4 Secrets to A Flat Stomach

Do you want a flat stomach? I don’t know a person who doesn’t!

People spend millions, if not billions of dollars, each year in the quest for a flat stomach. Right now there are about 200 or more ab exercise devices out there. There’s the ab do-it, the ab rock-it, the ab roller, the ab dolly, and so many more. You would think that with all of these amazing new products that most people would be walking around with that nice, lean mid-section they’ve always wanted. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Most, if not all of these products, will do little or nothing to flatten your stomach. And that’s because these exercise contraptions cannot eliminate the layer of fat that lies on top of your abs.

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In order to be successful at thinning your waistline you must have a basic under standing of how the ab muscles function and how your body burns fat. The first thing that needs to be understood is the difference between fat and muscle. Fat is excess calories and is primarily stored in layers on top of muscle tissue. Muscle is made up of fibers that contract or shorten to produce movement. Fat cannot turn into muscle and muscle cannot turn into fat! However, you can lose muscle and you can gain fat. That’s what happens to most people.

So if your goal is to thin your waist line and have a nice flat stomach, the first thing you need to do is decrease / eliminate the layers of fat that are on top of your abs. We all have a flat stomach; it’s just some of oar’s are covered by excess fat.

The most effective way of flattening your stomach is a combination of strength training (with a extra focus on mid-section), cardiovascular exercise (short, hard workouts), and stable blood sugar (keeps you from adding additional fat and makes it easier for the body to use body fat for fuel).

1. You must do some form of progressive strength training

The primary function of the ab muscle is to flex your torso forward. However, there are also muscles that flex your torso to the side and muscles that rotate your torso. Often times you see people on their ab roller every day doing hundreds of crunches or sit-ups.
If you want to effectively strengthen your stomach you need to incorporate the following types of exercises:
•1-2 forward flexion exercises (crunch, sit-up, etc.)
•1-2 side flexion exercises (side bends, side crunches, etc.)
•1-2 rotational exercises (trunk rotations, standing twists, etc.)

The abs, are muscles just like any other and should be worked at most 3 times per week. You also want to make sure you are training them progressively, working them harder each time.

2. Use short, hard cardio workouts to increase metabolism

Cardio workouts are important because they CAN, if done correctly, increase your metabolism for 4-24 hours or more! This means you are less likely to store any excess calories as body fat because they are more likely to be used by your elevated metabolism. Plus, you are more likely to burn off some excess body fat.

Below is a sample interval workout that can be done with just about any activity (walking, bicycling, swimming, stair climbing, etc.).

Warm up at easy pace 2-5 minutes, Perform 30 seconds of hard work (almost as hard as possible)  perform 1 minute of moderate work (recovery time-catch breath) Repeat this process 6-10 times Cool down at an easy pace for 2-5 minutes

3. Stable blood sugar is the key

And most importantly, you must stabilize your blood sugar! This is by far the most important factor when it comes to burning away that excess body fat and keeping it off! To effectively stabilize your blood sugar you must feed your body frequently; like every 2-3 hours. The key is to give your body only what it needs at that time. Your body burns calories 24 hours a day, so, why would you only feed it once or twice a day? Give your body the fuel it needs: vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, whole grains, and lean proteins (chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, etc.).

Many people are too hung up on how much fat is in food, or how healthy of a choice it is. Calories are calories and it doesn’t matter where they come from. If there’s extra… where’s it going? Yup, you guessed it… body fat!

This is not to say that what you eat is not important because it is, it just doesn’t have that much of an affect when it comes to fat loss. Try to make healthy choices whenever possible, but don’t feel like if you eat a cheeseburger it is guaranteed to be stored as fat.

4. Get the help of a professional

Unfortunately, most people don’t know enough about the human body, nutrition, or effective exercise to meet their health and fitness goals. Ask yourself this one question, “Am I happy with my current progress or condition?” If you’re not, you should consider getting the help of a qualified personal fitness professional. Don’t depend on the information you get from magazines or from your local gym/ health club. A qualified fitness professional can help you achieve your health and fitness goals, and in less time than you would imagine.

If you are serious about your health and fitness goals, and you are ready for that flat stomach, I recommend you start implementing the 4 strategies listed in this article. These 4 strategies can help you take control of your metabolism and burn off that excess body fat and having you looking and feeling great!

 

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The Best Stomach Exercises

It is only natural, most people want to look their best, and exercising their stomach muscles is usually a huge part of most fitness programs. If so much time and energy is going to be focused on this muscle group, it is a good idea to know what the best stomach exercises are. There are many resources available for finding the best stomach exercises, and plenty of people to say what they consider the best, so how can a person decide for themselves which truly are the best exercises for working their stomach muscles?

First of all it is important to note that the best stomach exercises are those that a person is willing to do. No matter how effective the exercise is, if a person isn’t going to do them consistently the exercise will not benefit that particular individual. It is also important to note that the best stomach exercises do not necessarily require equipment to perform them, although some machines and equipment may work quite well for some people.

When a person decides on a fitness program that includes stomach exercises, it is best to include stomach exercises that work the different parts of the stomach. If a person simply concentrates on one area of their stomach, there workout will not be as effective. The best stomach exercises, combine working the oblique, which are the side muscles, the lower abdominals, the mid section and also the upper section.

Some of the most popular stomach exercises are crunches. These are a very effective exercise and very convenient since they can be performed anywhere without any equipment. The next stomach exercise that is also very popular and goes along with the basic crunch is the side crunch, which works out the oblique.

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Some people consider the best stomach exercises to be included in a Pilate’s workout. The reason for this is because in Pilates, the whole focus is on the core of the body which is the abdominal, or stomach muscles. Every movement in a Pilate’s workout will work the stomach muscles either directly or indirectly. These exercises can be found on the internet, either the exercise itself or video’s that can be purchased.

Another good exercise that some fitness experts considers to be one of the best stomach exercises involves laying flat on your stomach, leg straight and then raising your body up using your arms as your hands are clasped together and keeping your body straight as if doing a pushup. Hold this position as long as you can stand. This is an excellent movement to strengthen the whole stomach.

Remember again though that just because one person may consider a specific exercise to be the best stomach exercise that does not necessarily mean it is the best for everyone. Each person’s body is different and will respond differently to certain movements. Any one serious about working on the abdominal muscles will find it most helpful to try several different stomach exercises and then determine which one they can both feel and see results with. If one exercise is simply too hard to do correctly, or does not feel like it has done anything for the muscle group worked, that exercise is clearly not the best and the person should find what works best for them.

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