Ready to lose your flabby belly once and for all? Read on for 6 quick and simple tweaks to your routine to get your abs to show.
1. Move Faster.
Target your fast-twitch muscle fibers and you’ll build stronger abs in less time. Spanish researchers found that doing abdominal exercises at a fast tempo activates more muscle than doing them slowly. Crank out as many reps as you can do in 20 seconds for a more effective core workout in less time.
2. Exercise, Then Eat.
Research suggests that the best way to eat less at a meal is to work out right before it. This works in several ways: First, you’re less hungry when your metabolism is revving, such as right after a workout. Second, you’re thirstier, so you drink more water, which uses up space in your belly and relieves hunger. Third, the calories you do eat get burned for energy pronto—not stored as fat.
3. Stand Taller.
When you’re walking, stand tall and picture a cape flowing off your shoulders, Superman-style, to ensure your best posture. A taller posture will give you the appearance of being slimmer, while also training your abs to stay firm.
4. Focus On The Flip Side.
Your abs are an intricate system of muscles, connecting to your rib cage, your hips, and even your backbone. To have strong abs, you need not only belly exercises but also lower-back strength and exercises for your obliques (the abdominal muscles that run down the sides of your torso).
5. Practice looking leaner.
Maybe you’ve heard of “muscle memory” – the way your body learns to do a physical activity (like riding a bike) and never forgets. Well, your abs have a memory, too. If you consciously keep your abs firm throughout the day, they’ll tend to stay firm even when you’re relaxed.
6. Don’t sacrifice your best ally.
When you lose weight on a “diet,” muscle is the first thing to go. It’s more expensive for your body to retain than fat is, so when you run low on calories, your body dumps muscle mass and turns it into energy. That’s why diets of denial are counterproductive. When you go off the diet, you begin to gain back the pounds—but because you now have less calorie-burning muscle, the weight you gain is fat. By dieting, you’ve effectively turned muscle into fat.