Give Me 3 Minutes And I'll Show You The Best Exercise To Flatten Abs
Got a bulging belly or a sagging stomach? I'll show you the best exercise to flatten abs.
On this page, we'll take a look at 3 different exercises and measure them up against each other. We'll see which one takes the prize for the best exercise to flatten abs.
3 Exercises...Which One Wins The Prize?
To win the title for the best exercise to flatten abs, it must be able to...
- Reduce the amount of fat stored on your tummy.
- Strengthen your abs enough that your tummy cannot bulge out due to lack of muscle.
In the end, these are the only 2 factors which count. Get these 2 right and you'll have a flat sexy tummy that is a joy to admire.
1. Abdominal crunches
Crunches are designed for one thing - building ab muscles.
But does this really help us with our goal of flattening? Sure, if you have very weak abdominal muscles, then it might help to firm them up and stop the contents of your midsection from bulging out.
But most people with big bellies are more concerned with the fat that is covering the abdominal muscles. And in this case, crunches barely help at all.
Why? Because spot reduction is a myth.
What's spot reduction?
The myth that you can target the area of your body that you burn fat from. Your body decides where it burns fat from...not you.
If you want to reduce your belly, you need to reduce your overall body-fat levels. No amount of crunches is going to help.
Yes they burn SOME fat ( spread around your entire body ). But very little!
One of the ways you can tell an exercise that burns lots of energy is to see how much weight you lift and how far you move that weight.
With crunches you're only moving several inches and you're only lifting about 1/4 of your bodyweight.
It's basically nothing compared to some exercises!
Things are not looking good for crunches.
Well since crunches weren't very good, how about something else that burns fat. You've heard about how running is great for fat loss right?
Sure - it is! Plenty of people have lost a lot of weight over the years by using cardio training like this.
But it also depends on the way you train. It can be more, or less effective depending on how fast and hard you go.
- If you jog slowly for 1 hour then you might burn a bit of fat.
- If you run near to your maximum for 40 minutes you might burn off even more energy.
- And there's a level even higher... cardio interval training.
Interval training stresses your body much more and thus has a better fat burning effect over the days following your workout.
So far, it's looking pretty good for running. It burns fat, which is great for flattening your stomach.
But what are the downsides...
- You have to run for a long time to burn much energy.
- It doesn't build any muscle. You'll find out in just a minute why this is so important for getting flat abs.
3. Barbell Squats
I'll be honest, when I first discovered barbell squats, I hated them. They were so hard and - being a guy - I just felt...
"What's the point? I'd rather just workout my arms"
But after doing a bit more reading and seeing how important the muscles in your legs are, I began to actually enjoy this type of training. I realised how much the exercises were adding to my overall energy expenditure.
Seriously, exercises like these make it easy to stay lean!
Resistance exercises like these will help you to build muscle around your body. This is an awesome thing, (yes even if you are female) because the increase in muscle tissue will raise your RMR
Your RMR is your resting metabolic rate. This is basically the rate at which you burn energy while in a resting state. Like when you're lying on the couch.
The cool thing about this, is that the higher you boost your RMR, the more energy/fat you burn while doing anything!
The more muscle tissue you have, the more energy you will burn without even trying.
And these aren't just any resistance exercises either. Barbell squats happen to be very important ones.
They work a large amount of muscle tissue in one go (including your ab muscles) This results in a huge hormonal muscle building response in your body...
Which helps to build muscle and burn fat like there's no tomorrow!
So don't think that just any old resistance exercise will suffice. It has to be big difficult ones.
So What Is The Best Exercise To Flatten Abs?
Abdominal crunches never really had a chance at winning this comp. They are quite ineffective if getting a flat stomach is your goal.
Running was better but didn't build any muscle...
So in the end barbell squats are the best exercise to flatten abs.
Of course, there are others too. Shaye has outlined a few flat tummy exercises here which she used in preparation for her TV commercial.
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