Expert says Six Packs Abs are Harder for Women, but not Unattainable

JLo Six Pack Abs, Self MagazineFor decades, we’ve watched infomercials and (more recently) YouTube videos of insanely buff men telling us how they achieved six pack abs, and how we can do it too. The one thing you may have noticed during all that time is that there aren’t too many women who flaunt the same muscular midsection. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of ladies out there who’d like to have one.

In a recent interview with the UK’s Grazia Daily News, Lee Mullins, a fitness expert, celebrity trainer and founder of Workshop Gymnasiam in London. Mullins said there’s been a surge of women lately who want to achieve a stellar six pack, and while he says it’s far from impossible to do so, he also explained why it’s more difficult for women than men to get a six pack.

Why Six Pack Abs are Harder for Women

Mullins said that most women find it more difficult to define their abdominal area due to female hormones. “Women naturally have more estrogen and less testosterone, which means they tend to have about 5% more body fat than men,” he said.

“However,” continued Mullins, “there are some women who are naturally lean in the abdominal area, which makes it easier to make their abdominals more visible.”

Why so many Women want a Six Pack

Traditionally, it’s always been men who felt the need to workout to the point their muscles are extremely well defined. Mullins says this new trend toward six pack abs for women can be blamed mostly on social media and “selfie-ready” websites like Instagram, where a click of the button allows everyone to show off their best physical qualities.

“Plus, with celebrities such as Karlie Kloss and Jennifer Lopez sharing pictures of their defined, strong abs,” he said, “more and more women are now after that sculpted physique.”

Mullins’ Recommended Exercises

Sit-ups are no longer considered a good way to work out the abdominals. While they contribute “a certain amount”, Mullins says there are many other exercises to better achieve a six pack.

“A combination of resistance exercises such as pull ups, deadlifts and bear crawls and high intensity interval training (or HIIT) are more effective at helping to define your abdominals, as these movements work lots of muscles and really activate your core,” explained the fitness expert.

“They also get your heart rate up, and so create an environment in your body to where you’re burning off any fat.”

He goes on to recommend hitting the gym “3-5 times a week”, but says working out alone isn’t enough. Women who are “eating the right foods, sleeping well and managing your stress levels” will find it easier to achieve six pack abs.

Right Diet to get  Six Pack Abs for Women

Because we’re dealing with the stomach area, Mullins says it’s important to avoid foods that are hard to digest, as well as those that contribute to hormonal imbalance. He says women will mostly want to cut out “highly processed foods and for most people, foods that are high in wheat, gluten and refined sugar… Excess sugar can spike your cortisol – the stress hormone – levels, which makes you hang on to weight around your midriff”. Too many carbs can also be a hindrance to six pack abs, causing the body to “work overtime.”

Dedication Key to Achieving a Six Pack

Although it may be more difficult for some women than others, based on their current physical condition and hormones, Mullins says absolutely every woman can have a six pack. However, dedicated management of diet, exercise, sleep and stress are paramount.

“It requires discipline by ensuring you eat clean and heathy foods most of the time and limit alcohol and other sugary foods, along with keeping an eye on your stress levels,” said Mullins.

And as for an expected time frame, he asserted that any woman who is already in decent physical shape, and remains dedicated to the cause, can see “incredible results in as little as 6-12 weeks”.

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