So you’ve decided to compete in your first physique competition or wish to, yet you don’t know how to prepare. It is only natural to be nervous, but with right preparations and mindset you will be able to stand out from the rest. Your main concern should be your abdominals, as this is the most difficult area to condition for most people. The correct way of strengthening your abs will be explained in the paragraphs below.
Of course, if you haven’t already you will need to cut any extra fat on your body. A healthy diet and exercise will do just this. That abs are the part of the body people look at first. It is a fact that you will be judged by the condition of your abs, but if your body doesn’t qualify then the abs obviously won’t matter. It’s best to consult with an experienced female physique competition trainer to get you ready for the competition. The right personal trainer (me) will tell you the right foods to eat, the best exercises for cutting fat and building abs.
4 Best Ab Exercises
The key to achieving well-conditioned abs is to focus on the different regions and directionality of contraction of the abdominal muscles.
1. Abdominal Vacuum
An overlooked abdominal carving secret is the stomach vacuum. It’s executed by sucking in the stomach, holding while still breathing, and then repeat. Doing the vacuum will give you better control of the abdominal muscles and shrink the waist. 10 reps a day holding in your stomach, trying to create a cavern, exposing the ribs. Try to work up to holding one minute. Also between each set of other abdominal exercises.
2. Hanging Leg Raise
I love this exercise and all my new clients hate it. Until their abs get stronger. I prefer to use the arm straps on the pull up bar instead of holding with the hands. 3 sets of 20, try to touch your knees to your elbows.
3. Pelvic Tilts
It’s good to train the lower abs earlier in the abdominal workout, as they are a thinner muscle than the upper half and require a bit more training.
To isolate the lower abs, lie on your back with your legs pointed straight up at a 90 degree angle. Pull back with your lower abdominal while thrusting the hips up for a short movement, just 1-2 inches. 3 sets of 20.
When training for competition, it’s best to isolate the upper abs with weight. This will add thickness and depth to the upper abdominal, creating that coveted “6 pack”. 3 sets of 20, 15-20 if using added weight.
These 4 abdominal exercises are my favorite choices for contest prep. Well developed abs are a great way to get the upper hand in a female figure competition. Of course, working with me or one of my Los Angeles personal trainers will be much more effective considering our experience in training figure and bikini competitors. Be sure to work hard, work smart, and never give up to come out victorious in competition.
Giannci: 1st runner up, 2010 NPC Musclecontest Bikini
(Hanna’s Swedish – it’s a language thing)
“The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent.”