The best routines for a flat stomach
Our stomachs are one of our top problem areas with tummy tucks and liposuction accounting for approximately 12% of all cosmetic procedures performed in the UK. But hang on before you consider going under the knife! We have some top tips to help you get that washboard stomach...
Wed, 1 Feb 2012 - 6:01pm
You may be able to hide it with layers in the winter, but the holiday season is fast approaching and it’s time to get toning that tum!
The best way to get a flat stomach is to do a range of strenuous exercises post-workout which will build up muscle and reduce the flab whilst your body is still working from the exercise.
One of the most effective ways to tone your tum is to tense the muscles. Keep your posture straight at all times whilst really working your stomach muscles by holding in for 5 seconds at a time. You can do this anywhere from sitting at your desk at work to washing the dishes.
Try the crossover
The crossover is a great exercise to add on the end of your workouts just before your stretching stage. For beginners, try the seated crossover. Sitting up straight with your feet flat on the floor, bring your arms up with elbows bent 90 degrees and palms facing forward. Then bring your right elbow and your left knee up towards each other and vice versa repeating for a minute before a quick rest and repeating the opposite way.
The old classic. Sit ups work your abdominal muscle which is a different muscle altogether but we like to add a stomach tensing exercise in between. Start with sit ups, doing the amount of repetitions you are most comfortable with. During the short intervals used to rest your abdominal muscles, tense and un-tense your lower stomach muscles. This will give the complete flat stomach.
Take up yoga
Yoga or pilates are the perfect exercise to strengthen most of your muscles, including your stomach. Join up to a session at the gym or treat yourself to a yoga dvd and do it from the comfort of your own home. Davina’s ‘Davina Fit’ dvd from last year includes a mini half hour yoga session for you to perform at the end of every workout.
Remember to eat the right foods too! Fibrous foods such as beans and berries help aid digestion and therefore leave you less bloated.
You not only need to work the stomach but your abdominal (the area above your stomach) too. Try around 10-15 minutes of abdominal crunches after every workout to build those muscles around your tummy area.
Adding a couple of these exercises into your daily or weekly exercise routine will subtly help you get that washboard stomach in time for your summer holidays! But remember, this is a gradual process, keep with it. You will see an improvement after around the one month mark.
Cosmetic surgery facts and figures: http://www.mya.co.uk/facts-from-figures