Like peanut butter and jelly, abs and cardio go hand in hand, but unlike traditional sandwich spreads, it does matter which comes first. The majority of us prefer a cardio-then-abs approach: you warm up your body with cardio so that you’re loose and ready to go when it’s time for abs.
However, if your objective is to build a strong core, you should actually be doing the opposite.
Most fitness professionals would tell you to do your cardio after weight training because doing it first uses up a lot of your anaerobic energy source (strength training) and fatigues your muscles before your most demanding exercise.
You’ll gain more benefit from your ab workout if you do it before cardio because you’ll have more energy and can train with greater intensity. This also enables you to concentrate on form and finishing your reps consistently.
Experts recommend strengthening the core through resistance training, which is best done at the start of a session when the muscles are entirely fresh. You’re less prone to shorten your ab workouts if you make core training the primary focus of the session, rather than an afterthought.
Ab exercises performed before to a cardio workout will also assist activate your core, which will help stabilize your body and prevent injury as you complete your cardio regimen. (Here are a few ab activations exercises to warm up your core muscles prior to a cardio workout.)
You do not need to (and should not) spend hours on abs prior to exercise; Lee recommends 20 to 30 minutes of core work before continuing. Schedule ab workouts two to three times per week, preferably earlier in the week.
This is an excellent strategy to ensure that this section of the body is not overlooked; it may be really useful to dedicate a full session to the core to ensure that it becomes a higher priority in your training split.
If you’re prioritizing abs but still not seeing results (i.e., definition) in your core, consider your nutrition. You’ll need to acquire a body fat percentage that is low enough to reveal your abs. This equates to approximately 24% body fat for most women and 17% for males, however this varies depending on factors such as heredity and hormones, which dictate where fat is stored on the body.
Nutritionally speaking, you should maintain a slight calorie deficit and consume a variety of nutritious meals and vegetables. Experts recommend weight training (including abs!) followed by cardio a few times a week for your fitness plan. With weight training, cardio, a focus on abs, and a healthy diet, you should be well on your way to a stronger core, a healthier weight, and a more enjoyable workout experience — or whatever objective you’re pursuing today.
Get the Most from Your Abs Workout with These Tips
Cardio workouts are the first activity that works both abs and muscles. Because aerobics is the first step to getting six pack abs. Due to the impossibility of spot training, you must burn fat from everywhere over your body. Cardio workouts are meant to do just that.
Cardio workouts are exercises that raise your heart rate for a period of time. Swimming, bicycling, running, rowing, dancing, and jogging are some examples of entertaining workouts. Any of the above exercises should also work your legs and arms.
- Body fat loss is essential if you want chiseled abs. This can be accomplished by consuming less calories each day than you take in. You must also do weight training to add and maintain muscle mass. You can’t get a six-pack just by following a strict diet.
- Add weights to your ab exercises if you want to see results faster. When performing crunches on an incline bench, for example, you can place a weight plate on your chest. Use a crunch machine and gradually increase the load if you choose. You’ll burn more calories and put more strain on your core muscles as a result.
- Finish with 10-15 minutes of HIIT or sprinting to round up your training program. If you’re obese, raise the amount of time you spend doing steady-state cardio by 20-25 minutes.
- After 5 p.m., avoid carbs and load up on protein. Eat your carbs an hour or two before and after working out for best benefits. Later in the day, stick to lean protein and healthy fats.
- Once you’ve shredded your abs, stick to a clean diet to keep them looking good. Continue to push yourself at the gym and make little dietary changes as you go. Reduce your sodium intake to keep from becoming dehydrated. Stop eating grains and dairy if your progress is sluggish.