9 Fast Ways to Get the Defined Abs You’ve Always Wanted

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Getting a flat stomach is hard work enough; getting full-on definition can be downright laborious. But it just got easier: These simple workout and diet tweaks will help you get the ab definition you want, faster.

Whoever said there are no shortcuts in life clearly didn’t know these six-pack strategies.Lean in.

Protein is critical for building muscle mass, and muscle burns more calories than body fat, even when you’re at rest. Your best sources are skinless chicken, turkey, fish, and lean cuts of meat, says Jamie Leskowitz, R.D., a nutritionist at the Columbia University Center for Metabolic and Weight Loss Surgery in New York City. As for protein supplements, they won’t do much if you’re not active—but a review of studies published in the journal Sports Medicine found that as the duration, frequency, and volume of resistance training increase, they can help bulk up muscle.

Do loaded abdominal work.

Adding resistance moves to your usual ab workout will thicken the abdominal wall and pop those abs. One of the most fast-working kinds is the hanging leg raise, says Toronto personal trainer and YouTube fitness guru Nate Bower. Hang from a pull-up bar and raise your legs, straight out, to 90 degrees (as shown). Activate your core muscles to bring them up. Alternatively, you can bring the knees up in a crunching motion, toward the core. Says Bower, “Resistance moves are so effective that you’ll want to do more…in a few days!”

Cut back on sweets.

Don’t act all surprised. “If you really want enviable abs, drop the sweets and focus on healthy eats,” Bower says. Cookies, cake, candy, and sugary drinks contain refined sugar that can cause blood sugar levels to spike, notes Connecticut-based nutritionist and personal trainer Sarajean Shakti Rudman. That triggers a rush of insulin, a hormone that encourages your liver to store fat around the waistline.

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