Why Are Abs Hard To Tone
Why are abs hard to tone? It seems out of all the areas on our body, this is the hardest to trim. There is a lot of misleading information that returns little to no results. Is it even possible to get flat six pack abs?
You Can Achieve It
There are a lot of misinformation about how to get a six-pack stomach. You will find many offers for pills, or workout regimen, devices and programs. All of which never really work. A lot of this information or offers aren’t totally incorrect, they just don’t mention the other steps you have to take. One idea is, doing “Ab Exercises” alone, will get rid of abdominal fat. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work, rarely actually.
Another theory is, if you have fat over your abs, then exercising the ab muscles will make that fat go away. Again, this is completely wrong. Even though exercising the ab muscles may increase endurance or core strength, it won’t burn off the fat in that area. Many people with unwanted belly fat, actually have some great muscles underneath. There are too many magical diet pills that are supposed to work, but they don’t. Then you have the eat plenty of low cars and eat lots of salads.
The most common method that isn’t a guaranteed way to lose belly fat, is stomach crunches. There are many devices and programs for you to do lots of sit-ups and crunches. At the end of the week or even month, you notice no difference. You can’t reduce fat from specific body parts just by exercising that body part; our bodies simply don’t work that way. So many people get so frustrated from not getting rid of the fat, that they completely give up. But giving up is not the answer either, abs are hard to tone but not impossible.
The Reason Why That Belly Fat Wants To Hang Around
Fat gathers in your stomach areas for a number of reasons. High stress, hormonal imbalance, poor diet, too much soda drinks, too much alcohol. Others are, refined carbohydrates and or saturated fats. One you can’t do anything about; age. Hormones are rated as the number one reason belly fat is hard to reduce, which makes abs hard to tone. The stomach is also difficult to actually exercise all the muscles in that area, especially the lower abs.
Hormonal belly is fat caused by low estrogen, (especially in women) and insulin resistance. Estrogen deficiency can also impair the action of insulin, making it harder to regulate blood sugar, leading to increased abdominal weight gain. Fact that might surprise you, men do produce estrogen. Sadly, belly fat is going to become more stubborn as you age. As we age, the amounts of hormones we produce change.
Are eating and drinking too much of the wrong things? Soda and alcoholic drinks are high in simple sugars, these are high in calories. Extra calories end up storing themselves as body fat. When you gain body fat, there are six difficult places to lose it. Your face, the lower abdomen, love handles/lower back, thighs, arms, and the butt. So basically, what you feed your body, hormones, age and lack of activity are big contributors to belly fat.
Men and women tend to store fat in different areas of the body. Our body stores lipids for excess energy to use later based on our hormones. For example, low testosterone levels in men tend to lead to a higher fat storage in the abdominal area.
Ways To Reduce And Lose Body Fat
The only way to burn fat from your belly is to reduce overall body fat. If your belly fat is caused by low estrogen and insulin resistance, a low carbohydrate eating plan can help. However, for an insulin resistance solution, look at engaging in at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. There are many ways to lose body fat but one pill or one exercise device isn’t going to be the solution. The healthiest ways to lose fat is with consistent exercise. Cardio, some mild weight training and flexibility.
Companies try to market devices and or pills. They advertise it is going to do it all for you, but it doesn’t work that way. Your abdominal muscles are just like every other muscle in your body. So you should train them the same way you would your biceps, arms, chest or any other muscle.
Along with exercise, you should eat plenty of soluble fiber like bran, nuts, beans and some fruits and vegetables. Try and avoid foods that contain trans fats, such as baked goods, microwave popcorn, frozen pizza and fried foods. Cut back on the alcohol and soda drinks. Reduce your stress level, take time for yourself, do things that relax you or engage in plenty of sex. Sex is the best stress reliever and exercise, both in cardio and flexibility you can get.
Avoid Sugary Foods
Avoid sugary foods such as spaghetti sauce, ketchup, syrups, fruit juice and barbecue sauce. Eat a high protein diet, like eggs, chicken breast, turkey breast, shrimp, fish and leaner cuts of beef. Abs are hard to tone if you are not eating or drinking right right. In the subject of weight loss, foods are always the top conversation, but don’t forget about drinks. As mentioned, alcohol and sodas are bad and full of calories. Most know this, so they jump over to energy and sport drinks.
Well get off of those, they are no better. Most of these healthy drinks contribute to 44% of the added sugar in America. Water has zero sugar and calories and helps flush your system. If you have to have caffeine, try unsweetened tea or black coffee.
