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7 Ways To A Flat Tummy

3 MIN READ • 26th April 2016

We all long for a flatter, more toned tummy, but it’s notoriously hard to achieve. Here PT Jodie Tye gives us her top tips to sculpt the stomach you’ve always wanted...

  • Engage your core
    Continuously make a conscious effort to work your midsection. From standing at the bus stop to sitting in the office, remind yourself to engage that core to make it strong. All you need to do is simply sit up straight, draw your belly button into your spine and pull your ribs and shoulders down with your chest open. This will work your abs without you even knowing it, as well as helping to develop a strong posture throughout life.

  • Work every muscle
    Compound movements that work your whole body, such as squats and deadlifts, are great for toning up. These movements especially target your mid-section, because your core is engaged throughout. The after effect is a metabolism that will continue to be active well after your workout, which means that you will burn more calories throughout the day. In addition to this, your legs and bum get some much needed additional attention, which is a great bonus!

  • Drink up
    We all know that dehydration is the enemy as it can severely impede your fitness. Your body sees it as a threat and then does everything it can to retain fluid, causing you to bloat and gain weight. Caffeine is a diuretic, so it only adds to the problem by further dehydrating your body. So, rather than starting the day with your regular coffee, try treating yourself to a pint of trusty water. If that’s a little too plain for you, pop in a chunk of lemon for an added health benefit and some tasty citrus flavour!

  • Start planking
    Planking exercises are great at activating your deeper core muscles, as they pull your tummy in and keep you long and lean. There are a lot of variations to the plank, so mix it up and see the benefits develop before your eyes. Planks are fantastic stabilisers for your entire body, because they work your shoulders and arms, as well as that vital core. Making sure you have a strong centre is vital to safe and effective training and is very important in the long-term for you to maintain a good, strong, healthy posture.

  • Avoid crunches
    Although you may think that crunches are the best way to tone your tummy, unfortunately it’s not the case. Crunches will build the top layer of abdominal muscle outwards rather than pulling them in. They can also be quite damaging on the neck and back if done badly, so you are far better off targeting the transverse deep core muscles to pull it all in and work towards that flat tummy you’ve always wanted! Don’t forget about working the back, as this will help support your core and pull you in further. If you have weak or tight back muscles, they can become under active and short, which cause your abs to lengthen and disengage.

  • Do Pilates
    This is a great tool to help you learn how to really understand your core, engage it and work it. Pilates focuses on technique, alignment and lengthening while maintaining a focus on your core at all times, leading to a healthy physique with a tummy to die for! Reformer Pilates at FRAME is based on the classical exercises, but uses a series of springs and pulleys to add resistance and aid some of the tougher moves. It allows for a huge range of exercises with lots of emphasis on technique and posture, great for strengthening your core.

  • Make new friends
    Some people are very happy to go for a jog on their own and enjoy some real ‘me time’ to think and relax. However this isn’t for everyone, and if you’re new to running or lacking motivation, it can work wonders to have a running buddy or be part of a fun, social group. Running clubs are a great way to meet new people and there is usually a broad spectrum of ability, so you will always find someone to run with happily. If it’s a competitive edge you need for motivation, then a club where your runs are recorded and timed is the one for you.

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