This week I’m going to take you through my abs (or abdominals) routine. How I maintain my abs – the old six pack – has got to be the one area of my fitness routine I am asked about the most, not least because of my time in the jungle.
Let me be up front and say I work hard for my abs! Some people seem to have natural six-packs but I am not one of them and it does take some hard work and dedication. The abs are probably the one area you can’t overlook or let slide when following a fitness plan. A strong core helps you maintain great stability and let’s face it, you just look better and your clothes fit nicely too!
Diet is especially important when tackling the abs. Excess fat around the tummy often comes from not eating a really balanced diet and making sure you’re getting plenty of healthy protein and slow burning carbs (think green veg and whole wheat pasta, rice and so on). Go easy on the beer too guys – too much of it is not your friend if you want to get that six-pack. I can’t say I’m too much of a party animal so having an alcoholic drink is a rarity!
Myself and Danielle aren’t Jamie Oliver when it comes to cooking, but we try to be as healthy in the kitchen as possible. My daily diet changes on a day to day basis. I just ensure I get my 5 a day and drink plenty of water.
Check out my short video here which gives you a taster of my own typical abs routine in action.
Leg raises: these work on that stubborn bit of fat on the lower abs and while it is really easy to start, you do feel it after about five reps. Lie down flat, place your hands flat on either side of you and steadily raise your legs to about a 90 degree position. Hold and then lower gently.
You can mix this up by getting an exercise ball and squeezing it between your ankles to really get your inner thighs working too.
Crunches: Okay, this is another popular classic but for a good reason – it does what it says on the tin – it gives those abdominal muscles a real crunch and builds up upper tummy strength. Lie down but this time with your legs bent and about hip distance apart. You can fold your arms behind your head for some support if you like or simply place your finger tips on your forehead temples. Now, using just your abdominal strength and tightening the thighs, lift your upper body up and forward … and crunch those ab muscles! Hold (or do short pulses – quick crunches) and return to the flat position and repeat.
I like to mix this one up by using a ball again but this time between my hands and doing some twists to either side.
Next week I’ll be talking you through the perfect pull ups. Keep crunching in the mean time!
Disclaimer: Before undertaking any exercise or fitness programme please see a doctor or medical professional if you have a medical condition or physical restriction that may make some of Jake’s tips and work out suggestions unsuitable. Jake is not a qualified fitness instructor but a dedicated, fitness enthusiast. If you require advice from a professional fitness expert we recommend you contact your local gym or health club.