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The first step to toning abs is weight loss. For those who are carrying a few extra pounds of fat around their midsection, the layers of fat will have to be lost before the abdominal muscles will be visible. For this reason, it can take a while to tone abs because people usually put on weight around their stomachs, buttocks, and thighs before anywhere else. Excess weight can be lost by exercising three to five times per week, mixing cardio workouts and weight training, and sticking to a healthy diet of lean proteins, whole grains, and leafy greens.
Once any excess weight has been lost, the abs will start to look more toned. The muscles that have been hidden by layers of fat will begin to appear and become more prominent as the weight is kept off and the muscles are continually worked. There are a number of ways to tone abs using exercise and sports. One great sport that can help to ton abs is surfing because much of the movement associated with the sport works the core of the body, particularly the abdominal muscles.
Swimming is also a great sport that helps to tone abs. As the sport requires the use of the entire body, the core of the body has to work hard to keep the body balanced and support all of the limbs as they move in tandem. For those who are lucky enough to have a pool or be a member at a gym that has a pool, swimming should be added to the weekly exercise routine to help tone the abs.
In addition to sports like swimming and surfing, there are also a number of specific exercises that help people to get tone abs. Sit ups and crunches are the most basic exercises to tone abs. There are also a number of variations on these exercises in which the legs are lifted in the air or held at an angle while the exercises are being performed. As the abdominal muscles get stronger and stronger, it may become necessary to hold a weight plate to the chest while doing crunches in order to tone the abs even more.
Before beginning any kind of exercise regimen, be sure to consult a medical professional. It is important to make sure that one's health can withstand the exercise and diet, especially for those who have recently been ill or undergone a surgical procedure.