How to define the abs

How to define the abs

It is well known to all that a well defined abdomen is synonymous with fitness. It is probably the muscle area that is most important for anyone, especially when it comes to lifting your shirt and shaking your head…Here you have the best tips to define the abs.

If a survey were made of the customers of any gym, I am convinced that achieving a defined abdomen would be one of the common objectives… However, a strong and well worked out abdomen has a number of benefits far beyond the aesthetic ones.

How to define the abs info

Get defined abs

Getting the famous “6-PACK” is quite a complicated task, even frustrating at times, but by heeding the following advice, we can gradually achieve such a coveted reward for our effort and perseverance.

Get defined abs

You will achieve abdominal marking when 2 conditions occur simultaneously: low percentage of fat and hypertrophy of the rectus abdominis

Don’t think it will happen overnight, there is a process where many variables come into play, but by respecting them, it is possible to achieve good results

How to quickly define abs

We tell you how to do it: it is impossible! 😛 

That’s it, don’t look for shortcuts, it’s just a process that takes time, and you have to be patient. If someone tells you that they know a cousin of a friend of an acquaintance who…

How to quickly define abs

There is no Magic Formula to define abs other than consistency

It’s a story that will never be true, at least by legal means: Training + Diet + Rest

Working the Abdomen to Avoid Injury

Yes, this may be a motive quite removed from the main point, but it is nevertheless closely related.

If our midline or “core” is strong, will protect us from risk of injury from strength or power training, as would be the case with Deadweight, Squat, Load

Working the abdomen to avoid injury

Think of your abdomen as the link between the upper and lower body, and therefore, it is involved in almost any task or physical activity

Without a strong enough abdomen, lower back problems can arise if you never even enter the gym, simply in everyday habits such as carrying or moving weights…

Importance of training the abs

We can summarise it in these points:

  • Avoid injuries
  • Improve your Posture
  • Balance and Stability
  • Strength and Power Exercises
  • Of course to contribute our image

Defining abs for health

And if the above was important enough, in order to prevent possible injuries derived from exercise, on this occasion, all the frameworks and procedures that we carry out, which in principle suggest a certain “obsessive” nature, can force us to maintain some really healthy habits.

Healthy habits

In other words, we force ourselves to always look for a reason or excuse to keep training, moving, eating a healthy diet….

Diet and Exercise to define Abs

These two factors are the most important when it comes to achieving a defined abdomen and being the envy of the beach or the swimming pool…

Once you read the word Diet, a chill will have run through your body… In a way, some dietary guidelines and good planning should not, in general, lead to a certain amount of burden.

Satiating foods such as protein, with high nutritional density, without food extremism…

Reducing the fat percentage

Reducing the fat percentage is essential if you want your abs to be visible

Regarding Training, two key points: abdominal exercises, such as isometric plates or squats (yes, the abdominals also work), and on the other hand, to increase the caloric expenditure (caloric deficit) by means of “cardio”, especially HIIT

Diet to Define abs

The first step in defining abdominals is undoubtedly, controlling our diet

In this sense, a diet focused on fat loss will be necessary, although as we will see in the following point, in certain people, especially in ectomorphic profile (“…I have a low percentage of fat but I don’t define my abdomen…”), maybe a high-calorie diet to gain volume could be the main thing…

In contrast, for the rest of the population I am inclined to establish a calorie deficit

Diet to define abs

Abs are made in the kitchen, but stimulated in the gym…

What type of diet? Some people find that high-fat, low-carb diets “work” for them, some people prefer Paleo diets, or in conjunction with IIFYM they will see results.

Nutritional strategies to define abs

We can use the following guidelines as the HSN Protocol for Fat Loss and get some well-defined Abdominales:

Eating enough protein

With every meal or snack that we make and, under our requirements, include a portion of protein

Protein is the most satiating macronutrient, and there is no body “store” as such, i.e. it does not exist like with carbohydrates (they are stored as glycogen) or fats (depending on the type of fat they accumulate in the adipose tissue or are oxidised).

Protein sources

On the other hand, this nutrient produces the highest thermogenic effect, i.e. when it comes to digestion, our body will consume a higher percentage of calories than if it were carbohydrates or fats.

How to ingest protein?
  • How much protein to ingest?: It will depend as we have said on your needs, but a good way would be to distribute the total grams of protein in each of the meals. For example, if our protein requirements force us to eat 160g, and we make 4 meals, in each of them, we will add 40g of protein.
  • What kind of proteins? : We will mainly look for animal protein as they are the most biologically valuable, but nevertheless, people who follow a vegan/vegetarian diet can supplement sources of plant protein.
  • Protein supplements?: We can make use of protein shakes to help achieve our protein requirements in a practical and convenient way.

You must include Carbohydrates

Do not give up on carbohydrates completely. Many people who are trying to get a ripped belly are quick to eliminate virtually all carbohydrates from their diet, except for fibrous vegetables.

Calorie cycling

When removed in this way, your metabolism will plummet, making fat loss even more difficult, and of course, our performance will also be affected.

