Toning Your Abs: Machines Alone Are Not Enough

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If your fitness goal is toning abs and getting a sleeker look, you need to know that ab machines are not enough. There is a system that is necessary because so many factors are at work. You want to lose weight, firm up, build muscle and burn fat and ab machines alone just won’t cut it.

Ab machines are good for toning abs and maybe building a little muscle. They provide the benefit of weight bearing exercises while offering some resistance training. In this respect, ab machines are useful. However, if you incorporate them into your workout you should by all means not rely solely on them for toning abs and giving you the defined, sleek midsection that you want. You are going to have to work a little harder for it.

1. Diet
The first step in achieving muscle definition is to maintain a healthy, low fat diet. While fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and low fat dairy won’t go a long way in toning abs, it will most definitely help rid your body of excess fat so that you can actually see those abs!

Make sure that the things that you put into your body will yield the results that you desire. This means cut the fat (Not completely! You need some fat in your body!), cut the sugar and stick with fresh foods. Consuming processed foods is one of the worst things that you can do to your body. Remember, fresh is best. You also need adequate protein for muscle building and repair.

2. Cardio
If you want to lose fat, diet alone will not do it. You need to actually burn the fat and cardio exercise is the best way. Cardio, such as running, walking, biking and elliptical machines are great for toning abs but they are even better at burning fat. An added benefit is that cardio will help strengthen your heart and give you more stamina and making you healthier. What a bonus!

3. Weight Training
Weight bearing exercises give good resistance and can help greatly in toning abs. You can do crunches with an added weight and you can use the ab machines. One drawback with the ab machine is that it tends to focus on the upper abs while doing little for the lower abs. This can result in the lower abdominal area being flabbier and even “pooching” a little.

4. Floor Work
Crunches, leg lifts and pelvic lifts are all great for working both the upper and lower abs. When you add an exercise ball or join a Pilate’s class, you can get even better results. There is no doubt that floor work is great for toning abs. Floor work gives you a much better opportunity to work your oft neglected lower abs so it is important to incorporate floor work into your workout.

Of course, the optimum plan for toning abs and getting a sleek midsection is to use diet, cardio, weight training and floor work together to give you the body that you want. If you are serious about toning abs and getting sleek, there is no point in going half way. Take the plunge and go for it – all the way.

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