When people hit the gym for doing legs and abs workout, they usually work out by doing cardio wishing to burn more calories. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. You see a treadmill there or some spinner bikes and you just follow what comes naturally. Just get on one of those machines and put in 30 minutes to an hour of sweating, huffing and puffing, and you end up calling it a day. That’s how most people work out at the gym.
Alternatively, some people would see some free weights or a rack and they start pumping iron. They benefit tremendously although this takes quite a bit more effort. When you work out by putting a lot of stress and pressure on your muscles, you actually burn calorie on two levels. When you are in the middle of your workout, you are burning calorie because your blood is pumping, you are breathing very quickly. You’re probably also sweating. Your body heat’s up and there are all sorts of biochemical changes happening in your body. All sorts of hormones are being released. All these burn calories but the benefits don’t end there. In fact, you burn calories long after you leave the gym. As your muscles repair themselves, this requires quite a bit of energy to pull off.
No wonder, a lot of people prefer resistance or weight training compared to cardio. Unfortunately, doing legs and abs workouts tend to get overlooked. People tend to treat this as an afterthought. In fact, a lot of individuals would often add ab workouts when they have the time, which is usually never. This really is too bad because if you devote at least one day of the week to abs workouts, you would have a lot to show for your gym time. Seriously. You can pump up your upper body but it would probably take a few weeks, if not months, for you to get something you can show off. Not so with ab workouts. Here are five great reasons why you need to start working out this part of your body:
Reason #1: Great way to keep that gut size down.
If you have a big gut or you’ve been storing a lot of fat in your buttocks or thighs, doing abs workout can trim you down very quickly. At the very least, if you are female, you would look more voluptuous because your tummy would get flatter. This doesn’t necessarily mean that all that fat or that spare tire around your midsection has somehow evaporated overnight. That will happen but it takes more time. Instead, your gut starts to shrink because the main reason why your belly is distended is that of the soft muscle making up your abdominal wall. If you are to put a lot of strain and pressure on that part of your body, it tightens up and it starts losing mass. Again, the fat hasn’t gone away but at least the fat has shifted into a flatter form and this makes your gut look smaller.
Reason #2: Burn calories through cardio when you do abs workouts.
When you’re doing abs workouts, you are pumping a lot of blood, you’re sweating, all sorts of hormones are being released in your system. This all works to increase your body temperature and as a result, you burn up a lot of calories. This is good news. Ab workouts are not much different from other types of workouts. Forget about everything you’ve read or heard. When you work out your abs, you’re still working out. This is the real deal.
Reason #3: Burn calories through tissue repair
Not only do you actively burn calorie when you’re in the middle of your abs workout, but you also burn calories when your body is repairing itself. Make no mistake about it. When you’re doing sit-ups, crunches or other ab workouts, you’re putting a lot of stress, pressure and strain on these muscles. All sorts of millions of microscopic tears break out all over your abdominal muscle mass. These need to be repaired and your body burns up quite a bit of calorie repairing this tissue throughout the day. This is the great thing about abs workout. You’re not only burning up calories while you’re at the gym but you’re burning up pretty much round the clock.
Reason #4: Abs workouts don’t have to take time
If you’ve ever done ab workouts, you know that oftentimes you view this as “extra” exercise. In other words, you don’t really put that much time into it. Still, when you feel your midsection, you notice that it gets tighter despite the fact that you haven’t really put too much effort into it. This really highlights the fact that you can work out this part of your body without having to invest a tremendous amount of time. You can choose to focus on only a few muscle groups and still end up in a good place.
Reason #5: Get easy-to-see results by working out this part of your body.
Like is said above, working out other parts of your body or working out generally through cardio is probably going to take some time for you to see physical results. Not so with abs. In fact, if you just work in a focused and concentrated way on your abs for a whole week, you can bet that you would see or feel the results in the coming weeks. That’s how effective it is. So, if you’re looking for quick and easy results, do abs workouts. They definitely are worth the time. In fact, on a pound-per-pound and second-by-second basis, abs exercise produce much better results. It is no surprise that a lot of athletes keep doing abs workout as a key part of their routine. Abs exercises lead to greater calorie burn, increased stamina and other amazing benefits. If you don’t have much time, focus on abs workouts and you will be just fine.
