It’s a common objective for many at the gym – the toned, flat stomach, washboard abs the six-pack. Whatever you want to call it, a toned, lean midsection can be tricky to achieve – and results require a delicate balance of different techniques and strict dietary control. Here we share expert five tips to help you to work towards a flatter, more toned stomach.
For lots of people a flat stomach means endless sit ups and hundreds of crunches per day – but sadly it isn’t quite so simple. Toned abs are the result of a strong core – and a strong core comes from a range of exercises targeting this area. Take a holistic approach to the midsection, incorporating full body exercises such as burpees and mountain climbers with core fat burners like the plank and row boat. Don’t forget to give your body a rest between exercises – don’t concentrate on your core daily, instead schedule sets every other day to allow for muscle recovery in between.
Short, sharp bursts of exercise are best
HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is great if you want to lose the gut, as it ramps up metabolism to help you to bring down your overall body fat percentage. Maximise your HIIT workout by incorporating core-specific exercises into the routine.
Strength training helps the body to build muscle – so it’s a perfect companion for HIIT when you’re toning up the stomach and midsection area. The more muscle mass you have, the more efficiently your body will burn fat. You can even introduce weights into your core routine for extra oomph.
Nourish your gut
If your nutrition is poor, your results will be too. Even if you do everything right from a fitness perspective, you’ll find it hard to achieve your goals if you’re not eating a balanced diet. Opt for food that actively fuels your body and consider calculating your optimum calorie intake to ensure that you’re not under or over eating. Probiotics can help to ease persistent bloating that can conceal the results of your efforts in the gym.
Be smart about hydration
Always drink plenty of water in between workouts and avoid diuretics and fizzy drinks, as these can cause bloating and increase appetite. Herbal teas can also deflate distended stomachs – avoid protein powders with artificial sweeteners or refined sugars and instead opt for natural, unrefined alternatives.