‘Excuse me. What do I need to do to get a flat stomach?’
This was a question I was asked only the other day by a group of three 25-40 year old women in a gym and is one of the questions us Personal Trainers get the most from the female half of the population along with ‘How do I tone the backs of my arms?’ and ‘What do I need to do to get a good bum/legs?’.
Well it’s a good question and the answer isn’t actually that complicated, just commonly misunderstood.
Sit ups ’till you drop
Let’s get one thing straight – doing hundreds and hundreds of sit ups and nothing else will NOT get you the type of midsection of a Victoria Secret model. Yes you heard me right. This is a myth that has plagued the fitness world for far too long so let’s put it under a rock and never speak about it again.
Two Pronged Attack
Getting a flat, toned stomach is going to need two things:
- Lose fat around the abdominal area
- Build lean muscle in the abdominals and obliques
Basically, the most important thing for most people is to LOSE FAT around the abdominal area. That’s right, you heard me. Lose the fat and what else is stopping you from having a flatter stomach? Exactly, nothing!
Then, building up muscle in the abdominals and obliques (Side muscles) will allow that midsection to not only look flat, but toned too. However, should that pesky fat start to rear it’s ugly head again those muscles will soon lose visibility (They’ll still be there, just hidden under the fat) and the toned look will be gone.
So What’s The Plan?
As explained above, the most important part of getting a flat stomach is to lose the fat around that area. Now contrary to popular belief, you can’t actually specifically lose fat from one particular area by doing a load of exercises, our bodies don’t work like that. Therefore we have to go on a good exercise plan and combine that with a diet that puts us in a calorie deficit (Eating LESS calories than we are consuming) in order for that fat to disappear.
In combination with that, we need to be doing exercises that target the abdominals and the obliques to build them up so we can obtain that toned look. There are so many different combinations of ab workouts and exercises it would take me until I retire to list them all, but below I’ve detailed a good ab workout that you can do in the gym:
Adam’s Amazing Abs Circuit
Complete all exercises in succession with a 90 second rest in between each round. Compete for 3-5 rounds
- Plank (1 minute)
- 10-20 x Crunches (Put hands above the head, into the air to added resistance)
- 20-30 (Each side) Kettlebell Russian Twists
- 10-20 x Reverse Crunch
- 10-15 x Cable Rope Crunch
- 10-20 x TRX Pike
So now you should have all the knowledge you need to get yourself that flat, Abercrombie model stomach you all crave. Lose the fat around the midsection by following a good exercise programme and calorie controlled diet and build the muscles up by doing ab exercises.
Until next time.