According to the Mayo Clinic, core exercises in the back and pelvis strengthen the abdominal muscles and help overall weight loss. Pilates and fitness ball exercises can also help in the quest for a flatter stomach.
To change your drab stomach into a flat stomach, a fitness ball can be used to tone the stomach region. Choosing a fitness ball of the appropriate size is essential for properly doing an ab exercise. The right exercise ball will be one that allows your knees to be a 90-degree angle while you sit on it.
After you have found a ball of the appropriate size, do this exercise. Keep your feet about twelve inches apart and then slowly lean back. As you feel the ab muscles tighten, hold you position for three seconds. After this, return to the original position and repeat for 5 to 15 repetitions. Start off with 5 repetitions and gradually increase this as necessary.
The “bicycle” is another well-known ab exercise that can be effective. To do the bicycle, start off by lying down on an exercise mat. Be sure to lie with your face up toward the ceiling. Next, place you hands behind your head. After this, bring your right shoulder blade up off of the mat and bend your left knee toward your shoulder blade. This should be done simultaneously. Straighten your other right leg as you do this exercise. To begin, try finishing 1 set of 12-16 repetitions. You may gradually increase to 3 sets of 12-16 reps.
For an additional challenge, try adding dumbbells to your ab workouts. Adding extra weight will allow you to burn more calories and build more strength. Begin in a “plank” position with both of your hands on the ground and your body lifted. Using a dumbbell with 5 to 10 pounds, extend your right arm forward and up toward the ceiling. As you do this, your body should slowly turn to the side and balance on your left arm. Do 6 to 8 repetitions using your right arm. After completing reps for the right arm, switch to the other side. While doing this exercise, you must be sure to keep your abs tight and refrain from allowing them to sag.
Incorporating some cardio into your exercises can also help increase blood circulation throughout your body and reduce risk of heart disease. Try out the “Jump, Squat, Raise” for an effective workout to meet your cardio needs. This exercise also makes for a great beach and outdoors exercise. Holding a weighted ball of 5 to 10 pounds over your head, squat down to the ground and jump straight up. After this, lower the ball to your chest and extend your right leg to the side. Step your right leg inside and extend your left leg outside. Start off doing 1 set of 5-10 reps for each leg and gradually increase to 3 sets of 5-10 reps.
In addition to these strength training exercises, you will want to incorporate some running into your daily exercise. Running or light jogging helps to eliminate the outer layer of body fat on one’s body. Choose a form of cardio exercise that appeals to you, such as cycling, jogging, skipping, or jump roping. Do this exercise for 30 minutes a week, but be sure to only do this exercise 3-4 times a week. Doing these exercises will also increase your metabolic rate and help you lose weight, resulting in flat abs as soon as possible.
Please note, if you have a known health condition or are not used to physical exercise, it is wise to seek the advice of a doctor before starting any kind of exercise program.
By doing these exercises and maintaining a balanced diet, you should get a flat stomach in no time. The key is to keep your exercise program enjoyable and mix it up every now and then. Stick to your healthy eating plan, and you may end up with the best abs you have ever had.
Florence Federini writes for How to Get a Flat Stomach, a blog about improving fitness and losing weight.