Because they have less testosterone, women grow abs more slowly than men -- but the same workout methods apply to both sexes.
Being in a hurry to develop abdominal muscles doesn't mean you need steroids or a Schwarzenegger-caliber personal trainer. All you really need is self-discipline and a plan. Through the proper regimen of day-to-day exercise, you can spur your body into growing its abdominal muscles faster than you think. Just remember that even the fastest muscle growth is still gradual -- it's all about maintaining a proper routine.1.
Schedule abdominal weight-training sessions every other day. You can do this on top of an existing exercise routine or independently. Remember to hit the gym every other day: one day to work your abs and one day to allow your body time to rest. Gym days allow you to break down your abdominal muscles, while rest days give your body time to absorb protein; these are two main factors that allow your abdominal muscles to grow bigger than before. Plan for at least 30 minutes of weight training on your ab days.
Perform twisting crunches, stability ball rollouts and bird dogs to give your abs a serious workout fast. To perform a twisting crunch, lie supine and flex your waist, bringing your torso off the ground; twist to one side while doing so, and repeat for the other side. For a stability ball rollout, kneel in front of a stability ball, placing your fists on the ball. Lean forward, allowing your arms to roll out with the ball until you feel a stretch; return and repeat. Do a bird dog by getting on hands and knees, kick one leg out while raising the arm on the opposite side off the ground. Straighten your raised arm and leg until they are at the level of your torso; return to hands and knees, performing with the other arm and leg. Perform each exercise for three to five sets, aiming for five to 20 reps per set. Rest for a couple minutes between sets.
Perform lying twists, push sit-ups and leg-hip raises. For a lying twist, lie supine with your legs up in the air. Rotate your waist to move your legs to one side until they nearly touch the ground; repeat on the other side. Perform a push sit-up on a sit-up bench. Holding dumbbells straight above your head, perform the sit-up while keeping your arms in a vertical position. To perform a leg-hip raise, lie supine and flex your hips to pull your knees to your chest. Perform each exercise for three to five sets, aim for five to 20 reps per set. Rest for a couple minutes between sets.4.
Lift and progress. While in the gym be conscious of your original plan to build abs fast. Each session, attempt to increase your lifting progress, either in weight or reps. For example, if your twisting crunch of 20 reps becomes too easy for you after a couple weeks, try performing it while holding a weight plate or by upping the number of reps to 25.5.
Add some cardio to your routine. Use cardio exercises that engage the abdominal muscles, such as jump roping, burpees or swimming. Cardio burns fat and can help your abs become more obvious. Perform your chosen exercise for 30 minutes to one hour, at low intensities. An intensity of around 65 percent of your maximum heart rate burns fat most efficiently.6.
Increase the amount of protein in your diet. Aim for 1.7 to 1.8 g of protein per kilogram of body weight. Protein is the nutrient that allows your body to synthesize muscles. A deficit of protein is therefore a deficit of muscle. And so, alter your meal plans to add high-protein foods. If you are concerned about putting on extra fat, stay on the lean side, incorporating protein-rich foods that are not high in calories such as lean meats, low-fat cheeses and nuts rather than unhealthful protein sources like processed meats, fatty dairy products and oily foods.
- Be sure to consult a medical professional before starting a new exercise routine.