Losing Weight and Attaining a Flat Stomach
by Paul Bedford
There’s no easy answer to the familiar mantra: ‘How do I get rid of the weight and achieve a flat stomach?’ However, if you follow my tips and concentrate on those all important core areas, you’ll at least be on the road towards a summertime stomach.
The first thing is to shift those unwanted calories resting on that stomach full of alcohol and Christmas Pudding! I have found, through years of Personal Training, the most efficient way to do this is cardiovascular training – this means hitting the running machines, rowers and bikes … Push yourself a little harder than normal to burn off the most calories as possible in the time you train.
ENDLESS SIT-UPS? NOT THE ANSWER!
Doing relentless sit-up after sit-up is not the answer for ripping out those abdominal muscles – far from it! Don’t get me wrong, abdominal exercises are a great way to improve your core strength but it’s more about the quality of the exercise out than the amount been powered-out that will benefit you the most. Important! – make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly!
VARIETY IS THE KEY
Your abdominals are not just one muscle. I like to split them into 3 main categories when training my clients at the Village; upper abs, lower abs and oblique abs (on your side of your stomach). This is why it’s important to give variety to your ab blasts and make sure you work each part of the abdominal area. If you struggle for exercises like most do, google it or ask your instructor at the gym.
HELP THROUGH THE BURN
Always try to work your abs with someone else. It is too easy for you to give in when the burn sets in. Work through it as much as possible as this is when you are getting the most out of muscles. Use a friend, instructor or just grab someone on the matting area who’s also training.
MAKE IT FRESH
Try not to do the same routine when working the core – mix it up all the time because your body will adapt to the exercise and struggle to progress. Give progression to your abs, start simple and build upon that on a steady increase. The stronger your core becomes, the better, more advanced and, in my opinion, the more fun the exercises become.
Why not work your core at home? Sometimes gym or working out is not an option, so hit the abs while watching T.V. When your fave programme is on, why not work some core in the 4-minute adverts? 4 minutes, 4-5 times a night, will make a massive improvement to the strength of your core.
Core Exercise: Health and Fitness FAQs
When I do sit ups my neck and shoulders hurt, rather than my stomach – why is this?
I get this problem a lot on the abdominal matting and it’s mainly due to weak core muscles causing you to lift with your shoulder and neck instead of your abs when doing the exercise. Use Stability Ball exercises and different types of planks to strengthen that core.
What does my body fat percentage need to be at to see my six-pack?
This is dependant on a few things but the majority of six-packers are under 10% body fat – that’s really what you need in order to see those movie star abs.
I’m hammering the sit-ups but can’t get rid of the belly – why?
It’s not just about hammering the sit-ups. You must reduce your body fat by eating well and exercising. Sit-ups will help as they will build up muscle in that area, allowing the body to burn fat off more efficiently in the abdominal region – but they won’t do all the work.