Do you constantly see fit physiques on your social media feed? Do you ever wonder what it takes to achieve Instagram-worthy glutes and abs? If so, you’re not alone. With summer right around the corner, we all want to look our best whether we’re at the pool, on the beach or on a patio. And with the #fitspo hashtag taking over both Instagram and Tik Tok, it’s hard not to be influenced or inspired. With that said, we thought it would be a good idea to come clean on what it takes to achieve Instagram-worthy glutes and abs at any age.
Here’s what we know:
Your genetics play a role
You would be surprised to learn that your ability to achieve a perky round butt and chiseled abs has a lot to do with your genetics. You can definitely make improvements, but you need to be realistic. Basically, you can thank your parents for the shape of your glutes! Also, not everyone is able to achieve a six-pack of abs. With that said, there is always room for improvement with some hard work, discipline and the right plan.
You must eat!
To add muscle to your glutes, you need to eat a surplus of calories and ensure you are getting enough protein (based on your body weight). Calories should come from nutrient dense sources to avoid gaining body fat. Also, you will want to increase calories slowly.
When it comes to abdominals, they’re definitely made in the kitchen. A diet that is high in protein and low in sugar, alcohol and unhealthy fats is key. You may even need to drop carbs altogether. This really depends on your body type and metabolism.
To build muscle in any area, you must do resistance training. If you want to increase the size of your glutes (for example), start with 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps and focus on doing a minimum of two leg/glute workouts per week. Whatever area you want to grow, you must focus on. Incorporate compound movements such as: squats, lunges, bridges, hip thrusts and deadlifts. Also, don’t forget your hamstrings. They attach at various points near the glutes, so it’s important to work them as well. Do exercises such as stiff legged deadlifts, good mornings, hamstring ball roll ins, lying leg curls and seated leg curls.
Abs are made in the kitchen
When it comes to getting abs or a flat stomach, you must pay close attention to what you’re eating. Start with an elimination diet by avoiding gluten, wheat, sugar, alcohol and dairy to get a baseline. These foods are inflammatory so they could prevent you from seeing your six-pack. Slowly integrate low-glycemic carbs back into your diet and see how you look and feel. Some examples include: vegetables, oats, brown rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes.
Also, make sure to include protein in every meal and eat every 3-4 hours. This will help you to stay full longer and build/maintain muscle mass. Drink plenty of water (2-3 litres) per day to prevent water retention/bloating. You may want to try fasting and nutritional cleansing to accelerate results. Also, watch your sodium intake and make sure you are getting enough fibre so that you are eliminating properly.
Vary up your equipment
To further isolate your glutes and make workouts more fun, you can add a booty band. The rubber bands work well around your ankles and the thicker fabric loop bands are great for above the knees as they don’t roll up. They come in different strengths/levels of resistance. We love these ones!
Engage your core
Focus on engaging your core while working other muscle groups. To strengthen all parts of your abdominals, include: leg lowers, crunches, planks and twisting movements. To increase intensity, add resistance.
Hire a coach
To achieve the best results, you must push yourself, execute proper technique, and perhaps, hire a coach for accountability. It can be helpful to work with a qualified trainer to get past a plateau or to get a customized plan based on your specific goals. It’s important to change up what you’re doing often to keep your body progressing. If you need some guidance, check out http://www.laurajacksonfitness.com
Use cardio with caution
Adding in 20-30 minutes of cardio daily (preferably in the a.m. on an empty stomach) can accelerate fat loss. But use this strategy with caution. If you do too much cardio and you don’t lift weights or eat enough protein, it can have the opposite effect. Your body adapts to cardio quickly, which means you have to do more of it to achieve the same result. Plus, you may lose some of your hard earned muscle. Here’s a tip: mix steady state cardio with hiit workouts to prevent a plateau and rev up your metabolism.
It’s important to know there’s no such thing as spot reduction. So the best advice is to follow a clean diet, workout 5-6 days per week and eventually you should lose the fluff and achieve perkier glutes and a nice stomach.