We all know abs are made in the kitchen — but at the gym they ‘re also mastered. Nutrition and fitness are the dynamic pair you’ll need this summer to rock a midriff-baring tank or hisy-bitsy bikini. Yet for vanity’s sake, there’s enough to have a solid heart.
“The heart defines the attitude, strength , flexibility, equilibrium, coordination and movement so that work is optimum,” says personal trainer Jessica Schatz, commonly known as The Heart ExpertTM, who uses her own special Pilates-based technique and her professional dance career expertise to support clients including fashion designer Ashley Olsen, NBA player Wesley Matthews of Dallas Mavericks “When you think of your core muscles as a solid central link in a chain linking your upper and lower body, you’ll realize that if your core muscles are powerful and flexible, your arms and legs perform well. Physical action ripples up and down through nearby chain ties. When you strike a tennis ball, mop the floor, open a file cabinet or make some other gesture, the required movements either start in or pass through your heart.
Drinking enough water increases your metabolism, cleanses your excess tissue, and serves as an appetite suppressant — all encouraging weight loss. It also controls body temperature and lubricates joints. Your body performs at the optimum level and you can workout faster, smarter and longer. You’ll eat food more quickly , reducing nausea, cramping, dizziness, and other signs of dehydration.
Pro tip: Drink a full glass of water in the morning. Rinse and refill aluminium or glass bottles every day and they’re good to go. Hold one in your home, wallet and exercise wallet, and refill whenever possible. Get a full glass of water before any meal. You’ll eat less, be satiated by what you consume, and the diet will metabolise faster.
For abdominal training, emphasis on full-body weight exercises (think about some plank variation) rather than doing thousands about crunches. They are more effective, burn more fat and calories, and help strengthen all aspects of the body, joints, and particularly the spine during the workouts. That’s why physical exercise like Pilates is great — it’s full-body activity from the heart. So miss the single-focused arm or shoulder day and then do squats or lungs while raising shoulder or pushing overhead.
HIIT and stop (all the cardio).
Instead of an hour of pure cardio, do high-intensity interval training — a technique where you expend full energy by quick, hard workout bursts accompanied by brief recovery times. This method of workout has and keeps the heart rate up and loses more fat and calories in less time — more quickly than with a steady-state exercise like elliptical machine or jogging. Essentially, you work more, not slower, a perfect time saver.
Mind your heart.
In addition to daily heart and abdominal workouts (which could actually be part of your fitness routine), still lift your navel to your back — even though you’re not running. Use so when you’re brushing your teeth, driving your car, in line at the supermarket — anytime.
Pro tip: Don’t hesitate to breathe. Once you complete an exhale, imagine someone wrapping a snug corset around your mid-section. This can work the abdominal wall when building “muscle memory,” which helps strengthen the spine which stance.
Absolute Ab Work-out
Do the following movements twice (or three times if you sound frisky), four or five days a week, along with 15 to 20 minutes of high-intensity cardio. Such workouts are designed to strengthen the full body, culminating in a toned ass and buttocks, sleeker limbs and suit-worthy abs.