Do A Comparison
Start comparing low-fat food to full-fat foods. You may be surprised that the low-fat is full of sugar compared to the full-fat. For an example, a 4oz cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt, has 4 teaspoons of sugar and 96 calories. The same size cup of full-fat yogurt has just over a teaspoon of sugar and only 69 calories. Be careful of products advertised, “Low-Fat.”
Consider whole foods. 90% of added sugars in the average American’s diet, come from ultra-processed foods. Only 8.7% come from foods prepared at home from scratch, when using whole foods. Examples of ultra-processed foods are desserts like cakes and pies, pizzas, cereals and soft drinks. In reality, home prepared meals are going to be far better for you than fast foods.
Benefits Of Exercising
Building core strength is important for many reason. When your core is strong, you have better posture and the biggest benefit is less “lower back” pain. It’s important to do a variety of exercises to target your “rectus abdominis,” “obliques” and “transverse abdominis“. Even though many of us want to work out our abs to look great. The looking great part isn’t what it is all about. Remember, your abdominal muscles purpose is to support your spine and help you have good posture.
When you are exercising, or just up and active, moving around regularly. You are burning calories, which means less cholesterol. Less cholesterol means healthier blood and heart. Burning calories keeps your weight down. Exercise helps strengthen muscles and bones, aids in healthier skin, improves your mood and clearer thinking. It alleviates pains from under-worked muscles, it overall enhances you.
A List Of Benefits
- Reduce risk of heart disease
- Weight management
- Helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels
- Improves your mental, emotional health and overall mood
- Helps keep your thinking process sharp and more focused
- Strengthens bone and muscle
- Reduces lower back pains as well as other physical pains
- Help build your immunities
- Boost your overall energy levels
- Help give you younger and healthier looking skin
- Help with your quality of sleep
- Higher Libido
Exercise Ideas To Consider
Everyone, especially as they get older, let their stomach muscles go. Abdominal exercises are one of the hardest exercises to do, and humans always tend to take the easier path. So taking the time to do ab crunches or core strengthening exercises are quite often just too inconvenient. Take a look at these easier methods to help strengthen your core and help your everyday muscles. Keeping your belly tight and your body straight, get into push-up position and hold it for as long as you can. Don’t hold your breath while doing this.
Another one well worth trying is a vertical crunch. Lie on the floor with your legs up, straight or slightly bent. Aim your soles of your feet at the ceiling. Imagine that you’re balancing a pitcher of water on your feet. Lift the pitcher straight up towards the ceiling until your hips are off the floor. Incorporating ab exercises into a complete routine is really the only way to getting those six-packs.
To increase your strength in your abs, you have to follow the same principles that apply to all your other muscles. If you have to do 50 to 100 crunches before you feel fatigued. Slow down and concentrate on your technique, and having good form. Your abs are just like any other muscle in your body, and should be trained accordingly.
Six Pack Abs Are Difficult To Obtain
If all you are wanting to do is look toned, again, you have to lose the body fat. Exercise can reduce body fat, but you can’t choose where you lose fat. To get six pack abs, you may have to drop your body fat to a difficult level. One that is either incredibly hard to maintain, or just downright unhealthy. Many of us have the goal to get six pack abs, but most of us will find it is a difficult goal to reach.
There are too many factors to keep track of that dictate how our bodies look. There is age; genetics; gender; hormones; body type; lifestyle; eating habits; stress; sleep habits and more. Women tend to store fat around the lower belly area, causing that annoying lower belly pooch. Men tend to store fat around the middle section, causing that annoying spare tire effect. If this is your situation, trying to obtain such a goal is only going to drive you crazy.
Set realistic goals for yourself, and do the best you can do for you. All of us have flaws and imperfections. The best you can do for yourself is taking care of your body and accepting it, good, bad and ugly. We often compare ourselves to these models and movie-stars with the awesome ripped bodies. That is unhealthy to do as not everyone’s bodies can do that. If you can get your stomach flatter and stronger, then you should congratulate yourself.
Isometrics For The Abs
Isometrics is your best tool on building muscles. You can do a variety of ab exercises with just your body weight or with an exercise ball. Isometric exercises are contractions of a particular muscle or group of muscles. It can build some strength, but is really better for just maintaining it.
