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How to get a firm abs - flat stomach - six pack - lose the fat belly

The flat abs diet exercise programme for women - get a six-pack

Just doing loads of sit-ups won't work all your abdominal muscles - you need to work upper abs, obliques and lower abs to get a six-pack. It is important to follow an exercise plan that concentrates on the entire abdominal region. Working the muscles in your torso, hips and abdomen will give you improved balance and stability, and also help protect you against back problems.

A six or eight-pack is actually only one single muscle - the Rectus Abdominis. The muscle is divided into a grid by tendons - three horizontal and one vertical. It's the most wanted muscle definition in the gym!

For example, reverse curls help in toning the lower abdomen, while ab crunches work the upper abdomen, and side bends help minimize 'love handles' and work your obliques. Strong abs can also help to resolve many back problems - strong, firm muscles act like a girdle, providing support and protecting your back from damage.Your posture improves as your core strength grows and that flat stomach looks great!

Defining abs and six pack

flat stomach

It's the biggest problem most of us have with our figures - a fat belly - a bulge which ruins the line of your clothes, and stops you feeling sexy and slim.

Many women feel they can't wear the clothes they want to because of a protruding stomach. Clothes like dresses have to be avoided because they cling round the middle, certain skirts can make us feel bulky around the middle, so we hide under loose tops that leave us feeling unattractive.

Getting a flat stomach is one of the top reasons we want to get into shape. With the right diet and exercise program a flat, toned tummy is really achievable.

Firstly you need to lose any excess body weight with aerobic exercise and a healthy abs diet - see

six-pack diet


As well as carefully watching what you eat, and burning the fat off from around your middle you also need to practise toning and strengthening your body core with abs exercises. Your core is your body's foundation. These exercises will also strengthen your back.

Remember the 3 steps to a quick six pack

1. Fat-burning exercise to get rid of any fat on your belly
2. Strip calories from your diet and ditch any bloating foods
3. Refine your exercise with ab defining and core strengthening workouts

woman with ripped abs

Ripped Abs - Toning and core strengthening

For a firm stomach your weight-loss progamme should be combined with toning exercises. Most of us spend too long in a sedentary position - at work and relaxing in front of the tv, so our middle doesn't get much exercise.

Using weights as part of your exercise programme is also recommended when working on your abs - muscle weighs more than fat, and the extra muscle weight will enable you to burn more calories and get your flat stomach or six pack even faster.

Just one extra pound of muscle will burn up an extra 50 calories a day to maintain that muscle.


After a weights session your body will also burn energy repairing your muscles and your metabolism can be raised for up to two days - making that weight-lifting session a great investment!

There are lots of different options for weight-lifting sessions:
gym machines, free weights - dumbbells, medicine balls and kettlebells are great tools to hone those firm abs.

Abs exercise Tips

Use these tips to work on your flat stomach and get that ripped 'six-pack' fast.

abs exercises

Take time when you practise these abs exercises, they are much more effective if you do them slowly and controlled. It's important with abs exercises that you make sure you are in the correct position and are engaging your stomach muscles as you work - and remember to breathe!

Warning - When you perform the basic sit-up it is essential that to avoid back injury that your lumbar spine should not be arched upwards or pushed down onto the floor. To avoid damage to your back you should keep your spine naturally aligned, in a neutral position, with a small gap between you and the floor.

3 important tips to a flat stomach

1. Fat-burning aerobic exercise to get rid of any fat on your belly
2. Strip calories from your diet and ditch any bloating foods
3. Refine your exercise with ab defining and core strengthening workouts

Ab Crunch

abs crunch

This works the main front abdominal muscles - gaining strength and tone in your belly.

Warning - If you've had neck or back problems, seek medical advice before attempting this exercise.

Lie back on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
Place hands behind your head - don't interlock your fingers, imagine you have a ball between your chin and chest, so you don't dip your chin in as you crunch.
Move elbows out to the sides.
Pull your navel into your spine. Breathe in.


As you exhale use your abs to slowly curl your head and shoulders up a few inches off the floor. Don't use your neck or pull your head - concentrate on using abs to bring you up. Keep elbows out to the side. Pause, then gently lower yourself down to the floor.

