There is no one move or type of exercise that will get you the flat belly that you have been dreaming of. It will take a combination of cardio, core-work, weight lifting and a healthy nutritious diet to get you there. You will need to get your whole body in shape in order to see those tummy muscles. Rarely will you see someone who has a flat stomach who is a bit chubby everywhere else, because it takes a toned body with low body fat to have a flat stomach.
Flat stomach exercises will not only get you looking good; they are great for your health. They help reduce back pain, avoid injury, increase your endurance and reduce stress. If you are willing to put in the time, a longer time for some than other, you will eventually be able to get a better looking stomach.
Cardio for a Flat Stomach
There are two different approaches to cardio exercise. Both are effective if done correctly. It is better to exercise a way that you enjoy and will keep doing rather than forcing yourself to exercise a certain way. As long as you are putting the time in results will come. A tip to keeping it fun is mixing cardio up to have variety with your flat stomach exercises. Try adding variety into your routine to make sure that you stick to it, and sometimes it may even be something that you look forward to.
1. Low Intensity Cardio (or aerobic exercises)
These types of exercises are relatively low demand on your body. The reason these exercises are lower intensity is because the energy you demand matches what your body can supply. It is a great place for a beginner to start or someone who prefers to not push themselves too hard when it comes to cardio.
Some examples of low intensity cardio are hiking, jogging, biking, walking and rowing. All of these activities will burn fat just as effectively as any harder exercises. It does take around twice as long to burn the same amount of calories though. For example, you will burn the same amount of calories sprinting for five minutes as you will jogging for ten. If you want to compare how many calories a particular activity burns, use our calculator.
The great thing about the low intensity cardio, especially for beginners, is that these exercises are generally easier to do for longer. It is much easier for a beginner to go on an hour walk than a half hour jog. You burn the same amount of calories without injury or feeling like you are going to die.
2. High Intensity Cardio (or anaerobic exercises)
These types of exercises push your body to its limit and sometimes a little bit farther. If you are trying out a new high-intensity work out, make sure you listen to your body. If anything hurts or feels wrong make sure to modify or tune down what you are doing to avoid injury.
After these types of exercises you will be gasping for breath, because your body needs to recover from the amount of energy that you use. Some examples of this type of exercises include plyometrics, sprints and agility training.
This type of exercise helps individuals build the muscles that they need to get flatter bellies. The only downside is that there is a great risk of injury and it is a lot harder. It is important to listen to your body, and do what you and your doctor think you can handle.
The Crunch for a Flat Stomach
Abdominal exercises are a very important part to getting a flat belly. Although it is impossible to train just one spot on our body, it is still important to train all of our muscles. Once you start to burn off some of the flab of your belly, you will begin to see the muscles that you have been working so hard to build. Here are some of the best exercises for your abdominal muscles.
1. The Bicycle
Lie flat on the floor with your knees up and your shins parallel to the floor. Press your lower back to floor and feel your abdominal muscles contract. Put your hands behind your head with your elbows out. Slowly twist your torso so the opposite elbow reaches to the opposite knee. The leg not twisted towards your elbow should be out with the foot about one foot from the ground. Alternate and keep breathing through the exercise.
Watch the video below for a basic demonstration of how to do bicycle ab crunches:
2. Captain’s Chair
This one is for the gym or for people who have equipment at home. Find the captain’s chair which looks sort of like what it sounds like but with no seat. You place your feet on the stand of the chair and your back to the padding. Put your arms and grip the handholds, feel your body stabilize. Pull your knees up to your chest without arching your back or swing your logs. Lower back down then repeat.
Watch the video below for a basic intro into doing ‘captains chair’ ab crunches:
3. Vertical Leg Crunch
The vertical leg crunch looks easy but its killer for building your ab muscles. Lie on your back on the floor with your hands behind your head. Lift your legs so your calves are parallel to the floor with a 90 degree angle in the knee. Cross your ankles. Contract your abs so that your lower back touches the floor. Curl your shoulder blades and lower back off floor reaching the knees and chest towards each other. Release slowly. Repeat.
Watch below for an intro on how to do vertical leg crunches: