Before we discuss my favorite ab moves, it must be noted that you can’t simply “crunch” your way to a chiseled midsection. Numerous recent, peer-reviewed studies have confirmed that, in order to reveal tight, toned abs, one must decrease body fat through a combination of cardiovascular exercise and proper diet.
Many women tell me they can’t get the results they seek to achieve, although they spend hours each week working their abs!
I often prescribe interval training to supplement their current aerobic routine, and I help them tweak their diets, in addition to working abs properly. Interval training—specifically, High Intensity Interval Training, such as one of our HIIT classes—has been proven to be superior for reducing abdominal adiposity (belly fat!) for several reasons (Medicine Science Sports Exercise, 2011). Most notably, HIIT increases levels of HGH (human growth hormone) and fight-or-flight hormones, which have receptor sites in the ab region.
I also advise women looking to firm, tone, and decrease the midriff area to increase their cardio to 5-6 days per week. Two to three days of HIIT, such as sprints on the treadmill or a HIIT class, can be alternated with 2-3 days of Steady State Cardio (SSC). SSC can be a walk, run, bike, elliptical workout, or any of our fun, motivating, calorie-blasting cardio classes, such as Step or Zumba. Aim for a minimum of 30-45 minutes for each workout session, and you will see your hard-earned ab work begin to show within a few weeks!