[dropcap]A[/dropcap]re you ready to cut the belly fat off your body and be able to look the way you’ve always wanted? I’m going to give you tips & tricks to get the flat, toned stomach you really want.
And even better… you will not need to worry about crunches because it’s going to focus on a targeted plank workout that does an effective job dropping extra stomach fat and toning your body in general.
The midsection is often hard to tone; you might even be able to get lean everywhere other than your stomach. These effective tips to lose belly fat will help you to attack the stubborn fat on your belly and melt it away fast.
With these tips and exercises, you’ll be able to lose fat not only from the rest of your body but from your stubborn midsection too, so that you can have the body you want as quickly as possible.
Are you ready for the good news?
No Crunches Necessary!
I used to think doing 1,000 crunches a day was the key to a perfect stomach. I did that… nothing really happened. I’ve heard loads of stories like this. I thought I was not genetically gifted with getting sculpted abs. I even assumed it was hopeless.
Once I started doing Pilates and working on the reformer, my private instructor taught me how important activating your abs is to having a flat stomach. If you learn to activate and strengthen your core, every exercise becomes an ab exercise.
One thing I realized when trying to lose belly fat is… you need to actually understand scientifically proven ways to lose belly fat, not just cookie cutter tips that do not actually work.
Moreover, there are a million little things that work against you that have nothing to do with your workout or your calorie consumption.
Common Culprits That Cause You To Gain Stomach Fat
- Poor sleep schedule
- “Yo-yo” dieting
Here are some tips that work to combat each of these issues.
Tips for Better Sleep
- Try not to sleep with your phone or laptop as the light can disrupt your sleep
- Drink chamomile tea before going to bed
- Keep your room clean, organized and make sure it has a good vibe
Tips to Stay Hydrated
- Freeze your water. It also tastes better (at least, to me)
- Put a lemon in water to give it a fresh twist
- Drink water before your meal (it helps you eat less)
Tips to Stop Yo-yo Dieting
- Adopt a realistic diet you can live with (for example, being vegan and not counting calories; being gluten-free and eliminating many foods that commonly cause weight gain)
- Don’t do extreme diets where you feel you’re suffering; work with not against your body
So now that we’ve covered how to address common belly fat causing factors… let’s get into the physical exercises and moves designed to target your stomach area!
Activate Your Abs All the Time
Don’t worry… once you do this work, you’ll learn to activate your abdominals. When you activate your abs, you can turn every movement into an opportunity to keep your abs sculpted and flat.
Here’s an example of how you can turn “ab activation”. Turn sitting up and standing into a mini-workout. Instead of plopping down into a chair, engage your core to lower your body into the chair with grace and precision.
Then when you get up, don’t push off the seat to lift you. Engage your core to bring your body upright.
All the little actions you take throughout the day add up. But when you know how to activate your core you will be able to integrate these movements into your daily life for optimal results.
After that, it won’t matter what you were born with (i.e. genetically perfect abs) because you’ll be sculpting your own set.
This plank workout trains your abdominals without crunches. Using your stabilizer muscles (the smaller muscles) and integrating dynamic movements means you’ll look slim and lean.
Step 1) The first step is to run through all of the exercises here without breaks.
Step 2) Step two is to use that new strength to actively engage your abs every chance you get.
The core is connected to every movement you make every day.
Run through this workout to begin your abdominal revolution and get rid of belly fat.
Come down on all fours, extend your arm out to the side and do some rotating motions to loosen up the shoulder in preparation for the workout. Then switch sides and loosen up the other shoulder.
Rotate in both directions, extending your arm out to the side in line with your back not dipping down.
Come into a plank position with your palms on the mat. To get the perfect plank posture, engage your abdominals by bringing your navel into your spine and activating your glute muscles. Don’t let the legs off the hook. Your legs should be activated and strong to hold you up.
A lot of times people think planks are hard on the shoulders because they’re not putting the rest of their body to work.
There should be a straight line from head to heels. From your perfect plank position, extend your arm out in front of you so it’s in line with the body. It’s called wax on in reference to the ‘Karate Kid.’
Make a small rotating movement in one direction, then switch directions. Do 30 seconds in each direction, then do the other side.
When your arm comes up make sure your hips don’t shift to the side to overcompensate. If you need to come down to your knees, that’s fine. If you’re on your knees, make sure there is a straight line from knee to head.
From your plank position, extend your arm out in front of you. Tap your fingers down on the ground then lift your arm up so it’s a straight line with your body. Do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds.
Pick me up (Forearms to hands)
Get into your plank position. Then come down onto your forearms for a forearm plank. Keep your body in control. Be sure to call on the abdominals so the body isn’t swaying from side to side.
Do 30 seconds in one direction, then switch directions and do another 30 seconds.
Side plank, knee in
Come into a side plank position so that you’re a straight line from your shoulder to your feet. Then the head should be in line with the body. Bend your knee into the chest, then extend the leg out and repeat. Do 30 seconds on one side, and repeat on the other side.
For the crocodile, sit on the mat on your side like you’re going to come up into a side plank. Then instead of coming into a side plank, take your top leg and place the foot on the ground in front of your thigh.
Come up into a side plank from there. Pulse the leg that is extended on the mat for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Come into your perfect plank position. This is going to be a stabilization exercise. If you’ve ever done tree in yoga, this is going to be a similar shape, just on the ground.
Bring your foot and place it on your inner thigh with your knee extended out to the side. Hold for 30 seconds, then do the other side.
Forearm plank with pocket rotation
Get into your forearm plank position. Rotate your hips to lightly graze the ground where your side, where a pocket would be. As soon as you tap the ground, bring the body over to the other side. Keep your plank, don’t arch the back to stick the butt in the air.
To stretch out the abdominals after the workout, lie face down on the mat. Bring your forearms flat on the mat and lift your head and chest up to stretch out. Contract the back get a better stretch.
It is important to remember that you should also be measuring your progress by tracking your body composition. This way you know if your training is really paying off. Check out some of the various methods to track body composition in The Ultimate Tracking Guide.
There you go! I hope you found some useful information here. Do you have any strategies? Let me know!
[author title=”About Erin Bilgin” image=”https://shapescale.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/10/bio-pic-300×300.jpg”]Erin is the Web Content Manager at Vixen Daily, where she edits fitness, diet, love and beauty content. She also writes for various online media publications including but not limited to: Your Tango, Talkspace, Prevention.com, and Zoosk. She’s an animal lover and fitness enthusiast.[/author]