Keep the movements slow and controlled. Repeat 10 times. Build to 3 sets of repetitions.

abs crunch for ripped abs

If you want to work harder this crunch adaptation works both upper and lower abs :

Lying on the floor start with your arms out above your head and knees bent and feet off the ground.

Crunch up slowly and bring your outstretched arms to touch your knees, then lower back down.

Repeat 10 times. Build to 3 sets of repetitions

firm abs exercises
Swiss ball ab crunch


This abs exercise can also be performed using a Swiss ball. Lie back on the ball, supporting your lower back, with your feet shoulder width apart on the floor.

Place hands behind your head. Push your lower back into the ball and pull your tummy muscles in, exhale and slowly curl your head and shoulders up, lifting your upper back off the ball, keeping elbows out to the side.

Keep your gaze ahead, pause, inhale and slowly lower yourself back down.

Repeat 10 times. Build to 3 sets of repetitions.

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The plank - on your forearms

This works the deep core muscles in your stomach and back - building core strength and stability. Warning - It's not as easy as it looks!
plank exercise

Lie flat on your stomach on the floor with your legs out straight and your hands on the floor a few inches in front of you, as though you were about to do a press up.

Raise yourself up onto your forearms, keeping your elbows parallel, bring your legs together and squeezing the thighs together bring yourself up onto your toes.

Pull your stomach muscles in - imagine drawing your navel into your spine and try to visualise a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Keep your torso straight and imagine lengthening from the crown of your head. Bear your weight down into your feet and forearms.
Relax your neck and look down at the floor.

Try not to arch your back or lower your hips and remember to breathe! Hold this position for as long as you can - 10 seconds at first, building to 60 seconds. Lower your knees down and relax.

Repeat 8-10 times - initially you may not be able to do this more than a couple of times, but as your strength builds increase your repetitions, building to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Side plank

side plank exercise
This exercise works on your obliques and the back muscles - defining your waist and strengthening your core.

Lie in a straight line on the floor on your side. Place your arm in front of you and raise yourself up onto your forearm.

Keep your feet together, one on top of the other, and stay in a straight line. Imagine pulling your navel back into your spine and place your other hand on your hip.

You can leave your hand on your hip or raise your arm straight up into the air, or raise your hand to the side of your head. Relax your shoulders and remember to breathe!

Hold the position for 10 seconds and gradually increase the time as you get stronger. Try to repeat 8-10 times on each side.

Swiss ball curl

swiss ball ab curl

This works your upper abs- strengthening and helping gain definition.

Lie with your lower legs bent at 90-degrees on the ball, which should be near to your buttocks. Place your hands behind your head, but don't interlock your fingers. Inhale and engage your stomach muscles, pulling your navel into your spine.

Exhale as you raise your head and shoulders off the floor, imagine you have a tennis ball under your chin,and relax your shoulders. Don't pull on your neck.
Pause and breathing in slowly lower your shoulders back to the floor .

Reverse curl

This works the lower abdominal muscles - toning, flattening and strengthening.

Warning - be careful to seek medical advice if you have ever suffered lower back problems before attempting this exercise.

Lie on your back with your arms down by your sides, palms downwards. Bring your knees over your chest at a 90-degree angle.
Pull your stomach in tightly towards your spine, and slowly lift your buttocks off the floor.
Your legs should move a bit towards your head, but your upper body should remain still.

Hold and then release back to the floor. Repeat 10 times, building to 3 sets of repetitions.

Swiss Ball Reverse curl

Swiss Ball Reverse curl

This works the lower abs and helps combat a 'spare tyre'.

Lie back on the floor, gripping the Swiss ball between the inside of your calves. Rest your arms down by your side. With your heels pull the ball into the back of your legs.

Engage your stomach muscles by imagining a thread pulling your navel into your spine, exhale as you slowly raise the ball from the floor. Pause, breathe in and slowly lower the ball down, but not all the way to the floor.

Repeat 10 times, building to 3 sets of repetitions.

 

 

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If you are suffering from or have a history of back, tendon or muscle pain, you should ask your doctor before taking on any new exercise routine. Before trying a new diet you should always consult your doctor to discuss whether you are healthy enough to restrict your calorie intake.

 

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