Before we jump into the “how”, first let us discuss what we mean with the term “flat abs”. Typically flat abs are equated to a tight stomach, which isn’t necessarily the same thing as a having the washboard, or ripped, look. There might be some muscularity, but the general idea is to keep the abs and entire stomach area as small as possible while being tone. A lot of women have flat abs as a primary goal when working out.
So how do you get that particular look? Here are a few great ways you can try to help shape up while slimming down:
Five Tips for Flat Abs
- Add full body movements to your routine – While many people perform specialized abdominal exercises to bring out size and definition in a small area, full body exercises stress the entire core as it supports you. This way you work things from all sides. Pilates is one great way to do this or a cardio kickboxing program. For those people who life free weights, exercises like kettlebell swings, squats and clean and presses with higher reps can give you the same results in the pursuit of flat abs.
- Skip crunches – Instead of the standard crunches, leg raises, and other short motion exercises, try and focus on a core routine that uses a lot of plank motions and stability ball movements. Ideally you want to hit the entire core from front to back and side to side. Make sure you are using higher reps or even 30 to 60 second intervals for sets.
- Focus on posture – When you slouch your body or have bad alignment with your back and hips then your stomach will suffer. While most of this is a visual effect, that bad posture leads to regular relaxation in the core and abdominal muscles. One of the best ways to work on posture is through yoga. Another is to just be mindful and sit and stand more at attention with the stomach held in and slightly tense until it becomes a secondary action. If you are at work try and remember to fix your posture and tense up a bit every 30 minutes.
- Eat less – To get a set of truly flat abs you need to eliminate those layers of belly fat that stubbornly hang on. Eating less, particularly the excess sugars and carbs that help us gain the fat, is an important step to removing it. Of course some cardio wouldn’t hurt either to speed the process up! You might even try an appetite suppressant that helps boost your metabolism to burn more calories during the day.
- Be patient – Tightening the stomach up and getting flat abs is a combination of multiple items and it takes time. Being patient is important rather than getting frustrated and jumping on a fad diet that promises results. On that same note, be realistic. As long as you are making steady progress then you should be happy.