Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

How To Get A Flat, Toned Stomach


One of the most common fitness questions this time of year is "How can I tone my stomach for swimsuit season"? Typically, people believe that the guaranteed quick route to obtaining a rock-solid six-pack is a path packed with hundreds of sit-ups or abdominal crunches. Wrong!

The reality is that even if you do crunches every day you aren't guaranteed to get the stomach you desire. Getting those highly sought after, toned abs requires more work than just abdominal exercises. Plus, as far as stomach exercises go, sit-ups or crunches alone are not the solution.

We won't go into detail about the muscles that make up the abdominal wall, but it's good to know the basic information. At a high-level the abdominal/trunk area consists of 5 major muscles. It's necessary that all of these muscles be exercised. It's also important to utilize different types of training techniques like concentric, eccentric and isometric.

In addition to training those muscles, it is imperative that you also reduce the fat in your stomach area. If you don't decrease the fat in this area, then you'll never see well-defined abdominal muscles not matter how long and hard you train them.

The key to reducing body fat is a comprehensive workout program that consists of cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility exercises. Plus, don't forget a healthy diet. Good examples of cardio exercises are: walking, swimming, aerobics, and jogging. Strength training can be done with dumbbells, resistance bands and even just your own body weight. Flexibility can be as simple as a few stretches held in place for about 20 seconds.

Now, back to the specifics of abdominal training. Traditional crunches can be a part of your abdominal training, but should be limited and certainly shouldn't be the only part. To most effectively work your stomach area, it's necessary to include about 80% rotational work. Rotational exercises are those that include twisting-type methods. Simple crunches do not fall into the rotational category because you simply lift your body straight up and down.

To most effectively train your abs, incorporate a lot of variety, including different positions and equipment. This will allow your muscles to continually be challenged, which is what will help make them stronger and more defined. Remember that you don't have to lie on your back in the supine position to work your stomach area. There are hundreds of different ways to work them, including exercises in a standing position, on your side, raised on a ball, hanging from a bar, etc.

Don't forget the importance of form. If you don't use correct form when performing abdominal exercises, you'll severely limit the effectiveness not to mention possibly cause an injury. Tips for correct form include:

  • Don't ever pull on your neck or head

  • Don't allow your legs to move, they should remain still -- let your abs do all the work

  • Try to keep your belly button pulled in toward the floor throughout the entire move.

To get you started, below are a few sample exercises* with instructions. Start working out today, and you can show-off your toned abs in time for summer.

Basic Crunch: Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands lightly behind your head for support. Using your abdominal muscles lift your shoulders a few inches off the ground, pause briefly and return to start position. Complete at least one set of 10-12 reps.

Standing Towel Circle: Stand tall and hold a small towel (or resistance band) taut overhead. Contract abs and slowly draw a large, wide circle over your head and around your torso with your hands. Keep towel pulled taut throughout. Return to beginning position and reverse the circular direction. Complete at least one set of 8-10 reps in each direction.

Oblique Twist With Ball: Begin by sitting on the ball. Walk feet forward until ball is resting under your back -- body is now parallel to the floor. Place hands lightly behind head for support. Using your abdominal muscles slowly crunch up lifting your shoulder blades off of the ball and rotate left shoulder toward right hip. Return to starting parallel position and repeat then switch sides.

For access to a huge library of exercises demonstrations (including demos for the above exercises), visit: http://www.workoutsforyou.com

*You should always consult your physician before trying any new exercise programs.

About The Author

Lynn Bode, author and certified personal trainer, offers her services online through WorkoutsForYou.com. Workouts For You delivers affordable weekly exercise programs to help even the busiest of people lose weight, tone-up, build muscles, increase stamina and more via the Internet. Let us guide you one-on-one through your fitness journey. Visit us online for a free sample workout.

info@workoutsforyou.com


MORE RESOURCES:

Better squats: Leg workouts that burn fat and build muscle
Today.com
A traditional bodyweight squat involves a shoulder-width stance, arms out in front or hands behind your head, and a simple lowering of yourself towards the ground by bending at the knees and hips. Very good for you but totally boring! These three squat ...



Stuff.co.nz

Walking doesn't build muscle - study
Stuff.co.nz
Walking doesn't build muscle - study. Last updated 10:51 20/12/2011. women walking. Getty Images. NOT ENOUGH: Walking helps with weight loss but won't build muscle strength, according to a new study. Relevant offers. Well & Good. Turns out 'comfort ...



Build Muscle With This Diet for Young Athletes
STACK News
In the case of a 16-year-old male who wants to build muscle, he needs about 1.4 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If he has a fast metabolism, increasing carbs and fat as well as protein will facilitate muscle protein synthesis. If his ...



Clinically Researched Safe Supplement Helps Athletes Build Muscle
MENAFN.COM
Aside from helping people build muscle HGH therapy can make people look and feel younger with a plethora of advantages that include improved skin tone heightened sex drive better sleep increased lean muscle mass reduced body fat mood enhancement ...



New Press Release Published About Best Way to Build Muscle Mass without ...
DigitalJournal.com
Chelsea J. McDevitt published their new Press Release today about best way to build muscle mass without supplements. This PR reveals all about the program includes high strength workouts to help gentlemens pack on pure, shredded muscle in the ...

and more »


Weekly Wellness: Hard work on basic exercises
The Doings Weekly
Our weekly fitness column, “Weekly Wellness” is back again. This week, Matt Gallagher, from MFC Sports Performance in Darien, discusses how simple hard work can have you feeling better and more fit. Your routine doesn't actually have to “kill” you!

and more »


5K held to benefit Greenwood toddler with rare condition
WHNS Greenville
On Saturday, a 5K was held in his honor at Woodmont High School in Piedmont to raise money for a stationary bike that will help him build muscle as he develops. The Banks family said the bike costs more than $20,000 and is necessary for Wyatt so his ...



Fox News

5 morning mistakes that ruin the rest of your day
Fox News
Oatmeal or a banana might hold you over for a couple hours, but waiting until lunch or dinner to get your protein fix is not the best way to build muscle, according to a new study from the University of Texas. People who ate a full 30-gram serving of ...



Boost Metabolism Naturally in 8 Easy Ways
Care2.com
How do you build muscle? Weight training. No, you don't have to be a muscle-head at the gym to use weights. Start off with many reps of light weights to challenge your existing muscles, and work your way steadily heavier over time to help them grow.



DIETICIAN: Owatonna Dietitian Discusses the Truth about Beef
Southernminn.com
Protein helps preserve and build muscle, while iron helps your body use oxygen The B vitamins found in beef will give you energy and help maintain brain function. Zinc in lean beef supports a healthy immune system while choline appears to promote a ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.