A question that we get asked a lot is “how can I tighten up my abs?” or “how can I get a flat and toned stomach?” After recently having a baby, I would love nothing more than some nice, beautifully flat abs. In fact, I think that most people wouldn’t mind their abs being a little tighter and a little flatter. So here are some tips on how you can get the abs of your dreams!
1: Clean diet
Let’s be honest, you aren’t going to get abs like this….
By eating foods like this…
The most important thing you can do to get abs is to eat a clean diet. Even though everyone really knows that, I think a lot of people hope that if they work out and do 1,000 crunches a day they can get by without paying close attention to what they eat. The truth is, you can’t.
So what do I mean by a clean diet? I’m talking fresh fruits and veggies, lean meats, and eliminating the processed foods. Find a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. We recommend a balance of 40% carbs, 30% proteins, and 30% fats. It is also very helpful to track what you eat to make sure you are staying within that percentage. The best, easiest, and cheapest (i.e. free!) website we have found to do this is myfitnesspal.
If you’re like me and have a major sweet tooth, don’t worry. It’s important to have a cheat day once a week so you can fit in those foods that you love. And although it wouldn’t work to do it every day, eating junk food once a week won’t set you back. In fact, adding the cheat day has been found to be beneficial when trying to lose weight and get toned. I’m serious! I know it sounds too good to be true but believe me. Read about it here.
There is also a pretty cool resource we have found called “cheat your way thin“. This program allows you to enjoy the foods you love while still getting amazing weight loss results.
2: Find an awesome workout program
To get the abs you want you are going to need to do more than just crunches and planks. You need to find a workout program that will help burn fat and tone your muscles. If you haven’t already checked it out, our 12-week shape up challenge is the bomb! It provides you with a full-body workout, including ab toning exercises, and it’s totally and completely free! Our workouts aren’t for the faint of heart, however. They will kick your butt! We promise. Click here to check it out.
Another great program we have found to get yourself toned is by Flavia Del Monte. Sorry gentlemen, this one is for the ladies. Flavia has dedicated her work to helping women get the toned, lean body they have always wanted. Say bye-bye love handles and hello six-pack! You can go here to see her program.
3: Feel the burn
Like I said before, getting a complete body workout is key to losing tummy fat and getting abs but it definitely won’t hurt to do some isolated ab workouts along with it. Here are some of my favorite ab workouts that will for sure help you to feel the burn!
Planks: I have such a love-hate relationship with planks. I know they work wonders, and that’s why I do them, but they seriously kill me! For those of you who aren’t familiar with planks, here are some simple directions:
You will want to start on your hands and knees then get up into push-up position. Or if you’d like you can go down to your elbows. Keep your wrists under your shoulders. Concentrate on keeping your back straight and abs and butt tight. If it gets too difficult you can go to your knees instead of your toes. Hold this for 30-60 seconds (or however long you can) and you will feel the burn, I PROMISE!
Leg Lowers: You will begin this workout by lying flat on your back on the floor. Lift your legs up so your body creates a 90 degree angle. Keep your legs straight (or as straight as you can). Keep your hips flat on the ground and slowly lower your legs to the floor. When you get them to the floor, lift them back up and repeat.
Shape up challenge: Remember the 12-week shape up challenge I was talking about? Well, it includes some pretty awesome abdominal workouts. Click here for an example. See if you can do that workout without feeling like your abs are on fire! I dare you.
4: Patience is a virtue
The sad truth is, there is no quick fix for getting toned muscles, especially when it comes to toned abs. You are going to have to work your butt off. Just don’t give up. Don’t get frustrated. Keep working hard and eating clean and you will get there. I promise!
How do you get your rock-hard abs? Let me know in the comment section.