It’s 100% Possible to Change Your Abs in One Week!

via – | “Your Ultimate One-Week Plan for Flat Abs”

We have very good news for you: “It’s 100 percent possible to see a difference in your abs in one week,” swears Astrid Swan, a celebrity fitness pro in Los Angeles. You just have to put in the work. But not the hours on-the-elliptical or endless-crunches kind of work.

“You shouldn’t have to exercise for more than 30 minutes at a time,” Swan says. “A half hour is plenty, as long as those minutes are intense and you use them smartly.” And Swan would know: She privately trains many famous clients, including a few Shape cover stars, who need last-minute ab toning to prep for big events or, say, bikini photo shoots. Now she’s sharing her magic formula for flatter abs in seven days with all of us.

Kick Up Your Cardio

“High-intensity interval training is your abs’ best friend,” Swan says. It has been lab tested as a major belly-fat fighter: Women who did three HIIT workouts a week lost significantly more subcutaneous belly fat (the stuff you can see and pinch, thus what you care about when in a time crunch) than women who did only steady-state cardio, according to a study from the University of New South Wales in Australia.

The researchers say that’s probably because more fat is used for fuel during HIIT than steady-state.

You can do cardio intervals with any kind of movement that uses multiple big-muscle groups and gets your heart rate way up within seconds, Swan says. Try this 8-Minute HIIT Total Body Workout or create a DIY version: Sprint, do plyometrics (explosive full-body jumping moves like squat jumps, burpees, and speed-skater lunges), jump rope—you get it. Whatever you choose, push as hard as you can, recover, then go as hard as you can again. The rules: Get breathless. Let your muscles burn. Empty the tank by your last interval.

Swan suggests doing equal work-to-recovery ratios. Go all out for 30 seconds or one minute, then catch your breath for the same amount of time. Repeat that for 20 to 25 minutes. “You’ll skyrocket your heart rate, then bring it down enough to let yourself reset so you can go a little harder on the next set,” she explains. “It’s the fastest way to burn the most calories in the least amount of time.” To ensure that you leave nothing behind, cut your recovery time in half for the last set or two, she says.

Hoist Heavier Weights

If you don’t lift weights, you won’t see your abs, Swan says. To get hard abs fast, focus on full-body moves using hefty loads: weighted squats and dead lifts, push-ups, ball slams. “For one, ab tightening is baked into every rep as you brace your core to work through the move,” she says. “And the bigger the move, the bigger the calorie burn.” A lot bigger. Research published in the journal ACSM: Health and Fitness found that compound exercises can elevate your burn for up to 72 hours postworkout and have a particularly potent effect on subcutaneous fat because they spike hormones that help ferry ab flab into your furnace.

“Compound exercises allow you to lift heavier, because more muscles and joints chip in to per-form the moves,” Swan says. “So on top of burning more, you’ll get more defined.”

Lifting heavy means using a weight that has you max out at about 12 reps. Try to up your weight for every set you do, aiming for three. “Do a set of squats holding a 25-pound weight with both hands at your chest, then use a 30-pound one for the next set and a 35-pound one for the last,” Swan says. This allows you to burn and firm more with every set.

Always Engage

Keep your abs engaged during every rep, set, and session. “Pull your belly button back toward your spine and then lock your ribs down around it,” Astrid Swan says. (You just tried that, didn’t you?) Aside from bracing your spine, this will power your movements, ultimately letting you give—and eventually get—a little more out of them.

Target Your Deep Abs

At least once a week, round out your routine with a few abs-only moves-. “Choose planks and Pilates exercises, because they work the deepest abs for a better compression effect,” Swan says. (Get the best flatteners with this 4-week workout.)

Your One-Week Flat-Abs Plan

Do 5 heavy compound strengtheners. (Need ideas? Pick any of these Jillian Michaels moves and you can’t go wrong.) Do 3 sets of 12 reps, with 30 seconds of rest between moves.

Warm up for 5 minutes, then do HIIT. Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 15 or 30 seconds. Continue alternating for 20 to 25 minutes.

Do 4 plyo moves (speed skaters, burpees, jump-switch lunges, and squat jacks will burn the most calories), then 4 moves that isolate the abs. Do 3 sets of 12 reps, with 15 seconds of rest between moves.

Do 6 heavy compound strengtheners. Do 3 sets of 12 reps, with 15 seconds of rest between moves.

Warm up for 5 minutes, then do HIIT. Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 15 or 30 seconds. Continue alternating for 20 to 25 minutes.

Warm up for 5 minutes, then do HIIT. Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 15 or 30 seconds between sets for 20 to 25 minutes.

Do 4 heavier compound strengtheners. Do 3 sets of 12 reps, with 45 seconds of rest between moves.

Want to workout with a group and see fabulous results?
Check out AVAC’s AbsoluteFIT classes today!

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