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:

3 Loading Schemes to Build Muscle Size
STACK News
Fatigue, on the other hand, causes your body to recruit more muscle fibers. So if you curled 30 pounds until fatigue set in, you would work most of your muscle fibers. To build muscle, you need to work both fiber types and activate as much muscle as ...



Doctor Tipster

How do you lose fat and build muscle at the same time
Doctor Tipster
To lose fat and build muscle and the same time, you will need to have a goal. You need to set a goal of how much body fat you want to lose and how much muscle you want to gain. Without a set goal, the possibility of achieving them will be less ...



Your Houston News

You can build muscle in your prayer life with stillness, simplicity
Your Houston News
Learning to pray is like going to the gym for the first time. I had a friend in college who wanted me to sign up at a gym and start working out with him. In our first session we started with the bench press. He put a bar on the weight bench. I quickly ...

and more »


Get intense, build muscle and burn fat with new Ignite by SPRI Fitness Media ...
The Mercury
The Mercury is engaged in a year-long effort, Fit for Life, designed to promote healthy living. Visit the NEW website at pottsmercfit4life.wordpress.com for more stories. Also like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MercFit4Life and follow our efforts ...



Men's Fitness

5 Ways to Add Inches to Your Arms
Men's Fitness
The biceps and triceps are beach muscles, so what? Not only does blowing them up with an incredible pump feel great, but they make you like Greek god. Instead of grinding out standard barbell curls for 3 sets of 10, give these unique tweaks to an arm ...



PR Newswire (press release)

Get Intense, Build Muscle & Burn Fat With New Ignite By SPRI Fitness Media ...
PR Newswire (press release)
NEW YORK, Oct. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- SPRI, the leading manufacturer and distributor of exercise products, announced today its extension into fitness media with its new Ignite by SPRI at-home workout series. Capitalizing on the high-intensity ...

and more »


Ancient tooth provides first evidence of milk consumption
Business Standard
"It seemed too good to be true; beta-lactoglobulin is the dominant whey protein - the one used by bodybuilders to build muscle mass - and therefore the ideal marker for milk consumption," lead author Jessica Hendy, from the University of York's BioArCh ...

and more »


60 Minute Session: Build bike base & strength
Triathlete Europe
He believes there are three things you should do over the winter months—build strength, build base endurance and build muscle resilience and strength endurance to prepare for race-specific training. He says this strength and bike combo workout does ...



I Lift Weights But Can't Build Muscle. What's Wrong?
STACK News
The best diet to build muscle requires a calorie surplus of at least 15 percent of what you eat to maintain. Your diet must also be balanced. I learned protein is not the only essential thing we need to build muscle and be healthy. Do not neglect ...



How Exercising Helps You Get More Done
Forbes
I've outlined a diet and workout routine in the past that helped me lose 40 pounds, build muscle, and get back on a healthy track. The exact routine I used may not be what you need, but it can serve as an idea and inspiration. I recommend including ...


Google News


Advertisement



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

Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.