“You have to shock it to rock it”
That is the fitness mantra of Kira Stokes and if you have seen the fitness dynamo, you know she speaks the truth. Kira, the co-creator of Revolve’s RIP and Body rides, is famous for her hard-core workouts and chiseled body, particularly her beyond six-pack abs.
Kira did not get her abs overnight nor did she get them by just doing crunches and eating whatever she wants. A believer in “you have to practice what you preach,” Kira pushes herself just as hard as she pushes her students and A-list personal training clients.
Read below for Kira’s tips, including her own diet secrets and stay tuned for four ab exercises you should start doing today.
Kira’s 6 Tips for a 6 Pack
TIP #1: Cross-Train Your Core. You have to work your abs in a variety of ways: static isometric holds, seated and standing core work and dynamic movements. Relying solely on old-fashioned crunches is not the secret to a six-pack. Change your routine to create change in your midsection.
TIP #2: Mind Your Muscle. Do not let your mind wander while performing abdominal exercises. Concentrate on your core and visualize the contractions happening in your rectus abdominis with each rep you perform.
TIP #3: Use Ab Exercises as Your Fillers. There’s never a time at the gym when I’m standing still. I do some form of abdominal work in between every exercise. Your abs are endurance muscles, which means they recover quickly. You can work them every day but should, of course, vary both the intensity to which you work them and the exercises performed.
TIP #4: Work Your Abs at Home. Drop down and do a plank during a commercial break while you’re watching TV. Do a few c-curves and planks before you go to bed. Every little bit counts.
TIP #5: Use Your Core 24/7. Your core is the powerhouse of your body. Engage it while you’re running, sitting at work, spinning, doing lunges – all the time. In order to perform any exercise or move correctly and safely, you must engage your core. Think, “navel to the spine all the time.”
TIP #6: Abs are Made in the Kitchen. It’s the combination of diet and hard work that allows a six-pack to shine through. All the sweat in the world means nothing if you sabotage your efforts with the wrong food choices.
Kira’s Top 4 Nutrition Tips:
TIP #1: Eat consistently throughout the day to keep your metabolism revved
TIP #2: When choosing complex carbs, stick to non-processed ones like oatmeal, quinoa and farro.
TIP #3: Follow your workout with a protein shake. My go-to shake is Vega Sport Performance protein powder mixed with half almond milk and half water, chia seeds and a few raspberries, strawberries and blueberries.
TIP #4: Eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper so that you fuel yourself for a day of activity, not a night of rest. Stick to lean protein and veggies at night.