A lean physique with 6 pack abs is ideal, but there are only so many different ways, methods and programs to choose from.

Want a surefire way to get that stomach you’ve been dreaming about?

Check out these 5 top ways to build abs:

1. Don’t Overload On Crunches

Popular belief states that you only have to do sit-ups and crunches to work your way through fab abs, but this isn’t the case.

Exercising your core works just the same as abdominal crunches do- they work the lower spine, the lower back and your hips. If you want to get lean abs, then it’s a matter of foregoing sit-ups (which only keep your spine from rounding) and working to get a stronger core.

Substitute crunch reps for core exercises such as the plank, rollouts, the side plank, hollow body holds, mountain climber and push-ups. Moreover, it’s best to do them right at the beginning of your workout as opposed to the end in order to get the best strength gain.

Instead of doing crunches, work on your core to keep your overall strength up for heavier weights, which in turn should burn more calories.

2. Work All Your Muscle Groups

Do you know that the muscle is the body’s most active component in torching fat? The contraction in muscles naturally burn calories. In the same vein, doing HIIT, or high intensity exercises, weight lifting and resistance training breaks down your muscle fibers, which is actually a good thing.

Fitness experts say that your muscles will need a constant cycle of building, tearing down and repairing muscle fibers so they can get stronger. Therefore, it makes total sense to start rebuilding everything from the ground up, even those legs!

The smart approach is to train the whole body and all its muscle groups every other day. This gives you a much-needed boost in metabolism all week even though you’re working out only 3 to 4 times.

3. Concentrate On Planks

The plank is a very useful move for working on your abs. There’s plenty of variations you can try if it seems too boring. Holding a push-up position using your hands and forearms in a stationary manner doesn’t seem very exciting, but it works very well when you’re aiming for washboard abs.

The good thing about plank exercises is that it can be easy or you can make it more challenging. Moreover, it’s considered a core exercise that allows you to push further and add more weight to your lifts.

Doing the basic plank is easy, and here are some tips to remember. One, focus on keeping your spine straight while simultaneously squeezing your glutes and core for maximum results. As easy as it looks, simply resting your elbows and hands won’t give you killer abs or a lean body.

4. Mind Your Diet

Adding more protein to your diet will give you a much-needed boost for training your abs. By itself, the macronutrient has remarkable fat-burning properties and is an important building block for lean muscles. Get the leanest protein you can find as it boasts the highest thermogenic effect among its group.

Protein is also one of the hardest macronutrient to break down. Your body will try to increase its metabolic rate and burn calories in order to break it down and digest it.

Healthy fats, including mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats are the best ones to eat if you want flat abs. Getting more of these will naturally keep your insulin levels in check, which is key to losing belly fat. Olive oil, fish oil, nut butter and raw nuts are all good examples of healthy fat.

Look for supplements too that can help you get more nutrients into your diet (check out Vital Reds at https://truehealthdiary.com/vital-reds) and protein supplements too like bars and powders. Mix and match lean protein with carbs, healthy fat, veggies, minerals and fiber to ensure your body is healthy and able to perform well.

5. Stay Hydrated

One of the most overlooked aspect of health, including building a lean, muscled body is staying hydrated. Drinking water gives you many benefits, including temperature regulation, waste removal and others. In terms of fitness, managing your water level will keep your metabolism up and burning belly fat in a continuous manner.

In several studies, it was found that drinking water can increase energy expenditure by up to 24 percent for an hour. In others, staying well-hydrated kept appetite levels low and increased the effectivity of weight loss programs. So make sure you’re getting yours by maintaining 1 to 2 liters or the recommended 8 glasses of fluids a day.