First of all, we need to understand what maketh the six pack. Six pack will only appear on your body if you have strong abdominal core muscles and sufficient amount of body fat. It appears so easy to achieve but in reality, it is equally hard otherwise we all would have had our own six packs. But in the end of all the hard work, it is worth it. To achieve flat stomach or six pack, we need to achieve two things - lose fat and build muscle. A six pack won't show over a thick layer of fat.
Okay, let's get started with the two aspects we discussed above i.e lose fat and build muscle.
LOSE FAT (Also refer to the previous blog entry)
1. Do cardiovascular activities like running, walking, cycling, rowing, any intense sport like football, hockey, rugby, squash, tennis, badminton etc.
2. Follow a healthy diet and eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. Just ensure that you should not be excessively hungry prior to the main meals and don't overeat during the snacking meals. Also focus on eating organic lean proteins, natural fats, fruits and veggies.
3. Drink lots of water. It is important to note that if you are sweating excessively, then adequate amount of salts is required to be replenished.
4. Follow an active lifestyle.
5. Avoid eating out too often. Eat what you cook or your wife cooks or mother cooks at home. If it is unavoidable, then opt for healthy foods like grilled food items or salads without mayonnaise. The restaurants also, nowadays specify in their menu cards about healthy food items or best will be to ask the Chef itself. He will really appreciate your concern and will try to do his best.
BUILD MUSCLE - Now I will list out some exercises which will target your core and help you in achieving the long awaited flat stomach. However, do remember, it also very important have a strong lower back because a strong core is complimented, only, by a strong back.
1. Hanging leg raises - Hang on a chin up bar with a overhand or underhand grip. Flex your shoulders and slowly raise your legs till waist level. Hold as long as possible and repeat for as long as you can hang on the bar.
2. Planks - Lie down on stomach. Then support yourself on both elbows and hold the position. It is very important to note that your body should be in a ramrod straight line. Gradually increase the time to hold the pose to 4-5 mins.
3. Squats and Deadlifts - These two exercises are excellent for building strength in quads and hamstring and also strengthens the core region. Points to note while doing these exercises is that first, the back at all point of times should be straight, second, knees should not go ahead of your toes while squatting and lastly, thighs should be parallel to the surface.
4. Kapalbhati - It is an excellent yoga asana to help reduce the belly fat. Sit in a comfortable position without any tension in the body. You can sit on the floor or on a sofa, as long as you are comfortable. Now, forcefully exhale from nose and tuck in your stomach. Repeat this action in a rapid rate for not more than a minute or when feeling uncomfortable. Do this asana for five minute on an empty stomach in the morning and evening. Results are visible in a week's time.
There are many variations in the exercises I have mentioned above which can be done as you graduate from the basics. Remember, it is very important to build gradually to avoid injury. It will take some time for results to show but it is worth the wait.
I will post more similar exercises. So, keep reading and keep working out. Enjoy.