With summer approaching people are searching for ways to achieve the bikini body so many of us seem to be on a mission for, in particular those sometimes elusive flat abs. But fear not, you can achieve flat abs in time for your summer beach strolls with just a little time and effort on your part and some sensible tips on how to do it on ours. Below you will find tips and strategies on how to quickly regain your abs for the body image you desire just in time for summer.
- Posture Matters – When standing, walking, or sitting your posture has a direct impact on your abdominal muscles. Slouching will give your stomach a pooch that can distort your stomach area making it look flabby; simply straightening your posture makes your stomach appear leaner and more taught.
- Eating Healthy – There is no magic bullet for belly fat, but eating a healthy balanced diet with exercise will shed pounds steadily and in a healthy manner that will keep them off. Lean proteins and plenty of fruits, vegetables, and plenty of water to stay hydrated will lead you to flat abs.
- Be Realistic About Your Goals – Trying to sculpt your body through exercise and good eating habits is a healthy goal, but don’t set sights that are unattainable for your body type, age, or health status. Keeping your goals realistic will keep you from becoming discouraged. A healthy toned body is possible for everyone, but don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting to look like your favorite athlete or pop star unless of course you have the money for personal chefs and body trainers. Setting small goals in steps will make you happy as you achieve them and give you incentive to keep reaching your goals.
- Get Proper Rest – Sleep is an important part of good health and stamina. If you are not getting six to eight hours of sleep daily you are starting the day off at a disadvantage and it will make keeping an exercise regimen more difficult, do everything you can to get plenty of restorative sleep.
Exercises That Target Your Abs
- Abs Warm-Up – Lie flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Take a deep breath and tuck your chin onto your chest. Exhale deeply and curl your head, neck and shoulders off the floor while lifting your arms and reaching towards your feet. Hold for ten seconds, breathe deeply and return to starting position. Do ten repetitions.
- The canoe twist is an exercise anyone can do, provided you have not been advised by your doctor not to exercise due to an injury or back problem. You stand straight with your feet slightly apart. Interlock your fingers clasping tightly at your right hip area, exhale and swing your arms, chest and shoulders to the left in a motion resembling rowing a canoe. As you are making the rowing motion with your arms lift your left knee up and towards the right. Take a deep breath and repeat for 20 reps then switch to the left hip area and repeat for 20 reps. Keep switching sides for as many repetitions as you can do or 15 minutes.
- The Roll Up – Lying flat on your back stretch your arms and legs out to form a straight line with your feet touching each other. Take a deep breath and slowly curl your upper body upwards toward your feet. Exhale when you are half way to your toes; continue to curl forward touching your toes if you can. Take another deep breath and return to your starting position exhaling halfway down. Do ten repetitions.
- The Cat Kick – Stand upright with your feet together and your arms extended out at your sides (like wings on a plane) exhale as you lift your left leg up extending forward. As you are extending your leg out swing your arms forward towards your extended foot curving your spine and shoulders like the back of a cat. Take a deep breath and open your arms back to the airplane position and lowering your leg. Exhale and lift your right leg repeating the forward cat motion. Do twenty repetitions.
- The Leg Drop – Lying flat on your back lift both of your legs straight up in the air towards the ceiling. Take a deep breath and tighten your abdominal muscles. Exhale while slowly lowering your legs towards the floor until they are just inches from touching the ground. Hold that position for five seconds and take another deep breath as you lift your legs to the start position. Do ten repetitions.
- The Scissors – Lying flat on your back lift both of your legs towards the ceiling, holding them in a straight upward trajectory. Slowly lower your right leg until it is about six inches from the floor. Lift your head and shoulders forward and grasp the back of your left leg and pull it toward you. Rapidly switch legs and repeat these motions for ten repetitions.
- Torso Twisting – Sit on the floor lotus style (cross-legged feet tucked under your lower legs) place your arms in front of your chest, elbows extended with your finger tips touching (as if in prayer almost) take a deep breath. Tighten your abdominal muscles and slowly exhale as you rotate your body to the left at about a 45 degree angle. Take a breath and slowly turn to the center. Exhale and repeat the motions to the right side of your body. Do ten repetitions.
- Pilates – Finish your abdominal workout with some stretching and meditative Pilates motions. There are a number of Pilates beginner’s poses that you can watch online or by purchasing a DVD to help you with the poses. It’s a great way to end your workout and bring calm and relaxation at the same time.