Q: I’m in decent shape but have always carried most of my weight around my waistline. A guy at the gym told me that there is no sense working my abs because reducing body fat in one area at a time is impossible. What are your thoughts on this issue? Are there any special exercises you would suggest to help?
A: Saying you shouldn’t work your abs to burn fat off your waistline is like saying you don’t want to make a lot of extra money because you’ll have to pay more taxes. It just doesn’t make sense. Prioritizing a weakness and working to make it less of a problem is money in the bank and will be a great investment toward a better midsection. Here are some tips to help get you started.
Add some instability movements
Instability movements are abdominal exercises that require balance and coordination and work the abdominals in a more unconventional way than lying on the floor and doing crunches. These exercises simulate the way your abs would feel when picking up an awkward piece of furniture or lifting an object overhead. Hold up, put the couch down; there’s no need to rearrange the living room. To add instability exercises to your abdominal routine simply elevate your body by placing your back on an exercise ball and your feet firmly on the floor and do traditional crunches. The air in the ball will challenge your balance and force you to work the abs in a much different way.
Incorporate twisting movements
One of the greatest ways to sculpt your waistline is by adding twisting movements, because they place constant pressure on the abs, creating a burn that will bring a tear to your eye. Twisting movements also help isolate the oblique muscles or love handles located on the sides of the midsection and will help carve detail that regular exercises can’t. Examples of twisting movements include bicycle crunches, medicine ball twists and side planks.
Work abs throughout your workout
In the old days I’d do my weight training workout first and then when I was good and tired I’d try to do multiple sets of mindless crunches. This technique never worked for me because it was very boring and by the time I was finished my workout I was exhausted and found myself skipping abs and going home instead. I later realized that plugging abdominal exercises in between my regular weight training exercises made a lot more sense because it ensured that they got done while I still had plenty of energy, and I began getting much better results. A good example would be doing a set of seated rows, bicycle crunches and then finishingcle crunches and then finishing with a set of push-ups.
Choose exercises for core muscles
I always include an equal amount of lower back work to complement the abs. Let’s not forget your body has a front and a back. Spending all your time working on the side you see when you look in the mirror will only give you half the results. Tightening both will make your waistline look twice as good.
It will also help prevent back injuries due to muscle imbalance. Good examples of exercises that isolate the lower back are hyperextensions, bird dogs or supermans. There is no doubt that it will take a lot more than a great abdominal workout to strip the fat off your waistline and reveal six-pack abs, but prioritizing your weakness is a great start.
Add a good cardio program and a proper diet and you’ll be well on your way to a slimmer, trimmer waistline.
Mark Moore used the above techniques while doing my 12 week body transformation. Do you think he would have ever gotten 6 pack abs like that without targeting his waistline?