4 Simple Ways to Flatten Your Stomach

Doesn't this guy look happy while performing a full situp? He won't be the next day when he feels pain in his lower back. Little does he know that every situp results in sheer force on the spine. Considering the amount of sitting he (and probably you) do each day, he is placing unnecessary stress on inflamed lower back muscles and disks.

Can you blame him for doing this exercise? Up to this point, you've probably have also been trained to embrace the mighty situp as the best way to develop your abdominal core. We now know that it takes a multifaceted approach to see the weight loss or flat stomach you desire. Here is the perfect approach to achieving what you want while protecting your lower back. If you're still experiencing back discomfort or pain, you will need to read my article End Your Lower Back Pain Today before performing the exercises suggested below.

Look at Your Diet

I've had personal training clients run marathons before changing their diet. Why are you willing to race around the world before giving up the food you love? Most likely, eating and drinking is a big part of your daily culture, and it's difficult to change this routine and mindset.

While I'll never advocate to live or eat perfectly, you should understand your body's sensitivity to different foods. You may not realize that a simple removal or substitution of a food item can minimize the bloatedness you notice around your waistline.

Most important, if you're not eating within the natural boundaries of your body type, you are storing extra calories and more in your belly. Read this carefully: You CAN achieve a flat stomach by simply changing your eating habits and living a basic, active lifestyle (think: walking most of the day and performing most activities on your fee). You don't need a personal trainer in Chicago (I would still love to see you though!) or run marathons! Whether or not you're trying to lose weight, the basic formula is the same. The only difference is the number of calories. Read my weight loss article for specific suggestions.

Correct Your Posture

We want to activate our abdominal core any chance we get. With this in mind, focus on maintaining proper posture throughout the day. Just this simple resistance against gravity will help build the foundational strength of your core while looking confident and pain-free. Tip: Keep your shoulders and hips squared with your feet hip width. Maintain a neutral spine by standing tall, keeping your shoulders back, and chest up.

Perform Basic Leg Movements, Holds, and Planks

To achieve a flat stomach, you need a stable core...and it involves more than strengthening your abs. Your core is a complicated system of obliques, transverse abs, rectus abs, glutes, lower back muscles, hips, and more. There's no better way to activate and strengthen this system than by performing glute bridges, lunges, squats, holds, and planks. Each of these leg movements and positions are essential for daily living and necessary for long-term physical health. Perform 3 sets of 20 reps (or 30 second hold) for each exercise. Watch these videos to learn the proper form:

-Glute Bridge/Hip Thrusts
-Squats
-Bird Dogs
-Planks
-Forward Lunge (Use a light barbell or stick)

Perform Crunches and Choppers

If you don't have any lower back inflammation or pain, you may be ready for crunches and choppers (rotational movements with weights or resistance). While situps my compromise the lower back, you can still perform another effective exercise for your transverse abs: the crunch. As long as you maintain a neutral spine and keep your chin up, you will protect your neck and spine.

Similar to the crunch, it is important that you maintain a neutral spine during a rotational exercise. The obliques play an integral part in this movement but can be easily strained or overused. Most personal training clients tend to use their arms instead of their hips during these movements. As a result, they don't fully integrate their abdominal core, and their lower back suffers. Throughout the complete exercise, maintain a neutral spine to avoid this discomfort.

Watch these videos to learn the perfect form for both exercises and then perform 3 sets of 20 reps for each:

-Crunches
-Chopper

DISCLAIMER: Michael Moody Fitness is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, personal training services or products that you obtain through this site. You are encouraged to consult with your doctor concerning this information contained on or through this website.

Picture: pixshark.com

Article Credit:
Author: Michael Moody Fitness
4 Simple Ways to Flatten Your Stomach
Weight loss and easy ways to flatten your abs with back pain.