How to Get Abs to Show (10 Straightforward Tips to Follow)

Looking for more ways to clean up your meals and add moves to whittle your middle to finally see your abs? Checkout the ongoing 30-day ab challenge filled with workouts and tips!

Nothing screams fit to me like seeing those lines along someone’s mid-section.

While genetics play a big role in how easily your abs will show, there are certain tips that can help those abs pop more.

A few weeks ago after talking with my super fit friend and personal trainer Caitlin, I agreed to share what she’s found works for her and her clients to finally get that definition.

10 Tips to See Your Abs

Of course, you’ve got to clean up your diet, work out, and generally be lean enough…but what does all of that actually look like? We kept it straightforward and simple with these ab tips.


1. Combine full-body workouts and interval cardio training

Only doing ab exercises will not give you a six-pack. You need to remove the fat surrounding your abs by doing full-body workouts and interval cardio training (3-5 times a week).

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts that alternate between periods of high intensity and low intensity are considered to be the most effective at reducing body fat levels.

In fact, we just wrote about sprint benefits which include truly helping people to lose body fat.

2. Eat less and move more

Your diet is 50% of the work you put into it! You need to burn more calories than you take in to reduce body fat. My favorite saying is,Eat Less. Move More.”

One of the best ways to reduce overall calorie intake is to drink fewer sugary drinks and alcohol.

Many folks will also recommend that you eat foods that are proven “fat burners,” such as lean protein, salads, and veggies. (read more on metabolic efficiency).

Salmon, eggs, berries, and avocados are some of the best fat-burning foods that’ll help you lose that belly fat for visible six-pack abs.

Just remember foods don’t burn calories. But they help you to build muscle, which then boosts your metabolism.

3. Strength Training is a Must Do

If you’ve been doing a lot of core work with no results, then it’s probably because you aren’t doing enough strength training. Learning how to progress to heavy lifting means that your core is going to be worked through the entire workout.

You’ll notice that most folks with muscles don’t do a lot of ab specific work and yet they have that six pack!

We talked a lot about this in does running give you abs?? And the answer is not without strength training.

4. Rest your abs

Abs are just like any other muscle in your body and respond best to intense training every two days. Working them too often at a high intensity will only give you minimal progress.

5. Mix up your ab workouts

It’s more important than doing 100 crunches every day! Perform 15-20 reps of each exercise, then move on to something else.

This is why we created the 30 Day Core Program. It’s 10 minutes a day, that’s going to keep your body working in different ways.

And don’t be afraid to add some weight training to your core! You need to build muscle to have something to show.

6. Improving your posture

If you slouch, your stomach will pooch. Align your ears over your shoulders, and your shoulders over your hips (when sitting). To continue that further when you stand, make sure your hips are over your knees and your knees are over your ankles. Draw your navel to your spine and keep your weight even on the balls and heels.

Check out this post on loosening your hips to lose the lower belly!

Loosen your hips to loosen the lower belly - 5 stretches to help

7. Believe in “slow and steady”

You have to remember there are NO quick fixes.

You have to plan on a slow and steady progression. You will experience setbacks, roadblocks, and frustrations along the way, but rewards come with time and consistency.

8. Engage your abs

Engage your abs during your workout (and any time you’re just sitting around too!). Aim to pull your navel toward your back for 15 seconds every other minute.

Try this while running…it’s like doing a plank, forcing your entire core to work intensely.

9. Ignore the upper versus lower abs rule

If you’re only doing crunches that focus on your upper abs, you’re ignoring the rest of your abs—your lower ones!

Focus on TOTAL ab exercises like planks, bicycles, and leg lifts that engage your entire core.

10. Intensify your daily activities

Be active instead of sedentary. Cut down on computer and TV time and move more. Taking the stairs whenever possible and parking farther away from the store are just some ideas to add more activity to your day.

Just by increasing your daily exercise (in super simple ways!) you can cut down on body fat levels and reveal that six-pack!

A Note on Nutrition

As you can tell, having visible abs is a combination of working on building muscle, specifically your abdominal muscles, to become stronger and bigger, while simultaneously striving for low body fat levels.

Pay attention to your nutrition and learn how to lose body fat by ditching those simple carbs for some high-fiber foods instead. Simple carbohydrates like soda, baked desserts, and white pasta convert more readily into body fat,

So ditch them for high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that’ll help you keep fuller for longer while reducing your overall calorie intake.

Make sure to keep nutrition and your macros in mind so that all your hard work in the gym doesn’t go to waste!

More tips to lose body fat

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