As a personally trainer I am often asked various questions regarding burning fat, muscle toning, and building mass. I find that I am asked, "How can I get a flat stomach?", more often than anything else. This article will help eliminate some of the activities that people engage in to flatten their stomach, and guide you along a path that will give you greater success at doing so. Before I give you the secret to success at obtaining a ripped core, I find it necessary to explain why certain exercises will not give you the results you are looking for. I believe that educating you as a student in the fitness industry will create more educated exercisers, who can redirect others that may be struggling to achieve a flat core as well. You can find all sorts of articles online saying why you should and should not do certain exercises. It seems like every week their writing about some breakthrough exercise or diet that will give you results in an unrealistic time frame. What you will also find every other week, is an article telling you why the quick result diet or exercise is completely bogus. This is not one of those articles. I am writing this so that you can understand how your body works and why the quick fads do not. First things first, let's look at the effects of abdominal exercises on abdominal fat.
Understand that there're many abdominal exercises that are beneficial to developing a strong and stable core. On the other hand, a strong and stable core doesn't translate into a flat core. Doing exercises that engage the abdominal muscles will NOT target abdominal fat burning. Let's think about this for a minute. Why is it most people think that exercising a targeted area on the body will burn calories in that area alone? Yes, you are engaging those muscles specifically, but your body does not sectionalize fat burning as it does muscle strengthening. Have you ever seen someone with a really ripped and flat core, have a lot subcutaneous fat or cellulite elsewhere? The reason you haven't is because your body works as one system. Therefore, doing sit ups, crunches will not burn calories at a rate that will adequately burn subcutaneous fat throughout the body. If you can't see your abs, your core strength is not the problem, your body fat is.
There's no secret on how to burn body fat. There is only those who accept the challenge and those who do not. If you are serious about getting a flat core, you must engage in activity that promotes fat burning. Believe it or not, cardio endurance exercises are your ticket to a flat stomach. This does not mean you must run 3 miles a day to get a nice core (Although that would help). It simply means you must increase your heart rate and maintain an increase heart rate for an adequate amount of time. Activities including, interval training, Zumba, H.I.I.T. and dance aerobics are all great alternatives to going out and running for 60 minutes (Unless of course, that's your cup of tea). If you are interested in finding what heart rate you need to maintain to burn fat, see my previous article titled "Determining Exercise Intensity." Now as you may know, there is still one aspect of flat, ripped cores that we haven't addressed. This factor is the MOST important of them all, diet.