Six Tips for Flatter Abs This Summer
Like Bigfoot or the The Loch Ness Monster, perfect washboard abs seem mythical in nature. They’re often talked about but rarely witnessed.
Nonetheless, most of us are on a perpetual mission to flatten and define our abs. So, what does it take to finish the mission once and for all?
From watching what you eat to turning out hundreds of crunches each day, there are plenty of things widely believed to help flatten the tummy. Unfortunately, most are either mythical legends like the creatures above, difficult to follow, or simply take too long.
The good news is, there are some lesser known ab flattening tips that are easy to implement and just plain work. Curious? Here’s a look at some simple yet powerful tips to begin sculpting the abs you’ve always desired starting today!
Ab Tip #1 – Focus on Body Exercises
A lot of people make the common mistake of isolating the abs by getting on the floor and performing hundreds of crunches. However, the abs should be viewed as part of a 360-degree core. In order to strengthen the core, you must develop flexibility and strength around the core.
Pilates is an excellent exercise for doing exactly that. While it focuses on the core, Pilates doesn’t isolate the abs specifically. In addition to your abs, it works your arms, legs, glutes, and back muscles as well.
Crunches will work at first, but before long you’ll need to progress into other exercises to work out your abs in full. Unlike crunches, which only focus on the top layer of abdominal muscle, Pilates focuses on the side abdominals and the transversus abdominis as well.
What’s that? Great question.
The transversus abdominis is the body’s deepest abdominal muscle, so if you’re not working it out, all those crunches might as well be in vain. The key is envisioning your core in 3-D and working out the middle, the back, and the sides.
Some effective Pilates exercises proven to take care of all of these areas include:
- Leg Lowers
- Seated Rotations
Think whole-body and you’ll see whole-body results, including your abs.
Ab Tip #2 – Work on Your Posture
Poor posture affects millions of people. Take a look around your office or anywhere else and you’ll see countless people walking with their hearts behind their shoulders and bodies behind their ears. Not only does this often result in pain and discomfort in older ears, but slouching also results in pooching stomachs.
When your chest is up and your shoulders are back, your abs will naturally pull themselves in. You’ll also feel more alert, experience a boost in energy, and improve your breathing and lung capacity. In other words, you’ll look and feel better without any exercises or stimulants at all.
For better posture, make sure your ears are aligned with your shoulders while standing. Your knees should be over your ankles, your hips over your knees, and your shoulders over your hips as well.
To better explain it, your shoulders should be open not closed. Rather than resembling a shirt on a hook, they should open up and out like a shirt on a hanger.
By improving your posture and simply walking tall and proud, you can look a lot leaner without doing a single crunch or ab exercise.
Ab Tip #3 – Be Mindful of Your Diet
If you’re fighting the battle of the bulge and have abdominal fat, you can have strong abs and great posture, but flat abs or a six-pack will still elude you.
You need to adjust your diet and amp up your energy, which is a nice way of saying you need to munch less and move more. It’s simply a game of arithmetic. You need to burn more calories than you’re taking in.
Unfortunately, fat tends to accumulate around the abs. No matter how many ab exercises some people do, they just can’t get rid of the last fat layer. Eating a nutritious, low-calorie diet is the best way to solve this all too common issue. Start with these 3 healthy dinner recipes.
Ab Tip #4 – Keep It Simple
Straps, bands, stability balls, and the like aren’t necessary for flat abs. Props like these are great and may help you take your workouts to another level or simply mix up your routine, but they’re not must-have items to achieve your fitness goals.
You don’t need gimmicks or an expensive gym membership. You don’t even need sneakers or workout gear.
You can strengthen your abs while walking your dog at the park, raking leaves, or doing anything else for that matter simply by standing up straight.
Ab Tip #5 – Slow Down
There’s no such thing as a fast fix when it comes to flat abs. A supposed “quick fix” simply won’t work, and if it does, the results won’t last.
Instead of sprinting towards the finish, keep the goal in mind and plan on progressing slowly and steadily. Most people suffer setbacks or experience roadblocks along the way. Your flat abs will only develop over time with consistency.
Tip #6 – Be Realistic
While you shouldn’t use it as an excuse to forget about achieving a strong, firm midsection and flat abs, your genes do help dictate your body and the way you look. For better or worse, chances are high you’ll inherit your dad’s curly brown hair or your mom’s cheek bones. The same goes for the abs and other body parts.
Even some thin people have a hard time getting washboard abs. Their bodies are genetically predisposed to keeping an extra layer of fat over the abdominal muscles.
Once again, you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to neglect your appearance. However, it does mean you should be realistic with your expectations.
Not everyone can have the abs of an Olympic gymnast, but you’ll never tighten up your midsection by sitting on the sidelines with your butt on the couch instead of a gym mat. So, use these tips to get your booty moving and give yourself a fighting chance!