Before going any further regarding legs workout, Let’s get one thing clear. Most Americans do not have the luxury of time. We have all sorts of things that we have to take care of. There are many things that worry us. As a result, even our downtimes are very stressful because we’re always in front of a screen or always checking out all sorts of mobile devices. It’s a mess. And if you realize that you need to work out, it’s really going to be very hard to find the time. The good news is if you are looking for one type of workout that would enable you to maximize your time leg exercises no matter what your circumstances are, is it? Seriously. When you do legs workout the right way, you can save a lot of time, maximize the value of your workout time, and burn a lot of calories. I know that sounds too good to be true because it seems like some sort of win-win-win situation, but it is all too real. However, to break this down for you, let me step you through a regular leg workout.
If you’re working out regularly, you know that it is a hassle. A typical legs workout regimen requires you getting on one machine after another as you work on different parts of your muscles. This should not be a surprise because your legs are actually the biggest muscle group in your body. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of parts that you need to put pressure on. You have to keep working on a sustained basis. Since there are lots of machines that you have to go through, it is not shocking to find yourself in a line. I’ve lined up at several machines at my gym especially during rush hour. Even if you were to approach the different muscle parts and their associated machines, you might still be faced with a line. If this isn’t troubling enough, the longer you’re on a machine, the more you risk injury. If you are shooting for the duration and you’re just basically camping on a machine doing legs workout, you run the risk of injuring your hamstring, pulling a muscle or putting off-balanced pressure on a tendon. All sorts of problems can pop up. Unfortunately, this is not the worst of it. Do you want to know what the worst is? If you don’t have much time, you might not even do a thorough job. You went through all this hassle and have very little to show for it. It can get frustrating very quickly.
If you’re like most people who work out at the gym, you should know full well that legs workout is still worth it. Why? If you work out this part of your body, you enjoy a higher overall calorie burn rate. In fact, other parts of your body don’t even come close. You can work on your chest but believe me, on a calorie-per-calorie basis, you would be better off with workouts. You also get a fairly heavy workout despite everything. You might not do a thorough job but compare to other parts of your body, you get a nice heavy workout and this leads to greater weight loss if that is your number one goal. Still, you have to navigate the hassles. How do you get out from under the scheduling issues if you don’t have time?.
The Good News.
The good is you can use high-intensity interval training or HIIT. This is the answer to your question. First of all, you don’t have to engage in the most complicated and tiresome exercise. You can select the most basic machine to do the most basic routine. You can even focus on only a few parts of your overall leg muscle group. And the best part to all of this, you don’t have to take much time. That’s right. You can give yourself as little as five minutes and still have amazing legs after a couple of weeks. How does this work? Budget yourself a small amount of time, let’s say, 10 minutes. You then chop up that 10 minutes into equal parts. You can do five two-minute blocks. You can do two five-minute blocks. It doesn’t really matter. The key here is when you are working out, the time blocks should be short enough for you to be able to push yourself to the limit. What is your benchmark? It’s not the weight. It’s not the number of repetitions. Instead, it’s your exhaustion level. Do as many reps as quickly as possible until you almost tire out within the fixed time you give yourself. Once that time is up, you rest completely. You don’t slow down, you don’t operate at half speed. You rest completely. You go back to zero. Once that time is up, you go back to that high level of intensity and you keep repeating this until you’re finished with those time blocks. Believe me, 15 minutes is plenty if you are operating at peak intensity. Again, the key here is intensity. Keep repeating this until you’re done with the time duration. You might be thinking that your five-minute budget is too short. Let me tell you. If you do this right, you would think that it’s actually an eternity. The key here is to just push yourself to the limit. Keep at it until you almost have nothing left to give. Also, since weight is not the issue, you can start at a very low rate. You can even set the machine at five pounds and that would be plenty. A lot of people who are doing duration workouts or standard legs workout would laugh at you. But believe me, even at that low weight setting, you can still have much better ones than them after you stick to your routine consistently. The bottom line is that your workouts, when done properly through HIIT, enable you to look better, feel better and weigh less. Now, isn’t that awesome to workout your legs?