Ab Ripper X Stomach Exercises
Are you tired of hiding your belly under baggy tops or buying your pants a size too big so your belly will not spill over the waistband?
You are not alone. The stomach is a major, if not the major problem area, for men and women. I can’t tell you how often I’m asked for advice on how to achieve killer abs, flatten the mommy pouch or lose the love handles.
If you really want to get a flat belly — or score that six pack — follow these tips and make it happen.
5 Ways to Get a Flat Belly
Focus on Your Entire Body
Contrary to what many people believe, doing thousands of sit-ups or crunches all day, every day, will not get you closer to achieving those washboard abs. Yep, you read that right. Both belly bulge and love handles are about excess body fat, NOT lack of muscle. That’s why ab exercises alone are not the solution. Scoring a flat stomach is all about workouts that impact different muscle groups at the same time — so you’re strengthening your entire body AND burning more calories.
Build Up Your Core
Get ready to start planking — and I don’t mean the form of ‘planking’ that has gone viral. The plank I’m referring to is a powerful move that targets your core abdominal muscles, practices balance, and strengthens your chest and back muscles. This pose is not as easy as it looks or sounds, but trust me, the effects are well worth the extra effort it takes to master this move.
To do a basic plank, start in a push-up position, except keep your hands directly under your shoulders instead of outside your chest. Legs should be straight out behind you with feet together. You are balancing on your palms and the balls of your feet. Hold this static contraction for as long as you can. Work your way up to a minute, and then challenge yourself to hold the pose even longer. What I love about the plank is that there are so many different variations — side plank (pictured), reverse plank, plank-ups, plank twists and more. Different types of planks target different core muscles, so do yourself a favor and work a plank move into at least one of your daily circuits. You’ll definitely see results.
Eat the Right Foods
First, let’s get something straight; all processed foods need to go. Get rid of the potato chips, microwave dinners, and definitely put an end to those fast food fixes. The sodium, preservatives and sugars alone will help keep your belly looking bloated and defeat your efforts. Replace the junk food with whole, quality, organic foods that are packed with healthy nutrients, not preservatives. Then, work these three foods into your diet for maximum belly-fat burn.
- Berries are another great fat-fighting food. They have been proven to stop individual fat cells from getting larger and encourage fat cells to release adiponectin, a hormone that helps reduce inflammation, lower blood sugar, and reverse leptin resistance.
- Beans and legumes contain the best kinds of carbs and also contain resistant starch, which aids in your post-meal fat burn. Beans also help you feel fuller and store less fat.
- Nuts are another diet essential that can help to keep your tummy taut. Research has found that people who eat nuts twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who don’t.
Cut Your Sodium Intake and Up Your Water Intake
Bloating isn’t all in your head. It IS possible to carry extra water weight in your tummy. To beat the bloat, decrease your sodium intake to 1,500 mg a day and increase your water consumption. It’s easy to start monitoring your sodium intake by reading food labels. Limiting the amount of sodium you consume will help you reduce your water retention and look leaner in your clothes.
Learn the Truth About Your Trouble Zones
There is nothing to love about love handles, and there’s no quick fix solution to getting rid of them. Sorry buddy, but it’s true. Targeting “problem areas” is tough because fat is burned systematically across the body according to your own unique genetics. Focusing on one region of the body won’t make fat disappear altogether, but there are some exercises that will bring blood, and thus oxygen, to these problem areas and I believe that this oxidization will help break down the fat. For love handles, a major trouble zone for both men and women, try this side-bend stretch. Remember, it’s not a magic fix, but it may help to break down the fat that builds up in that area of the body.
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Want to rid yourself of belly flab and get bikini-ready abs once and for all? Try these ab workouts and get the sexy stomach you’ve been dreaming about.