Looking to get a flat stomach? Nutrition and exercise are key but there are simple steps you can take today to make a noticeable difference.
We have all stood in front of the mirror, holding our breath. Sucking in our tummies to get a flat stomach.
It makes it look better, right?
Then you breathe, relax, and the belly comes back in all its glory.
You think to yourself “if only I could walk around like that all the time?”
But what if that’s exactly what you should be doing? Not only that, but this is the best way to train for a flat stomach?
Perhaps not to the degree you do in front of the mirror and certainly not holding your breath. You should, however, be recruiting those abs as often as possible.
There are several muscles around the abdomen and training all of them is important. Often, we focus on the muscles of the rectus abdominis (the six-pack abs), but you will notice these sit quite high up. Usually, it’s that lower belly that sticks out.
We have deeper abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis, and the inner obliques. These are the muscles that make such as significant difference when you pull in your stomach. These muscles sit deep and help to control the stomach wall. If these muscles are weak, then your stomach will protrude below even the most shredded six-pack.
These muscles play an important role in keeping that tummy flat, but they also provide support to your lower back. If you are finding you are getting aches and pains in the lower back, training these core muscles can help.
How do I train these muscles?
Training the transverse abdominis and inner obliques is as simple as using them more. We need to recruit them in all our activities when we are standing, sitting, and moving around.
To engage these muscles, we can simply focus on bracing our abdomen. Imagine you are walking to icy water or about to be hit by a football to the stomach. We just tense those muscles up and aim to flatten the belly.
We can employ this approach when we are working out too. Add some extra bang for your buck, get those glutes engaged. Get into the practice of giving them a squeeze when you are standing and walking. Engaging all of these core muscles when you work out gives you a stronger structure to your body. This makes your form better and helps to prevent injury.
Make it a daily habit
The training is more of a mental exercise than a physical one. It’s a case of remembering to do it. Try starting with triggers, such as every time you stand in a queue or every time you drive somewhere. Gradually become more aware of doing this at different times of the day. The more you make this a habit, the less you will have to think about doing it.