There is no quick fix diet or exercise program that will help you get ripped abs. Rather, a healthy diet combined with a consistent exercise program is key to making abdominal muscles pop. Add dumbbells to your home exercise program to help you achieve a lean physique with well-defined abs.
Consult with a health professional prior to starting any new exercise program that could affect your health.
Rip up the abdominals with one-armed dumbbell presses. Do this exercise by lying on your back on a bench just as if you you were setting up to do a bench press. Your feet should be resting on the floor on each side of the bench. Hold a dumbbell in each hand close to your chest. Push your right arm straight up into the air while your left arm remains by your side. Return your right arm down by your side as you push your left arm straight up into the air. Do 10 repetitions on each side for a total of three sets. Doing one arm at a time challenges the abdominals more than doing two arms together, as the abs work harder to keep the body stable during unilateral movements.
Add stability ball weighted crunches to your workout to maximize ab definition. The stability ball increases the difficulty of crunches since the abs must work harder to keep the body steady and on the ball. Adding a dumbbell to crunches further increases the intensity of the exercise since the abs must work against extra resistance. Do this exercise by sitting on a ball with feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell between the palms of both hands in front of your body. Walk your feet out until only your lower back is touching the ball. Bring your arms, with the weight, over and behind your head. Extend your arms such that your elbows are near your ears with the weight directly over your head. Contract your abdominals as you start to curl your body up in a crunching motion with your arms simultaneously moving forward toward your chest. Pause at the end of the movement before returning to the start position. Repeat 10 times for a total of three sets.
Squat your way to ripped abs. Full-body exercises such as dumbbell squats target the legs, gluteals, arms and core region. The more muscles you work simultaneously translates to increased caloric burn, which increases fat loss from the body including the abs. You will need to lose the layers of fat hiding your abdominal muscles if you want to see definition. Try dumbbell squats by standing up tall with feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Lower yourself into a squatting position by sticking your buttocks out. Keep your abdominals tight throughout the movement and avoid letting your knees slip past your toes to decrease strain on the joints. Repeat this exercise 10 times.
Engage in cardiovascular exercise to burn off calories for weight loss. In order to get ripped abs, you'll need to have a low body-fat percentage to show off muscle tone. The NHS suggests healthy adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise, per week. Aim to do cardio sessions such as running, cycling and swimming three to five times per week for 30 to 60 minutes each.
Eat a healthy diet. Exercise will help you lose weight and gain muscle definition, but you won't see your abs pop if you're eating too many calories and unhealthy foods. Eat a nutrient-rich diet that is low in calories, fat and sugar and rich in vitamins and minerals to fuel your workouts. Focus on vegetables, fruits, lean proteins with some healthy fats.
Things You'll Need
- ACE Fitness Matters: New Study Puts The Crunch On Ineffective Abs Exercises
- The Women's Health Big Book of Abs: Sculpt a Lean, Sexy Stomach And Your Hottest Body Ever - In Four Weeks; Adam Bornstein
- Consult with a health professional prior to starting any new exercise program that could affect your health.
Jennifer Andrews specializes in writing about health, wellness and nutrition. Andrews has a Master of Science in physical therapy from the University of Alberta as well as a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. She teaches yoga and pilates and is a recent graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.