The top way of flattening your stomach is a combination of strength training (with a extra focus on mid-section), cardiovascular exercise (short, hard workouts), and stable blood sugar (keeps you from adding additional fat and makes it easier for the body to use body fat for fuel).
- You must do some type of progressive strength training.
The primary function of the ab muscle is to flex your torso forward. However, additionally, there are muscles that flex your torso to the side and muscles that rotate your torso. Often times you see people on their ab roller every day doing hundreds of crunches or sit-ups.
If you wish to effectively strengthen your stomach you need to incorporate the following types of exercises:
1-2 forward flexion exercises (crunch, sit-up, etc.)?
1-2 side flexion exercises (side bends, side crunches, etc.)?
1-2 rotational exercises (trunk rotations, standing twists, etc.)?
The abs, are muscles just like any other and should be worked at most 3 times per week. You also want to ensure you are training them progressively, working them harder each time.
2. Use short, hard cardio workouts to increase metabolism
Cardio workouts are important because they CAN, if done correctly, increase your metabolism for 4-24 hours or more! This means you are less inclined to store any excess calories as body fat as they are more apt to be used by your elevated metabolism. Plus, you are more prone to burn off some excess body fat.
Below is a sample interval workout that can be achieved with just about any activity (walking, bicycling, swimming, stair climbing, etc.).
Warm up at easy pace 2-5 minutes à Perform 30 seconds of hard work (almost as hard as possible) à perform 1 minute of moderate work (recovery time-catch breath)à Repeat this process 6-10 times à Cool down at an easy pace for 2-5 minutes
3. Stable blood sugar is the key
And most importantly, you must stabilize your blood sugar! This is by far the most important factor in regards to burning away that excess body fat and keeping it off! To effectively stabilize your blood sugar you must feed your body frequently; like every 2-3 hours. The key is to give your body only what it needs at that time. Your body burns calories 24 hours a day, so, why would you only feed it a few times a day? Give your body the fuel it needs: vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, whole grains, and lean proteins (chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, etc.).
Many people are too hung up on how much fat is in food, or how healthy of a choice it is. Calories are calories and it doesn’t matter where they come from. If there’s extra… where’s it going? Yup, you guessed it… body fat!
This is not to imply that what you eat is not important because it is, it just doesn’t have that much of an effect in regards to fat loss. Try to make healthy choices whenever possible, but don’t feel like if you eat a cheeseburger it is guaranteed to be stored as fat.
4. Get assistance from a professional
Unfortunately, most people don’t know enough about the body, nutrition, or effective exercise to meet their health and fitness goals. Ask yourself this one question, “Am I happy with my current progress or condition?” If you’re not, you should look at getting assistance from a qualified personal fitness professional. Don’t depend on the information you get from magazines or from your local gym/ health club. A qualified Coquitlam Personal Trainer can help you achieve your health and fitness goals, and in less time than you would imagine.