The “Body Hold” is really great for core stability while building core strength. This isometric exercise will fatigue your upper and lower abdominal muscles. Sit on your bottom with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your arms and straighten your legs at the same time. This will make you look like a “V” shape. Hold this for 15 seconds and do 5 reps.
The “Plank Hold” is another great isometric for the abdominal area. This is a very effective way to engage the entire anterior portion of your body. It works not only the abdominals, but also your quadriceps, and the anterior portion of the deltoid. Position your body horizontally facing the ground. You will be up on your toes and forearms. Keep your back straight while you hold this position for 30 seconds. Repeat this 4 times. You will feel most of the tension in your core and shoulders.
So Why Are Abs Hard To Tone?
- Lack of dedication
- Not eating right
- Just an aging body
The list could go on but these are the highest factors. However, some people’s genetics and body chemistry just won’t allow the fat to go away in the abdomen area. The question is, are you wanting abs to impress others, or are you just trying to feel better about yourself? Don’t do anything in life to impress others, that always comes back and bites you. Always do things for you, just like trying to tone your abs. So what, if you can’t get a cut 6 pack stomach. As long as you exercise and keep your body healthy, should be all that matters.
One trick for helping tone abs, stand with good posture and suck in that gut. Doesn’t mean to hold your breath, just pull in your stomach. Do it often to train your brain to do it subconsciously. But even if you can’t get cut abs. Continually training your body to stand with posture and keep a strong core will benefit you greatly.
Tips On Staying Healthy
My number one suggestion to anyone is, get off your butt and go outside and do stuff and sweat. Too many jobs require to sit in front of a computer. It actually becomes addictive to where you don’t want to move any more than you have to. This is dangerous and is a killer. Going outside and do yard work, work on your car, make house repairs. Do anything that makes you hot, sweat and uses muscles in your body. Do this regularly, not just once a month. Make it a weekly routine, and if not some kind of work, run, jog or hike.
Exercise and eating healthier foods is the best advice you are going to get. However, many of us just don’t have time to exercise or go to a gym regularly. So, there are alternatives to exercising. If you know of a place with stairs, run up and down them many times through the week. Works out great if you are in a building with stairs or some are on your way to somewhere. Another trick is to stand with good posture and suck in that gut. Doesn’t mean to hold your breath, just pull in your stomach. Do it often to train your brain to do it subconsciously.
When you mow, you may have a riding mower but if you have a push mower, use it some. Make sure you are getting some cardio out of it. As mentioned, have lots of long-lasting sex. It benefits the body in many ways, although be sure to practice safe sex. If you have a jump rope, use it at least 3 times a week for at least 15 minutes. Eat the right kind of foods suggested above, that is important. Stay active and always keep moving. Sitting around will eventually kill you.
I have watched this Fitness Model for years. Even though her exercises are more for women, they work for men as well. You can see she is in great shape and her methods are straight forward. I suggest watching her videos, no matter your gender. Take what you can and use it for your own. Here is her Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR117JPMLO3Y7J5mIblkBNg
Here is an example of her workouts:
Don’t Fall For Gimmicks
Stay away from pills or devices that claim it by itself will tone you up. No pill or device on its own will get rid of fat. As I have mentioned, before muscle tone can show, you have to eliminate the fat on your body. Also, it can be dangerous to eat poorly and try to tone up with a pill or device. There are diet plans and devices that tell you that they must be used with a healthy diet first. You are not going to get 6 pack abs while chucking away bag after bags of chips or M&M’s.
There are many advertisements that are much like the get rich schemes. You know the ones that tell you that you can make $100000 by the end of the week. You hear that with these diet gimmicks as well. “How you can lose 20lbs in just 3 days”. That is unrealistic and sounds like it could be something that could kill you. If you want to be healthy and look good, you have to do it step by step, no shortcuts.
One Device That Can Help
There are some devices that can help on toning your abdominal area. These type of devices are called (EMS). Electronic Muscle Stimulator’s are great for training muscles that your body can’t actuate. The lower ab muscles are the hardest to get going, especially if you have let them go for a long time. So if you start eating healthier, and use an EMS Device, along with regular exercising. You can achieve some cut 6 pack abs. The best EMS device on the market that has been proven is the Flex Belt.
Some will tell you these devices won’t work. But these are the people that sit around, eating the same bad crap and expect a belt to make them look like a model That isn’t going to work, you have to put forth the effort. Once and EMS device has got your stomach muscles trained and activated. You can wing yourself off of it, although some use them when they have to sit a lot. Just to keep their muscles tight.