How To Flex Your Abs: Things to know
There’s so much attention being placed on abs these days that for those of us who may be in pretty good physical shape, we just don’t see the kind of results you find online.
You want to have those 6-pack abs, right? Of course you do. Sometimes you might have better abs than you realize. You just might need to know how to flex your abs.
It’s not as tough as it may sound, but when we went and did a basic search on this topic, we found mostly questions and some snide answers. Some of the respondents make it seem as though if you don’t know your body, nothing’s going to help.
It’s Really Not A Big Mystery To Learn How To Flex Your Abs
Whatever you do, avoid the negative comments out there. Focus on the simple steps and tips that can make all the difference in the world.
However, and this is big, if you have a lot of ‘softness’ in your midsection, no amount of flexing is going to bring forth any real definition.
You need to have some pretty good conditioning to start with, then you’ll be able to keep your chin up, be proud of your appearance, and flex those abs for everyone (or just you, for right now) to see and enjoy.
If you’re soft around the midsection, then it’s time for you to get exercising and doing the type of activities that will begin to eradicate the fat your body tends to store around this part of your body (not to mention your buttocks and thighs).
Once you get your body to a point where you can actually see some of those abs showing through, even if it’s only when you’re really straining, then you’re ready to take things to the next level.
How do you flex your abs? Here are a few tips that will not only help you ‘see’ them easier, but also begin defining them better, which is going to tighten them up even more, especially if you follow these tips several times a day, day after day moving forward.
Tip 1: Try Some Old-Fashioned Sit-Ups
Whether you’ve got some decent definition or you’re still lacking in your 6-pack ab department, doing old fashioned sit-ups is a great activity. These don’t take very long.
In fact, if you spend an hour every day watching TV (and let’s face it, most people spend a lot more than that staring at the ‘Boob tube’) you could do three full, healthy sets of sit-ups in the time it takes for just one commercial set to play through (usually about three minutes).
Get on the floor with your back flat and your legs slightly bent at the knee.
Cross your arms over your chest (forget holding your hands interlocked behind your head as that doesn’t isolate your abdominal muscles), and then lift your upper body off the ground. Move up toward your knees, but don’t touch your knees with your arms or chest. You want to keep constant pressure on your midsection.
Then ease back down slowly, but don’t allow your back to hit the ground. You may only be able to do a couple of these sit-ups at first, but it will become easier with time. Try to do three full sets every single time.
As I said, you’ll discover you can do all three usually in the amount of time it takes one commercial set to finish for your favorite TV show.
Tip 2: Cough
When you cough or sneeze, guess what? Your abdominal muscles tighten. It’s a natural reaction to either of those two things. If you’re looking to see just how defined your abs are getting, stand in front of a mirror and lift your shirt. I’d suggest you could do this after a shower, too, but with all of the steam, you might not be able to see much.
Face the mirror, study your abs, and then cough. It might feel just like when you had to visit the doctor and cough for that hernia test, but no one’s going to be fondling your private area.
You should be able to see some definition coming through when you cough. The harder you cough, the more defined the abdominal muscles will become. Even if you still feel a little ‘soft in the midsection,’ you’re likely going to notice some clearly defined edges, or lines.
This is what you can do every few days, or once a week, to help you feel motivated to continue doing those all-important sit-ups. When you begin seeing the changes, and when those abs are becoming defined, it can be a great feeling.
A word of caution: forcing a cough can cause some other harm to you, especially if you try too hard. So be tempered in your enthusiasm. This is especially true when you begin to see the definition. Sometimes you’ll be tempted to try harder, and that could lead to some muscle damage not related to your abs.
If coughing isn’t your thing or your family or roommates start asking if you’re okay because they keep hearing you cough every day, then imagine you’re sitting down on the toilet and straining to relieve yourself.
Most of us know what it feels like to be … ahem … constipated, and all you want in that moment is to push it all out and feel some relief. You strain. Your head begins to fill with blood. You’re barely breathing in that moment, and every muscle in your body seems intent on doing whatever possible to allow you to just ‘go.’
When you’re standing in front of that mirror, keep yourself upright, but strain in much the same way you would if you were seated on the toilet. If you feel your chest and arms tighten, learn to relax them a bit.
It may take some practice, but it’s certainly worth it when you step back and realize you’re really trying to get your abs to flex. As with any activity in life, the more you do it and the more you concentrate on making sure it’s done right, the easier it will become.
So, even though the first few times you try this you may not see those abs popping through, or you’re not seeing the definition you know you have, keep working on it. Eventually, you’ll be able to isolate just your abdomen to get some of those six packs showing through.
Then you’re going to feel awesome and ready for your closest friends (or that hot girl you want to impress) to see.
Whenever you’re doing anything around the house, while riding the bus, or even sitting at your desk, you can flex your abs. It would help if you practiced Tip #3 there in front of the mirror until you become comfortable with just isolating the ab muscles.
When you’re doing any sedentary activity like sitting down, you can tighten your abs for a few seconds, then release. The harder you pull them in tight and hold it, the more strain you’re putting those muscles through.
It’s not going to be anywhere near the same as doing sit-ups, but when you do this repeatedly over and over throughout the day, day after day, the benefits will really start to show.
Remember, it’s a skill that may take some time to develop. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t feel the difference when you try to tighten your midsection. Pay attention to other areas of your body.
Do you feel your chest muscles tightening? If so, relax them and move the force down your body to just your abdomen. Do you feel pressure in your shoulders, neck, or buttocks? Again, learn to relax those areas and you’ll be in a better position to isolate the abs.
- How to squat without a rack
- How Many Calories Does P90X Burn?
- What Does Intra Workout Mean – All You Need To Know
Why Do You Want To Know How To Flex Your Abs?
When you’re going to step out and work on some type of activity, it’s a good idea to understand your motivations for it. Is this a way for you to see the outline of 6-pack abs you’ve been wanting for most of your life? Or does it have something to do with a person you want to impress?
Your motivation can have a direct impact on whether or not you find success. Knowing how to flex your abs is a great way to keep track of progress, whether you’re lifting free weights, doing cardio workouts, or keeping up with regular sit-ups and other exercises.
When you see the progress happening, it can do wonders to keep your motivated. However, if your main motivation in all of this is to impress other people, it’s not likely going to last. You’ll be more apt to give up in time because your heart just wasn’t in it.
It takes time to develop awesome looking abs, especially when you start getting older. Believe it or not, men begin losing testosterone levels in their body when they hit 25, and that means it’s going to be tougher to gain muscle, definition, and to even keep fat from forming, usually around that midsection first.
Now that you know how to flex your abs, and as long as you have the right motivation, there’s nothing that’ll keep you from being proud of your appearance now and into the future.
One of the best tools to help you in this endeavor is to buy an ab machine. This will help strengthen your core and flex your abs properly. Check our buying guide: 5 best ab machines
Related Buyer’s Guide: