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kimchi's avatar

Are there any tips for achieving abs?

Asked by kimchi (1440points) November 22nd, 2014

I’m 15, and I want to get abs! I’ve been working on some crunches, working out, and eating healthy. Are there any exercises, tips, advice, anything to help me achieve abs faster?

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7 Answers

trailsillustrated's avatar

Ride a bike. Uphill.

livelaughlove21's avatar

You have abs. Everyone does. If they’re not visible, it’s because your body fat percentage is too high. You can do a million crunches a day and still not have ripped abs if you don’t decrease your body fat percentage. Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym. It’s way more about your diet than whatever exercise you’re doing.

Crunches are pretty worthless anyway, to be honest. Lifting heavy with compound movements (squats, deadlifts, rows, etc) engages your core better than a crunch. I know plenty of people with visible abs that don’t do “ab work” at all. If you insist on doing some, do planks instead of crunches. Remember to work your entire core and not just your abs – that means you obliques and lower back as well.

Keep in mind that achieving visible abs is hard and it takes a lot of time and a lot of dedication. You must be eating at a caloric deficit in order to lose body fat. “Eating healthy” isn’t going to cut it if you’re not eating less calories than your body is burning throughout the day. If you’re not willing to count calories, then that’s your choice, but chances are achieving this goal of yours will take even longer.

Also keep in mind that, while eating at a deficit, you’ll lose fat and muscle. In order to minimize the amount of muscle you lose, you should be doing strength training and making sure you’re not eating at too much of a deficit. Eating too little is just as bad as eating too much.

I once dreamed of having ripped abs until I saw what people I know have to do to get them and maintain them. Endless cutting/bulking cycles didn’t appeal to me, so now I just focus on gaining strength and getting killer arms, legs, and booty. My stomach is flat, so I don’t worry too much about seeing my abs anymore.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I have been bicycling for decades and do not have abs. Diet and strength exercise is probably the only way. It’s a delicate balance to achieve this.

josie's avatar

@livelaughlove21 Is correct.
Everybody has a six pack. Its just that in most cases it is covered with a layer of goo.
Good diet advice there. Keep carbs low in the beginning so the body attacks fat.
Keep protein calories higher in the beginning so the body can respond to the exercise demand without attacking muscle.
The taller you are, the harder it is to get the classic washboard look.
It will take months.
Classic old ab exercises like crunches are easy to cheat and are thus sort of inefficient.
Try P90X3. About a dozen different workouts, so it stays interesting and everyone of them has a core component.

livelaughlove21's avatar

“Keep carbs low in the beginning so the body attacks fat.”

Not necessary. Fat loss is calories in vs calories out. Carbs are not the enemy. They’re necessary for supplying energy for workouts.

I definitely agree to keep your protein high, especially when doing any kind of strength training. A good balance of carbs, protein, and fats is ideal.

“It will take months.”

It will likely take much longer than that unless the diet is extreme, which would not be a good thing. Transforming your body takes a long time – sucks, but it’s true.

JLeslie's avatar

Being lean (low body fat) is how you look like you have muscles. Fat lies over muscles. My father is incredibly strong, but he’s fat, very fat, probably 60 pounds overweight, and so he just looks fat. People think muscle can turn to far and vice versa, but that is not the case. They are two separate types of tissue.

Women are supposed to have a little more fat than men, so women trying to have hard bodies like what men can achieve is ridiculous to me. Having said that a good balance of muscle strength and having a fat percent towards the low side of normal I think is very healthy.

My recommendation is eat a healthy diet full of vegetables, some fruit, and legumes. You might try counting protein grams to make sure you’re getting enough. Veggies and legumes have high amounts of protein per calorie. Do aerobic exercise to burn calories and some weight lifting or exercises to build muscles.

Beware that building up stomach muscles can actually make you look thicker around the waist. I’m not discouraging you from strengthening your core, it’s very important for your back and overall strength and stability.

I really like deep water water aerobic for strengthening stomach muscles and also ballet or yoga.

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