The most effective ab exercises help burn fat resulting in shredded six pack abs.
The latest research shows that poor blood flow to certain areas of the body – obliques and lower abs for example – equals poor fat loss from those areas.
New research shows spot reduction is possible.
Until recently, fat spot reduction has always been believed to be a myth. Exercising specific areas of your body in order to lose fat was a myth because calories are burned systemically (affecting the whole body).
The systemic approach is true for both aerobic and resistance training.
So the big question is, "Can we manipulate where we burn calories?" Can we target those areas of our body we want to burn fat and spot reduce?
Whole body exercise does matter, but calories come from different sources.
While calories could come from fat around the waist, it can also come from the stores of glycogen in muscle.
The energy you burn in muscle can ultimately help with fat loss, it's just not the direct route of energy burning fat.
The 3 key parts to spot reduction are...
1. Redirecting blood flow to the fatty area of focus.
2. Contracting the muscle in the area of fat to reduce.
3. Using the correct timing for resistance training and cardio.
Fasted Cardio is a method for burning fat in stubborn areas while preserving muscle mass.
Performing a fasted cardio workout first thing in the morning is usually the best time of day to focus on spot reducing exercises.
Obviously, timing is critical.
So when is the best time to focus on the most effective ab exercises for spot reduction?
When your hormones are in a state optimal for burning fat.
After a fast is likely your best opportunity.
1. Keep Your abs and the area around it warm. It needs to be warm because as stated above, "blood flow is crucial for fat extraction." The warming effect increases blood flow and will have an impact on fat loss over time.
2. Work the adjacent muscles. Science has shown that working the muscle near your fatty areas will help with breaking down stubborn fat. In the middle of your "fasted cardio" workout, throw in some bodyweight ab exercises such as crunches, planks, hanging leg raises, etc. Keep the intensity low using just your body weight. Rep ranges 30 to 50 a set. Just do a couple sets.
After you've gotten your abs all revved up again, finish your cardio/aerobic workout. Again, do another 2 sets of ab work.
3. Timing of ab work and aerobic activity is critical.
If your body fat percentage is less than 20% or you have an inch or less of fat camping out on your abs, then this method would likely help.
But if you've got a lot of extra pounds of fat sitting on your gut, then you're likely not ready for this.
Focus on lowering body fat first before you start targeting stubborn belly fat with spot reduction ab workouts.