If you have noticed that you are a bit wider around the waist than you used to be then you are part of a growing epidemic called abdominal obesity.
Over the last decade, the cases of people over 40 suffering from abdominal obesity have more than doubled.
This number continually increases because an estimated 78% of all middle aged men and women lead sedentary lifestyles. This problem is compounded by poor diet.
However, you can look better than ever and get head turning six-pack abs through simple, but proven, fitness and nutritional changes.
Researchers have learned that a high concentration of abdominal fat is typically a result of a diet containing carbohydrates with a high glycemic index and too many fats. This dangerous equation can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and is even suspected to be the cause of some cancers.
Studies have also shown that people who suffer from abdominal obesity are 25% more likely to suffer from migraines. Countless middle aged men and women are plagued with weight-related back problems that prevent them from performing everyday, basic tasks and they risk losing their independence.
On the other hand, men and women over 40 who have made the fitness, nutritional, and lifestyle changes needed to get a flat tummy are predominantly free of obesity and age related health concerns. These people tend to be healthier which results in fewer doctors’ visits, lower prescription costs, and a longer life span.
You can have the same success, no matter what your age, genetics, gender, or body style. You have the same ability to build muscle as you did in your youth. The exercises that kept you lean and tone at 20 will keep you lean and tone at 50. As you age, you should have even greater motivation to eat right and workout.
Therefore, as long as you do the right exercises, followed by the right nutrition and lifestyle, you should have that six-pack that will make everyone stop and stare.
What Not To Do
There are a lot of so called experts out there that will tell you how to get fantastic abs, for a fee. The truth is that there is no gimmick or fad out there that will get you long-term fitness and a six-pack.
This is because gimmicks and fad products promise you great results without making positive changes to your physical activity and eating habits.
Additionally, pills and other miracle remedies are often dangerous and can cause long term damage to your kidneys, liver, and endocrine system. The point of fitness over 40 is to get your body into a healthy condition that will support and lengthen the rest of your life.
You also have to use caution when exercising because not all exercises were created equal. Some exercises can cause serious injury to your back, which may already be weakened after carrying extra abdominal weight for a decade or more.
In general, an exercise that forces you to arch you back should be avoided. Some of these include hanging leg raises with an arched back, lying flat straight leg lifts, straight leg sit ups and feet-supported sit ups.
The problem with the later two is that when you are in the starting position flat on the floor you are forcing your back into an unnatural position. Always remember to keep your pelvis pitched forward in a very slight hunch.
Also, exercises on machines, such as ab machine crunches, put your back in a compromised, unstable position and you should avoid these as well.
Try to avoid exercises that are inefficient.
For example, when you begin your routine simple crunches will probably give your abs a good workout.
However, as you become fit you will need to add more resistance than a simple crunch can provide.
Also, avoid torso twists because these do not adequately build abdomen muscles and they do not burn very many calories.
Finally, many people only focus on the rectus abdominus muscles which are the muscles that can be visibly seen in a six-pack. This is a mistake.
It is important that you give this muscle group an excellent workout, but you must also exercise the other muscles in your abdomen and back to get the full effect. Your back and abdomen muscles help you maintain good posture. Good posture will help your back remain strong for many years and has a fantastic impact on appearance.
When you hold your body in the proper position, it emphasizes muscle tone and a lean abdomen.
The Right Exercises
Now that you know what not to do, it is time to focus on the right movements that will get you a fantastic set of abdominal muscles.
The right movements are the same no matter if you want ripped abs or just a lean, tone appearance. The difference is how much resistance you add to your workout.
Some of the best exercises are ones that use your lower body as the source of resistance. For example, many people have great success with hanging leg raises and hanging knee raises but remember to keep your back in a hunched position.
Other exercises that are the most effective can be done at home or at a gym with simple equipment like dumbbells and an exercise ball.
Ball crunches and ball hip flexions work out both the rectus abdominus group and the supporting abdomen muscles.
Lying leg thrusts, abs scissors, reverse crunches, abs wheels, and alternating crunches can be done almost anywhere.
If you prefer a gym, decline bench leg thrusts, bench crunches, and the cable rope crunch will give you good results.
Also, abs bicycle exercises where you alternate your knees and elbows are fantastic and burn many calories.
You may also be surprised to find many other exercises that do not focus on the abs will give you an amazing abdominal workout. For example, squats, lunges, dead lifts, and multi-joint presses all focus on other muscle groups.
However, these movements require core stability that forces the abs into a flexed or crunched position with great resistance. This is especially so for front squats and renegade dumbbell exercises.
Remember that the most effective workout focuses on muscles groups from different angles. Also, there is no set amount of time that will guarantee results. In addition to you normal workout, you will probably want to include 5 to 10 minutes that are devoted to your abs.
In the beginning, you may have to workout the full 10 minutes and decrease the time as you get toned. Also, do not exercise your abs everyday. Your abs are no different than any other muscle, they need rest in order to repair and build new mass.
Keep in mind that no matter how much you strengthen your abs, you will not have the look you want unless you also address unwanted fat through cardio and good nutrition. You might be surprised to find out that many people are getting the defined abs they want through intense training, but those abs are not visible through layers of unwanted fat.
Adding a cardio workout to your program will help burn calories and eliminate extra fat. Nutritionally, many people have had better results when they include only complex, low-glycemic carbs, reduce fats, increase lean proteins, and stop alcohol consumption.
The best way to get fantastic washboard abs abs is to begin a well-rounded fitness program that includes the right exercise movements, good nutrition, and positive lifestyle changes.
There is no cookie-cutter plan out there that will work for everyone. Your body type and fitness goals are unique. The best workout program is one that is well researched and suited to your needs.
As you design your fitness program, focus on information that encourages natural methods of weight loss and health that support your over 40 fitness goals. The Truth About Six Pack Abs e-book was written by a certified nutrition specialist and personal trainer.
The book emphasizes achieving fantastic abdominal strength at any age through simple exercises and good nutrition. He discusses the causes of abdominal obesity and benefits of free weights versus machines.
Additionally, he details specific exercises that are fantastic components of any abs fitness routine. You can use The Truth About Six Pack Abs as a valuable guide on your journey to an extraordinary physique. Click here to learn more…