How to get flat abs is hands down the number 1 question I get asked regarding fitness. Often times people tell me that they are pretty happy with their overall shape they just need an exercise to burn off that stubborn fat around the middle. So what is the secret to flat abs? The secret is that there is no single exercise that will burn off that stubborn belly fat read on to learn what works!
Flat Abs Start in the Kitchen
Yep there is no way around it if you want to have a a sexy midsection you have to start with a healthy diet. The secret to great abs is a low body fat percentage and while exercise is great for burning calories and sculpting healthy muscle it is difficult if not impossible to out exercise a poor diet. So if you are already working out and not getting the results you want this is the place to start.
1) Know your numbers- Calculating your numbers is a must. It is not only helpful when you are just getting started (makes it easy to plan your meals) but it is essential when you are trying to lose those last stubborn pounds. How else will you know how many calories you can eat in a day and still lose weight. Personally I use a gadget called the Bodybugg which you can purchase from 24hr Fitness but there are also tons of free calculators on the internet you can use to figure this out as well. For a more in depth discussion check out my blog post: Burning Fat and Getting Lean Without the Hype.
2) Keep a food diary- Yes I know it is a pain but it is the best way to keep yourself honest. Record every bite and then compare your total calorie consumption with your daily calorie burn. If you do this for a few weeks I bet you will see some patterns. If you want to take it a step further keep a food mood journal where you record the situation and how you are feeling before and after eating this is a great way to identify triggers. From my personal experience just being aware makes a HUGE difference.
3) Eat Clean- There is a lot of hype about the dangers of the food industry and how they are putting chemicals into our food that make you over eat. Now I am no expert so I cannot say whether that is true or not but I see no problem with eating as naturally as possible the less chemicals in our food the better. Try to eat as much of your food as possible from the freshest ingredients and avoid highly processed food at all costs. Second if you can afford to eat organic do so it certainly can’t hurt (Be aware though that organic is kind of a fuzzy term so don’t believe everything you read on the label I will do a future post on reading food labels and what marketing companies can get a way with so keep an eye out for that). For some more ideas on eating clean check out this post: 5 Tips to Eat Clean.
Let’s Get Physical- You Cannot Spot Reduce!
This is the biggest myth of all and there are tons of ab gadgets on the market that perpetuate it. Don’t waste your money they do not work! I mean lets face it if all it took was doing some crunches everyone would have a six pack. I know I would. So what does work?
Full Body Exercise and cardio to burn fat. Like I said body fat is what is keeping you from having great abs so let’s get rid of it. The best way to get there is to follow a complete exercise program that includes cardio, strength training, and yes ab work. Just know that there is NO ab exercise in the world that will give you six pack on its own (unless you are already extremely lean). So stop wasting your time and money on ab gadgets and crunches and follow a balanced plan instead.
My Favorite Exercises for Great Abs
1) Kickboxing- Is great for great abs because it is cardio so it burns fat, and it has a lot of rotation and is full body which means you are working your abs while you are doing your cardio. I love it. The workout I am doing now is: Turbo Fire.
2) Strength Training– Is great for building lean muscle which burns fat at rest. What to look for? Compound movements ideally working your upper body and lower body at the same time doing so forces you to work your core. This way you get the biggest results in the shortest amount of time. The Workout I am doing is: Chalean Extreme.
3)Ab Exercises- I personally love planks, side planks and mountain climbers to work my abs. I also use a stability ball to really challenge my core while I do crunches and even when I am just sitting at my computer. The truth is any ab routine will work just know that the abs are like any other muscle so you only need to train them a few days a week and they need recovery. So forget about doing crazy things like 500 crunches a day they won’t do you any good. And just to let you in on a secret if you can do 500 crunches in one sitting you probably aren’t doing them properly and are using momentum instead of the actual muscle and that will not give you great abs. I don’t follow a special ab program each of the above workouts has an ab component built in.
So there you have it that is the secret to great abs a healthy diet and a good fitness program. It takes work and discipline but if you set your mind to it YOU can achieve it!
If you want a complete home workout program that focuses on abs you can check out : Rev Abs.
If you need help , want support and accountability contact me I’d love to be your free coach!
To your health,