to see them.
- Do compound movements (to start with.) These are multi-muscle, multi-joint movements (press ups, squats, deadlifts, pullups etc) There’s nothing wrong with ‘core’ exercises in moderation (I didn’t do any at all in the months before this pic) but you’ll get stronger quicker by having a well rounded exercise routine incorporating these types of movements.
- Have good genetics. Some people get to a very low body fat % and still can’t see their abs.
- Remember, fitness models and competitors rarely have abs all year round! It’s NOT normal or healthy to maintain such a low body fat constantly.
You certainly can’t see mine anymore (they stayed in Dubai along with the sun) and I promise that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. The extra % of body fat that means you can’t see your abs, is called life. It’s the dinner dates, dessert with your friends, and mental sanity you need day to day.