An intense cardio workout for 6-pack abs
The series on 'How to get six-pack abs' has been co-ordinated and photographed by Shameem Akthar, yoga instructor.
For more on Biki Bora's health and kick-boxing tips visithttp://bikiboxing.blogspot.com
Disclaimer:Kindly note that aiming for a six-pack presumes that you in good physical shape. Also, the regimen has to be tailored to individual needs for which you must work in tandem with your own trainer and dietician. This series only provides broad guidelines.
Image: Biki Bora, Muay Thai instructor and personal fitness trainer
Photographs: Shameem Akthar
- Get yourself checked for high blood pressure, heart troubles etc before starting any high-intensity workout, especially those that challenge your heart.
- Start with a low-intensity, short workout.
- Initially start with just a few minutes of a few cardio exercises: power walking, spot jogging. Then increase at a slow but steady pace (around 10 per cent every week) to work up to 15 to 20 minutes over a few weeks, increasing the length of the routine and the variety of exercises.
- Do a combination of four to five exercises. This takes the pressure off the knees and keeps your interest level high.
- Work with a trainer to ensure the workouts are regularly modified to challenge your muscles and to remove boredom.
- Even in simple exercises, learn to introduce variety. For instance, when spot jogging or jumping, learn to jump sideways to make it more challenging. You can also twist-jump later to intensify the challenge.
- Always do some power stretches before you start and cool down after a workout.
- Workout at least four times a week if you intend to get a six-pack.
Image: Skipping is a great way to get your heart pumping
Cardio workouts don't need expensive equipment
Cardio exercise is any exercise that challenges your heart and makes it pump vigorously. This sort of exercise not only makes your heart efficient during rest times, but aids weight loss and body toning. An intense bout of cardio exercise can burn 300 to 400 calories in an hour. The best part of any cardio exercise is that it does not need much equipment.
Though treadmills, stationary bikes and rowing machines are used in cardio workouts, they are not essential. You can choose more common and popular exercises like brisk or power walking, running, skipping, swimming, dancing, aerobics, spot walking, spot jogging, step-board aerobics etc.
Traditional skipping has different moves that keep the interest and playfulness quotient high. Similarly, while spot jumping you can keep increasing the height to which you reach with each jump. Or try frog jumping (seated hopping) to up the challenge.
Image: Spot jumping is fun and a great calorie burner
Boost stamina, but don't overdo it
However, you do need to take a few precautions while practicing cardio exercises. If you have weak knees you must be extra cautious. Jogging, step aerobics, stair climbing can be particularly harsh on the knees. Swimming would be a good alternative since that takes the pressure off the joints. For running you need to invest in good shoes that will cushion your heels and take the pressure off your knees.
Start with a few minutes initially and increase your stamina as you progress. Do interval training, by changing your routines.
You need to be able to work up a good sweat after a few weeks, spending at least 10 to 15 minutes of cardio as part of your overall workout. After that you need to keep intensifying and changing the routine, the moves and the duration to reach a new, higher level to get that six-pack!
Image: Keep intensifying, changing the routine to increase intensity