Want to know the best exercises to flatten your stomach?
Surprisingly, they’re the ones that work your whole body - not just your core.
You can't 'spot-reduce'. So while endless crunches will strengthen your ab muscles they’ll have little effect at reducing belly fat and flattening your stomach.
To do that you need to mix it up with these 3 total body workouts – that burn abdominal fat and build muscle at the same time.
We’ve got a 7-day plan to put it all together - and fire up your core!
For a flatter stomach you need to focus on exercises that reduce belly fat, increase your metabolism and burn the most calories.
And the best workout routines for this are ones that target all of your muscles in different ways – and vary the intensity.
To reduce your waistline you need to concentrate on these three workouts:
- Strength Training
01 | CARDIO
Cardiovascular training increases your heart rate, boosting your metabolic rate. This means it’s an effective way of managing your weight.
And studies show it’s an excellent way of reducing belly fat too.
Experts recommend at least 30 minutes of cardio activity every day to stay healthy, strong and at the right weight.
But some cardio activities burn more fat in 30 minutes than others.
And when time is tight, you want to know what’s going to give you the quickest results – and the most benefits.
The experts at Harvard Medical School have done the research, and these are the sporting activities that burn the most calories in a 30 minute period.
Reducing belly fat the fastest.
- Walking and Running
- Racquet sports
Coupled with strength training (more on that below) these are “The 5 best sports to lose body fat and build muscle” - reducing abdominal fat and giving you a flatter stomach.
02 | HIIT WORKOUT
Regular cardio sessions will burn calories but to really shed body fat you need to up the intensity with a couple of HIIT sessions each week.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the fastest ways of burning off body fat (especially belly fat) and increasing your endurance.
It also builds muscle and revs up your metabolism at the same time. Giving you a metabolic boost for up to 24-48 hours after you finish your workout.
But the real benefit of HIIT is its efficiency compared with moderate-intensity exercise.
The workout includes short bursts of intense work followed by short rest periods (think one-minute on, two-minutes off), and can take as little as 25 minutes to reap maximum benefits.
How to do a HIIT workout
A typical 25-minute HIIT session would look like this:
Start with a five-minute warm up,
five x one-minute rounds of high-intensity exercise, each followed by two minutes of recovery, and
ending with a five-minute cool-down.
The high-intensity part could be jump squats, burpees, sprints, jumping rope …. anything that pushes you to your limit for one-minute.
03 | STRENGTH TRAINING
To lose belly fat and reveal a flat stomach, you've got to hit the weights.
You're going to want to strength train a minimum of twice a week for the best results.
Increasing the intensity of your workouts will fire up your metabolism and reduce your body fat percentage but adding in a resistance session will really reduce abdominal fat and build muscle.
In fact, research carried out at Harvard showed that combining weight training with aerobic activity was the optimal route to reducing your waistline.
A 12-year study of 10,500 healthy men found that adding just 20 minutes of weight training meant that they gained less age-related belly fat than those who stuck to a cardio-only regime.
And compound exercises are the most effective strength exercises to do.
Compound moves are multi-joint movements that work your entire body, rather than isolating certain muscles. They’re more difficult to perform and make you work harder, but as a payoff your body will burn more calories and fat.
- Kettlebell swings
- Walking lunges
- Bench press
These all work large muscle groups, making them super effective at burning belly fat.
For best results mix up the exercises from session to session.
ACTION PLAN: Best Workout Program for a Flatter Stomach
The most effective way to a flatter stomach is to stagger the 3 types of workout.
With that in mind, we’ve created a 7-day workout plan that includes cardio, HIIT and strength training to reach your goal fast.
- Cardio exercise. Perform 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise, (such as running, walking or swimming) three days a week
- HIIT workout. Up the intensity by adding two 25-minute HIIT sessions per week.
- Strength training. Perform two days a week of strength training exercises that involve all major muscle groups.
Then add in
- Rest. Include at least one rest day each week.
- Stretching. Include daily stretching and flexibility exercises.
So your 7-day program looks like this:
Whatever workout plan you’re following always listen to your body. Pay attention to how it responds to the different intensity of workouts and adapt accordingly.
Long term strategy to maintain a flatter stomach
This exercise program is just one part.
Changing your lifestyle in the long term is the best way of reducing belly fat - and keeping it off.
To be really effective you need to adopt a combination of different methods to maintain a flat stomach.
We’ve listed them here – “Lose Belly Fat FAST: The Smarter Way To a Flatter Stomach".
They’re all associated with an overall healthy lifestyle and healthy eating, so it’ll be more than just your waistline that improves.
Why is it best to vary workouts?
Performing the same intensity of workout every day can cause you to plateau and the exercises start to lose effectiveness.
Whereas, hitting it too hard can lead to burnout or injury.
Your body uses different muscle groups for each type of workout, so it makes sense to include a variety of exercises in your overall fitness routine. Combining cardio, HIIT and strength training is the fastest way to the maximum results.
The best workouts to flatten your stomach, build muscle and burn belly fat are the ones that work your whole body - not just your core.
Focus on these 3 total body workouts to fire up your abdominals, reduce your waistline and flatten your stomach in the fastest time:
- Strength training
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