Calorie Cycling

Adding a good dose of carbohydrates at least one day a week will avoid this and help keep metabolism working faster.

You can increase your carbohydrate intake two or three days a week on the hardest training days

Here we can opt for the calorie cycling strategy, as a mechanism to maintain, on the one hand, that our performance does not decline and, on the other hand, that allows us to combine high carbohydrate days with more intense training, and less caloric days, coinciding with lighter training.

Intake of Fats

When it comes to improving the diet to define the abs; fats, given their caloric intake, should be taken into account. Of course, you should never cut them out, but it’s true that given their caloric density, it’s very easy to go overboard.

However, certain types of fat are essential for our body, as well as exerting significant benefits.

Salmon omega 3

This is the case with fatty acids omega-3 from blue fish, which, in turn, provide a significant portion of protein

Other important sources of fat are olive oil and coconut oil, providing monounsaturated fats and medium chain triglycerides, respectively.

Fish oil with its Omega 3 content is associated with improving your insulin sensitivity, so when carbohydrates are present in the presence of insulin, glucose uptake by muscle receptors rather than fat adipocytes will be improved

Intermittent Fasting

It is not a diet per se, but another way to help us “get through” the calorie deficit. In many cases, performing the intermittent fasting, allows to create this negative balance of calories in a much easier way.

Simply skip your first meal, breakfast, and then eat your total calories within an 8-hour window. You can have 2 meals and a post-workout shake.

Many people prefer this system as it makes them more satiated with 2 big meals, rather than spreading out 6 small snacks during the day

Abdominal hypertrophy

We can reduce the percentage of fat, but without a hypertrophied rectus abdominus, defined abs will not be noticeable.

Your abdomen is a muscle, and therefore you must exercise it and stimulate it. Without a hypertrophied abdomen (“muscular” abdomen), perhaps all of the above will be meaningless, as we could become obsessed with following every point to the letter, and yet not achieve the expected result.

If our aim was to achieve larger and more powerful pectorals or dorsals, the resource is clear: we would train those most important exercises that stimulate these muscle areas.

Abdominal hypertrophy

Well, the exact same thing happens with the abdomen.

Exercises to define the Abs

Without diminishing the importance, in comparison to dietary guidelines, abdominal training will also be key to promote, above all, the hypertrophy of the abdomen.

Among the exercises that will have the greatest impact are multi-joint or so-called basic exercises, such as deadweight, squat, or military press.

Squats to define abs

If you want more abs, do more squats

For creating strong abs, the middle zone must be kept active (isometric work) to stabilize

Isometric Abs for Defining and Tightening the Abdomen

If we refer directly to exercises for the abdomen, our bet should undoubtedly be the isometric exercises. When we perform them, the muscles work to maintain the position, but there is no muscle contraction.

In a way, all day long they stay active, as in any movement like getting up, walking, standing… they are necessary.

The Isometric Exercises: What are they and what are they for? requires maximum activation of muscle fibres, unlike traditional exercises (such as “crunches”), being therefore the most efficient in terms of working the whole abdominal muscle.

We are going to focus on 3 exercises:

Isometric Plank

Isometric plank

Stay in this position, without dropping your pelvis. We will know that we are doing well, when we start to “shake”. We can get into the habit of trying to accumulate about 5 minutes every day.

Ab Wheel

Ab-wheel to define abs

This nice wheel can become a real instrument to increase the volume of the abdominals. We simply “roll” until we extend ourselves completely, only with the support of our knees and the wheel itself, to tighten the abdominal rectus, and return to the starting position. A fairly powerful routine would be to perform 10 series of 10 repetitions with 1 minute rest. You’ll be sure to get a good grip for several days…

Dragon Flag

Without doubt one of the hardest exercises for our abdomen. It consists of raising our trunk, without bending our knees, controlling the movement, to return to the starting position, without support.

Dragon flag

Complete 4-5 series of 6-8 repetitions for efficient work.

HIIT to Define Abs

HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is a powerful tool that we can use for two purposes: Maintain Muscle Mass and Produce a Caloric Expenditure in a Short Time 

It should be noted that the effort involved in doing a sprint, will be the sporting movement itself that is giving us the opportunity to tighten the abdomen.

Hiit to define abs

We can add between 2-4 HIIT sessions per week, even after strength training with weights

Increase Calorie Expenditure

If there’s one thing we should be aiming for, it’s the highest calorie intake to boost fat loss. Sometimes, simple changes in our behaviour result in contributing to an increase in total daily calories.

These calories could be attributed to NEAT (“non exercise activity thermogenesis”), i.e. the expense that comes from any activity other than physical exercise.

Increase NEAT

If we simply change our car for a bicycle, we will be able to substantially increase our NEAT

Related Entries

Review How to Define Your Abs

Caloric Deficit - 100%

Cycling Calories - 100%

Isometric Exercises - 100%

Strength Exercises - 100%

Increase NEAT - 100%


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About Javier Colomer
Javier Colomer
"Knowledge Makes Stronger", Javier Colomer's motto, sets out his clearest statement of intentions expressing his knowledge and fitness experience.
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