All those sit-ups and crutches while dreaming of the perfect abs might not actually be helping you.
That's according to one celebrity personal trainer known for putting the fierce in Elle McPherson.
The Daily Mail reports that according to Nicola Addison, founder of Eqvvs Training in London, the first step to getting the abs of your dreams is to pack on the weights.
1. Build Muscle
Addison says calories are burned at a faster rate in the muscles, and more calories burned equals a faster metabolism.
2. Try "Compound Workouts"
Next, work out multiple parts of your body during the workout. Don't just focus in one place -- like on the abs or the legs. Nicola calls this method compound workouts.
Oh the dreaded plank -- it does so much. Get yourself into plank position, hold, and repeat while constricting the abdominal muscles. This helps strengthen the muscle wall.
4. Your Diet
Finally, put down the ice cream. No amount of sit-ups will be effective if your healthy lifestyle doesn't translate to the kitchen as well. Ditch the refined sugars and carbs while upping your protein intake.
Related: The best workout for your zodiac sign
Best workout for your zodiac sign
Best workout for your zodiac sign
Aries: martial arts
Fiery Aries is independent, highly active, and she loves to win. Her ruling planet is Mars—the Roman god of war. Since she has a warrior spirit, this workout (think karate, aikido, tae kwon do, jujitsu, and kick-boxing) suits Aries perfectly—giving her strength, flexibility, speed, and the ability to defend herself.
Other workouts to try: competitive sports and interval training.
Taurus is the original gym rat. Since her sign rules the physical body and the senses, she knows how important it is to keep her body fit and feeling good. She has inherent inertia, meaning once she’s motion, she stays in motion. Since she can be a little bit stubborn, Taurus has to make the choice to get going—but after she does, nothing can stop her. For these reasons, a good weight-training program is excellent for her. She can always adapt it to suit her ever-evolving progress.
Other workouts to try: anything endurance-related, like long-distance running or jogging, cycling, and triathlons.
Gemini: group exercise classes
Social butterfly Gemini is high-energy and she loves to be around people. She can get distracted quickly, so the structure and variety of a group exercise class helps to keep her focused. If she can find an instructor who teaches her about fitness during the class, all the better—after all, Gemini loves to learn. The activity boosts her mood while helping her clear her mind and tone her body. (Win-win-win!)
The Cancer babe is ruled by the moon, AKA her emotions. She loves the mind-body connection that yoga offers her. It helps her to find her inner stability and balance her emotions, all while giving her a full-body workout. Plus, the meditative practice lets her feel perfectly in sync.
Other workouts to try: water aerobics and swimming.
Leo doesn’t always have the patience for the gym, but she knows that she needs to keep her heart and her body in tip-top shape. Her best solution? Play. Whether it’s with the dog, children, or on a sports team, Leo loves to have fun and act like a kid again. Any activity that feels like amusement instead of work will keep her motivated and healthy.
Other workouts to try: dancing, trampoline jumping, hula hooping, and ice skating.
The structure and exactitude of Pilates suits detail-oriented Virgo perfectly. Joseph Pilates (a Virgo rising!) designed this fitness method to strengthen and align the body, which suits Virgo just fine—efficiency is a must for her. The Virgo babe is highly intelligent, practical, and methodical. She loves this systematic workout because it gets results and helps her feel really good in her body.
Other workouts to try: yoga, weight lifting, and IntenSati.
Graceful Libra is ruled by the planet Venus, the Roman goddess of love, beauty, and relationships. She’s intelligent and yearns to feel balanced and healthy in her body. As dancing is lively, varied, social, and fun, it’s the perfect workout for the Libran sensibility. She would often rather forget that she is working out, so she especially loves that she can get caught up in the rhythm of the music. Dancing makes her feel totally alive, vibrant, and connected—score!
Other workouts to try: group exercise classes, tennis, any activity done with a partner, Pilates, and yoga.
Sultry Scorpio is intense and driven. She loves the feeling of working it, and Spinning lets her dig in to realize the full force of her power. (A fun and intense workout in a dark room? So Scorpio.) Plus, she can ride the waves of enthusiasm generated by a brilliant instructor. All-out exertion is good for her, as she wants to completely let go. As an added bonus, Scorpio rules the pelvis, and cycling is said to be well-suited to women seeking pelvic floor exercises.
Other workouts to try: pole dancing, belly dancing, yoga—especially Ashtanga or Kundalini—and (of course) sex.
Sagittarius is outdoors-loving and intelligent. She loves to challenge herself and explore the world, and jogging outside in nature keeps her in forward motion. The activity helps her use up her boundless energy, strengthen her body, and see new things. Don’t turn to the treadmill, however—there’s nothing a Sagitarrius hates more than to feel stuck. Bonus points: The endorphin high she gets from extended cardio activity matches her naturally optimistic attitude.
Other workouts to try: archery, hiking, horseback riding, skiing, and walking.
Capricorn the goat represents the climb to the top of the mountain—and that can translate literally into the perfect workout for these ambitious souls. Capricorn wants to be able to see the task ahead of her, and completing it feels super-satisfying. She’s not afraid of hard work, and she is always looking for a new achievement. Even better, each climb helps her build her physical strength and her self confidence.
Other workouts to try: hiking, weight training programs.
Aquarius is not afraid of being a little bit weird—she’s an outlier and a creative innovator. Above all else, she hates to be bored at the gym. Circus workouts or adult gymnastics suit her magical and transcendent personality just fine. She has a lot of stamina and perseverance, so she’s not afraid of diving into something demanding. Circus workouts help her build her strength and define her individuality while potentially also allowing her to work as part of a team, which she loves.
Other workouts to try: aerial yoga or silk dancing classes, trampoline, diving, ropes course, and wind surfing.
Mystical Pisces loves to be in the water—so swimming puts her right in her element. She has a meditative spirit, and enjoys the calming rhythm of doing laps. It helps her feel transcendent, which she loves, and the excellent full-body workout heightens her self awareness and keeps her centered. Also important? The Pisces babe is very sensual and can sometimes become overwhelmed by her senses, so being in the water helps her tune in to herself by blocking out distracting sights and sounds.
Other workouts to try: yoga, scuba diving or snorkeling, surfing, walking, and tai chi.