The final instalment of our summer workout series with Jonathan Lomax is here. Read on to find out how to get those abs in line...
The final area we need to talk about is our core and our abs – because if you’ve been doing your other exercises, especially your legs, then you’ll already be halfway there.
Developing your abs is a bit of an easy win – everyone has a six pack, yours might be hidden under a layer of fat, but it’s still there – and it might even be very well developed. While the boys are all about a Chris Hemsworth-worthy six pack, girls are more focused on developing a waist than a washboard.
But first, there are a couple of misconceptions we need to address:
In terms of how you eat, sugar is your biggest enemy. People tend to obsess over how much fat they’ve consumed, when in reality the worst thing you can eat is anything low fat – simply because a portion of the fat will have been replaced with sugar.
And the rest is balance – people routinely blame wheat and dairy for all their ills, from bad skin to persistent bloating but the vast majority of people have intolerance at best, from eating far too much of one thing (a bar of chocolate contains more sugar, fat and dairy than most people would ever have eaten pre- 20th Century). So if you think you have a dairy or wheat ‘allergy’, make sure you get tested properly before you cut them out completely, or you could be missing out on vital nutrients.
So, now we’ve got the diet stuff covered, back to creating a toned waist line. To do this you want to think about this in a 360 degree sense, including the oblique muscles, the transverse abdominals, and the muscles of the lower back, which form what I term your ‘inner corset’. This needs to be tightened to synch in your waist and sit-ups alone don’t do this.
What you need to do is essentially, anything where you’re moving your upper body and lower body at the same time, forcing you to stabilise your core. Pilates is traditionally seen as the most ‘core’ based exercise, but you also want to think about dynamic exercises – for example dead lifts, or lunges using overhead movements with added weights and twisting movements.
If you do these big compound exercises your whole abdominal region (including your six pack) gets worked hard.
If you want to finish your workout with sit-ups or crunches that is fine but make sure you have worked the whole region first.
One of the best workout tools for abs development is a kettlebell workout as the movements you do with a kettlebell tend to require a lot of core recruitment.
Sounds good? Here’s how…
Split Training Saturdays – The Inner Core
30 minute core muscle blast:
Set 1: RPT x 3
Set 2: RPT x 3
Try to do 3 x 15 second cardio intervals in between each set – these cardio intervals will have you stripping fat from your waist to reveal the inner core!
I've been following all of these posts and the exercises have been genuinely helpful. Thanks Jonathan!
Now THIS is the one I've been waiting for, and not a moment too soon after the indulgences of Easter. Thanks, Jonathan!
More great exercises - thanks Jonathan!
Kettlebells are brilliant! I bought some from Lidl a few weeks ago and use them all the time. I love the fact they are pretty heavy so you can get a great workout in a just a few minutes here and there. And yes, you can definitely feel the effects on your core.