Incorporate a variety of abdominal exercises and cardio to flatten your abs.
Belly fat is very stubborn especially for women. Female hormones make losing weight in the midsection very difficult for many women, and there is no way to specifically target the abs to spot reduce. But there are ways to exercise that can help you see the results you want. Incorporate muscular exercises to build your abs, as well as cardiovascular exercise to help burn overall body fat so you ab muscles can shine through.
Captain's Chair Leg Lifts
The American Council on Exercise conducted a study which looked at popular abs exercises and discovered that captain's chair leg lifts were the best at activating the deep abdominal muscles, the ones responsible for spinal stabilization and that act like a girdle on your entire midsection. Most gyms and fitness facilities have a captain's chair. Situate yourself in the chair so your back is against the backrest with your legs hanging straight down. Lift your legs and bend your knees, bringing them to your chest and allowing your lower back to come off the back rest. Hold for a second and slowly lower back down.
Bicycle crunches are at the top of the list, according to the ACE study, for activating all the major muscles in the abs including the rectus abdominus or the вЂњsix-packвЂќ muscles, and the internal and external obliques. To do bicycle crunches, lie on your back flat on the floor, arms behind your head and legs straight. Bend your left leg and twist your torso, to bring your right elbow to your left knee. Straighten out your left leg as your bring in your right knee, simultaneously twisting the other way. Keep both feet off the floor during the movement.
Leg lifts in their various forms involve hip instability, meaning your abs have to control the movement of your entire hip complex and lower body, making them very effective at strengthening your core, according to Dr. Len Kravitz from the University of New Mexico. Try lying leg lifts from a supine position. Start flat of the ground and lift your legs to vertical, then lift your hips straight into the air. Lower back down and bring your legs down to about six inches off the floor and repeat. For an advanced move, try hanging leg lifts from a bar.
Sprints are highly effective at trimming the waist and flattening the stomach because they involve both abdominal muscular activation, and fat loss from calorie burn. When you sprint all out, the twisting motion of your body combined with the force of propelling yourself forward places a lot of tension on the abdominals, tension that basic crunches cannot replicate. Dr. Jade Teta of the "Metabolic Effect" suggests that beginners start with three 50-to-100-meter sprints on a track, utilizing a one to two minute recovery period. Each week add one more sprint.
The National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends that you train abs three to four days per week. Do three to four sets of 15 to 25 repetitions of each exercise for optimal toning results. Incorporate cardiovascular exercise at least three times per week, utilizing high-intensity intervals on the treadmill, bike, elliptical and stair climber, to maximize your fat loss and allow those abdominal muscles to shine through.