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Always dreamed of having perfectly flat abs? You can do it without hundreds of crunches each day. Getting abs is tougher than ever before with all the junk and processed foods at our fingertips.

3. Start Lifting Heavy weight

Since getting a flat stomach means burning up that extra body fat around the mid section, lifting weights becomes an advantage. Men and women alike who want a flat stomach should start lifting heavy weights to challenge the muscles to work as hard as possible. Using any combination of programs and exercises which target the whole body and all major muscle groups, the body will start burning fat.

Lifting heavy weights leads to more weight loss than cardio does . This is because after cleaning up your diet by cutting out processed foods, the body will start to drop weight accordingly. When weight is being lost, muscle mass will also be lost instead of fat, if the muscles don't have a reason to stay. “Use it or lose it” is all too true for the muscles in our bodies. By working the muscles, it forces the body to search for other sources of energy, working its way through sugar stores, and then on to fat.

Muscles also use more energy to sustain themselves when at rest and at work. This means that by lifting weights, the body will continue to burn the fat (hopefully off the abdomen), thinning that flabby layer hiding your abs.

4. Work on Core and Stability Movements

Rather than sit ups and crunches, use stability and whole core exercises. These are exercises which target the entire core , and use the muscles in a similar way to how they would function naturally. A crunch is hardly a natural movement, and isolates the rectus abdominis muscle, whereas a core exercise can work the entire back, deep abdominal muscles along with all the smaller stabilizing muscles. One of the most common, safe and effective core exercises is the plank .

The plank helps to reinforce the stabilizing muscles, and can be used to combat back pain safely . To perform it: lie face down on the floor, you may also use a mat. Lift the hips up off the floor and place all your weight onto your toes and elbows. All other body parts should be raised, and the body should be parallel to the floor. Go ahead and see how long you can hold that position. An athlete may be able to hold this position for 2 minutes or more, and a good objective for the everyday person is about 1 minute. Start with 10 seconds, and increase by 5 seconds each try.

Variations of planks: