The quest for abs is as insatiable as the need to finish your most recent Netflix binge. The only difference is that working on your abs is a lot harder than sitting through a season of your favorite show. But it doesn't have to feel impossible — it actually doesn't even have to be difficult. Think that's not true? Think again! Getting a tighter and toned core can be had with relative ease if you work hard and smart. Working hard comes from your effort and working smart comes from good advice. That's why we consulted with Kendall Wood, CSCS and coauthor of Core Fitness Solution, for the best tips to ensure you get great abs in a lot less time than you ever imagined. His secret for you to try right now? The diamond sit-up!
The diamond sit-up may sound like a dream come true, but it unfortunately doesn't come with any bling other than abs popping under your shirt and a stronger core.
How to do the Diamond Sit-Up
- Lie on your back and open your legs into a diamond shape (aka butterfly legs) with the soles of your feet pressed together and knees out wide. Extend the arms overhead.
- Inhale to curl the torso up and tap the floor in front of your feet to stretch your glutes a bit.
- Return to the starting position as slowly as possible and without using any arm momentum to swing your body. This counts as one rep.
This move should be done to failure, so do as many as you can without breaking form or causing any strain in your lower back. Adding this move to your regular core workout will yield results, but if you really want to kick it up a notch, you can also hold a very lightweight plate or dumbbell in your hands throughout the movement.
How to Eat For a Stronger Core
- Crafting a stronger, leaner core isn't something that happens overnight. You need to be diligent in the gym, but even more so when it come to your nutrition. Consider knocking down your intake of processed foods and sugary treats. Ingredients like ginseng, green algae, dandelion, and aloe have also been known to help flush toxins out of your system and give you're the boost you're looking for.
- Abs really are made in the kitchen. According to culinary nutritionist Keisha Luke, "Fiber-rich whole foods will help to regulate your body in propelling excess toxins out while maintaining proper gut health." All of this adds up to a healthier, more toned midsection. Shopping list: berries, dark leafy greens, and ground flax.
- Don't forget your protein. "Protein is essential for building muscle and an important component in helping to achieve abs because it helps to maintain energy levels, preventing overeating and weight gain," according to Luke. Shopping list: almonds, lean meats, and eggs.