5 Practical Tips For Getting Flat Abs

Having a flat stomach is often a major goal when people begin their workout plans. Achieving and maintaining toned, flat, abs, however, require more than just a strenuous abdominal workout. You will need a combination of diet, exercise and possibly lifestyle changes to achieve your goal of a flat belly.

Woman Flat Abs

1. Cardio is Key

Contrary to popular belief you can’t reduce a particular area of your body by working on that body part alone. If you want flat abs, you’re going to have to engage in high-intensity cardio to lose the fat that’s covering your abdominal muscles. Complete a cardio workout for an hour a day, six times a week, to get the weight off quickly and safely.

2. Choose the Right Abdominal Exercises

woman doing abs exercises

All abdominal workouts are not created equally. There are certain abs exercises that are better than others at working the core abdominal muscles.

A 2001 study by the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University ranked 13 abdominal exercises to determine which were the most effective.

The top five abdominal exercises were bicycle crunches, captain’s chair leg raise, exercise ball crunch, vertical leg crunch and the torso track. Combine two or more of the above exercises to get toned, flat, abs.

3. Eat More Fiber

Poor digestion, which causes excess gas and bloating, is often the cause of a bulging lower belly A high fiber diet will increase digestion and proper elimination keeping the lower belly looking flat. The USDA dietary fiber guidelines suggest a daily intake of 24 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams of fiber for men.

4. Eat More Protein

Protein Diet

Protein is a great way to build muscle and burn fat. Eating more lean protein will help you build muscle and lose weight faster, and that includes gaining flatter, more toned, abs.

Try adding more tuna, salmon, chicken breasts, and eggs to your diet – these foods are a great source of protein while still being a healthy addition to any diet.

5. Don’t Stress

Leading a stressful life will have a direct impact on the size of your belly. The stress hormone, cortisol, can cause excess fat to accumulate in your abdomen. So it’s a must that you find ways to de-stress your everyday life.

Try meditation, pursue a hobby or participate in an activity you love, but whatever you decide to do make sure it’s something that will significantly reduce your stress levels so you will have an easier time achieving your goal of having flat abs.

5 Abs Exercises to Add to Your Workout Routine

Exercise Ball Crunches

1. Exercise Ball Crunch

These are your standard crunches except they are on a exercise ball.

  1. Lay on the exercise ball, making sure it is in the middle of your back with your feet planted firmly on the floor.
  2. Place your hands lightly behind your ears and use your abdominal muscles to crunch up.
  3. Bring your shoulders up off of the ball and when you feel your muscles contract, return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat.

2. Straight Leg Crunches

Another modified crunches workout.

  1. Lay flat on your back with your legs extended straight out in front of you. You should look like a straight line.
  2. Place your hands behind your ears, and crunch up, bringing your shoulder blades off the ground.
  3. Return to the starting position without allowing your shoulders to completely touch the floor.
  4. Repeat

3. Oblique Crunches

This workout will tone and strengthen your obliques.

  1. Lay on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keeping your knees bent and together lay your legs flat on the ground to your right.
  3. Place your hands behind your ears, and crunch up, bringing your shoulder blades off the ground.
  4. Return to the starting position without allowing your shoulders to completely touch the floor.
  5. Repeat on the left.

4. Abdominal Leg Raises

Abdominal leg raises are a great way to work the lower abs.

Lay on your back with your legs extended out in front of you.

  1. Put your legs together, ankles touching.
  2. Place your arms on the floor alongside your torso.
  3. Press your lower back into the floor to prevent pain or injury.
  4. Slowly raise your legs off the floor until they form a 90-degree angle to your torso and are perpendicular to the floor.
  5. Keep your legs as straight as possible to really work your abs. Now slowly lower your legs, but don’t allow them to touch the floor.
  6. Repeat.

2. Pass the Ball

Pass the ball is a tough move, but great for working your entire core. All your abdominal muscles get worked with this move, and you will feel it later.

  1. Lay on a mat with your legs out in front of you and your arms stretched out over your head and the exercise ball placed between your feet.
  2. Next grip the ball with your feet and bring it up, as you reach the half way mark, crunch up bringing your shoulders and arms up and grab the ball.
  3. From there stretch out in the starting position, this time with the ball in your hands over your head and without your feet or hands touching the ground.
  4. Next repeat the move again bringing the ball back to the original starting position.
  5. That’s one rep. Repeat.