Achieving the body you want in a short time requires focus on your middle section, and six-pack abdominals are something to strive for. It can be difficult to get the ripped look quickly, but it is possible.
With a strict commitment to eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and taking your abdominal exercises to the extreme, you may be able to develop six-pack abs in three months. Be prepared to set goals, make a plan to achieve them and commit to pushing beyond your exercise comfort zone. With determination, you'll be turning heads at the beach in three months.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Focus on overall weight loss. Eat a healthy diet that includes more lean meat, veggies and fruits than empty carbs. Exercise aerobically at a moderate intensity for 150 to 300 minutes a week, advises the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.
Start with a healthy, balanced diet. ACE Fitness claims that six-pack abs are created in the kitchen, not the gym.
Stay away from processed and refined foods. Choose vegetables, fruits and lean protein instead. Eliminate liquid calories, such those from as sodas, energy drinks and coffee with sweeteners. Flush your system and improve your metabolism with water. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water a day. If, for example, your weight is 128 pounds, drink 64 ounces daily.
- Begin a cardio workout. Think running, spinning, swimming, kickboxing or step aerobics. Find a high-intensity exercise routine to burn a higher amount of calories. Commit to exercising seven times a week for at least 30 to 45 minutes a day. Include a strength-conditioning workout three times a week to burn fat and build muscle.
- Focus on your abdominal muscles every day. Make a plan to work each section of your abdominals. For example, work your upper abs on Monday, your lower abs on Tuesday, your obliques on Wednesday and your total abdominal muscles on Thursday. Then repeat the cycle over the next four workout days.
Perform Abdominal Exercises
Perform ab exercises in a variety of ways. Use a stability ball, medicine ball and your own body weight to achieve your goal.
- Focus on your upper abs. Perform a stability ball crunch with the ball under your lower back and your feet flat on the floor, with your knees at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands behind your head, keeping elbows out. Crunch up and hold the contraction for one count and return to a neutral position. Remain in the contraction as you crunch up and down, careful not to recline all the way back on the ball. Perform as many of these as you can in one minute. Complete five sets, with a 20-second rest between sets.
- Work your lower abs with stability ball pikes. Get into a plank position with the stability ball under your feet by slowly walking out. Keeping your legs straight, move the ball toward your chest, bending at the waist and lifting your hips. Hold for a count of two and retract to the beginning position. Do five sets of 20 to 30 repetitions.
- Focus on your obliques with seated medicine ball trunk rotations. In a sitting position, holding a medicine ball in front of you, lean halfway back and lift your feet off the floor. Rotate your trunk to one side and then to the opposite side, keeping the medicine ball in line with your belly button. Keep your back erect throughout the exercise, not letting the ball touch the floor on either side. Perform as many rotations as possible in one minute and rest for 30 seconds. Complete five cycles.
- Work your entire abdominal region with planks. Assume a position similar to that required for traditional push-ups: body straight, but with the area of your arms from elbow to wrist — instead of your hands — touching the floor. Staying on your toes, hold the position for one minute, rest for 20 seconds. Complete four cycles.
Consult a physician before beginning any new exercise routine or diet change.