One of the most common questions I get is, How do I flatten my belly (abs, tummy, stomach, etc.)? What exercises should I do? What should I eat? I eat healthy; how come my abs aren’t showing? Below are 7 easy tips to flatten your abdominal area.
1. Exercise your abs from all angles – Traditional exercises like crunches and sit ups can strengthen your abs, but those do not work and tone your entire abdominal section either. We want to do exercises that hit our lower abs, hip flexors, and oblique muscles.
- For lower abs – any exercise that brings your legs up while working your abs can build lower abs. Leg lifts, knee lifts from a pull up bar, and a yoga “boat” pose are all examples.
- For hip flexors – isolated exercises that involve alternating leg movements can help build hip flexor strength. While laying on your back and lifting your legs in a scissor motion, you can work your hip flexors and abs at the same time.
- For obliques – side to side, or sideways motion exercises can work your oblique muscles. Bicycle exercises where you alternate right elbow to left knee, and left elbow to right knee is an example of something that can work your oblique muscles.
2. Work more than just your abs – doing ab workouts alone are not going to cut it. You’ll need to do some cardio activity several times per week, along with some exercises that work your entire body from head to toe.
3. Eat more fat – What??? Well, the right type of fat, that is. Avocados, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and sunflower oil are all examples of fats that can lower cholesterol and give you energy to help burn existing body fat. Stay away from hydrogenated oils like “vegetable oil” and trans fats – these include margarine, shortening, and products that list “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients list.
4. Eat less carbs – less refined carbs, that is. Get your carbohydrates from whole grains like rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and oats. Also look to whole fruits and vegetables for sugar. Stay away from products with added sugar such as soda, desserts, fruit drinks, high-sugar cereals, and other packaged food with added sugar. Also limit amounts of fruit juice, even 100% juice.
5. Follow a nutrition plan – don’t just assume you are eating healthy. When we are looking to lose fat around our mid-section we need to eat the right foods, and the right amounts of them. Being sure you have the right amount of fat, protein, and carbohydrates in your diet can make all the difference in the world. You might be eating “healthy” things right now, but if you are eating a lot of healthy carbs, and lacking protein or fat, you might find yourself hanging on to unwanted flab around the waistline.
6. Chew your food completely – don’t rush eating. Take your time to fully chew your food. This will help your body digest it easier.
7. Be 100% dedicated. You’ll hear some people say, “A flat stomach is 50% diet, and 50% exercise.” I don’t know about any calculations and percentages – I do know that it takes full dedication. Just “kind of exercising” and “sort of eating healthy” is not going to cut it if you want flat abs or a six pack. Commit to eating healthy daily. Make exercise a habit that you can do for the long term. Be all in. Make these habits your lifestyle – it might take a year of commitment (or longer) to get the abs of your dreams.
So eat healthy (with a plan), exercise all parts of your abs, do cardio exercises, work other parts of your body, and commit to healthy lifestyle. The abs, belly, stomach, six pack, flat tummy, or whatever you want to call it, will come.
For more tips and motivation Like on Facebook