Doing more crunches and planks will give us a flatter and more defined stomach right? Well, if that was the case we would all have six packs. So what does it take to get rid of the excess around the midline? What’s the secret exercise?
Well the secret is………………..what we eat. For most of us the midsection is where weight first goes on and comes off last. There are no secret exercises for a defined and toned core. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to do “core” specific exercises at all to get a flatter stomach. Lifting heavy things and doing compound movements are just as effective if not more than training the core on its own.
Our core is always working while lifting things, running, swimming or chopping wood. If you are going after a desired look then make your abs in the kitchen! Eliminating excess sugar that will store as fat such as alcohol, chips, processed bread, crackers, cereals and so on. Add more good quality foods to push these foods out of your diet. Then increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Then increase your protein and fat intake. As we eliminate processed foods and replace them with fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. Our body will start to function better and our metabolism will boost. This all allowing you to burn off excess unwanted fat.
Sorry to break it to you but it comes down to cleaning up your nutrition. And that means sacrifice. Sacrifice of foods and drink you enjoy once in a while. Sacrifice of time to work on yourself and your body. If deep down its something you really want, you will have to be dedicated. But for a lot of us it’s not just about the look, it’s how we feel and function. To be free of back pain and the ability to move better.
One other factor to focus on when working your core is your pelvis. People can work on developing a flat stomach and do things perfectly but still see a bulge in the lower abdomen. Take a look at your pelvis. I like to say think of your pelvis as a bucket of water. If you tilt it forward water will fall out of the front. If you tilt it backward water will fall out of the back. Find between those two extremes. This is neutral.
Now let your pelvis go back to its original position. Was it tilted forward? Backward? Or was it neutral? A pelvis tilted forward will create a large arch in your lower back and as your hips pull your pelvis forward it creates a protruded lower abdomen. This is usually caused by tight hip flexors. If you sit all day or bike a lot you may notice this. As you put your pelvis into neutral position you will find your stomach flattens out as your spine goes back to neutral position.
From here you must train the weak muscles to hold your pelvis in place! This is another whole discussion.
Abs are made in the kitchen. The core is developed by using your muscles to support a neutral spine.