Best Flat Stomach Exercises
|Date Added: February 26, 2009 12:20:54 PM|
|Author: M Gravlee|
|Author: Charles A. Inniss, Jr. DPT
Sit ups and crunches are not the best way to get a flat stomach. Actually, walking and running are the best stomach flattening exercises. So many people make the mistake of slaving away on the floor doing thousands of crunches everyday in the hopes that it will give them a flat stomach. However, stomach exercises only play a small role in actually giving you a flat stomach.
The #1 myth in fitness is that you can spot reduce fat by exercising the muscles in the area that you want to lose fat from. This is known as the spot reduction myth. Our bodies naturally store more fat is some areas based on gender and genetics. Women tend to store excess fat on the thighs, hips, and stomach, and men tend to store excess fat on the abdomen.
The reason we store more fat in certain areas is that there is a higher number of fat cells in that area. There are not many fat cells in the hands, so you rarely see someone with fat hands unless they are really obese. So despite what the marketers try to convince you, you cannot spot reduce fat by doing targeted exercises for any area of your body, including your stomach.
Here's just a quick distinction between spot reduction and toning muscles or building muscles. You can definitely tone muscles or build lean muscles with targeted exercises. Let's say that your arms are not well developed and a little flabby. If you started doing arm exercises you would definitely tone and build your arm muscles. The problem that many gym-goers face is that they have built their muscles through weight training exercises, but they still have a layer of fat covering up those muscles.
In order to get a flat stomach you need to take a comprehensive approach to fitness and perform weight training, aerobic exercise, stomach exercises, and eat a healthy diet. After eating a healthy diet, aerobic exercise might be the most important thing to focus on if you want to get a flat stomach because aerobic exercise burns tons of calories.
Walking and running both burn tons of calories and this helps you to lose stomach fat. I have never met someone who runs on a regular basis that was significantly overweight. And if you think about athletes, running is the secret to how they keep and get flat stomachs. Every track and field athlete (with the exception of throwers like shot putters and discus throwers) has a flat stomach because they run all the time for exercise. Basketball players, soccer players, and tennis players run all the time and generally speaking they all have flat stomachs.
Running burns tons of calories and it is the best stomach flattening exercise. Running is way better than sit ups for burning calories. If you run at a 6 minute per mile pace, you can burn about 500 in 30 minutes. If you wanted to burn 500 calories doing sit ups, you have to do more than 2500 sit ups. Assuming that you could do 50 sit ups every minute, it would take you 50 minutes to do 2500 sit ups-and that's straight with no rest. I don't know of any athletes that can do 2500 sit ups in a row or even in a day, but I do know quite a few people that can burn 500 calories in 30 minutes running.
Now, if you have bad knees or can't run fast, don't fret. Walking is also a great exercise for people who want to get a flat stomach. Getting a flat stomach is all about burning calories and losing body fat. Walking 5 miles a day will burn about 500 calories. I don't know about you, but I'd rather walk 5 miles a day than do 2500 sit ups.
Okay, let's recap. You can't magically burn off stomach fat and get a flat stomach simply by doing stomach exercises. If you want to get a flat stomach, you have to lose body fat and lose weight. In my opinion walking and running are some of the best stomach flattening exercises, so aim for 20-60 minutes a day of aerobic exercises 3-5 days a week.
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About the Author:
Charles A. Inniss, Jr. has a Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy and is a Certified Personal Trainer. He is dedicated to helping people to live healthier happier lives.