More and more people are discovering that abdomen crunches and sit ups alone just will not flatten the tummy. Because of so many conflicting info that I’ve received, I’ve decided to try if it works. It doesn’t, as evident on a previous Tummy Project that I have tried- focusing on crunches. Now, I am no longer doing crunches- not on the stability ball, the abdomen weight machine or on the floor. And I am seeing better results.
There’s an article writen in Daily Muscle: Strong, Sexy Abs, Why Don’t I See Them? provides an excellent explanation on the only way to make your tummy smaller is via cardio and controlled food intake. Similar explanation is given by IntenseWorkout: Abdominal Exercises (The Truth).
And through my personal experience, what is mentioned in both articles above are very true. Here are the changes I’ve made and I see much better results compared to 70 crunches that I used to do:
- More intensive cardio- means, stop leaning on the handles for dear life when doing workouts. So far, I’ve stayed true to my words. Yes, the machine caloric reader says I am burning lesser calories because I had to depend on my core energy to move my limbs. And at the stepper when I am no longer using the side handle for support, my body weight provides additional resistance for my thighs and bums. To rest in between, I will do stretches.
- Doing core workouts- I invested in a Stability Ball because I prefer to do core workouts more often and certain exercises are not suitable to be done in public places. I do these workouts when watching TV, especially in between commercials. For ideas, you can click on videos that I have compiled from YouTube. Core exercises work much better than crunches, from my experience.
- Weight training- yes, added some intensity. I finally attend a Body Pump class for the first time since I joined gym and my muscles were sore for about a day after the workout.
- Stretches- I’ve always take about 10 min after each workout to stretch my muscles. I find after doing stretches, I tend to suffer less from muscle cramps and it gives a very nice wellbeing feeling after the body is properly stretched after hard cardio. I do my stretches on the stability ball as well.
- Food intake- very important. You cannot consume more calories that you expand per day. I usually take very light dinner. Normally I do not take rice, except at a restaurant that I sometimes go for lunch with friends- I am addicted to their marmide chicken (served with rice).
Still, in order for your tummy to be flat, you need to bring down your body fat levels. And you cannot tell your body which part to burn the fat from.
Recently I watched a promo snipnet from E! Channel- whereby a plastic surgeon was promoting a new surgical procedure to cut off the fat from a certain line in the tummy to create the washboard look. The lady, who opted for the surgery claimed she had tried to do lots of crunches but she could not get back to the beautiful tummy she once had before she gave birth. So she had no choice but to opt for surgery. The lady is slightly overweight, and she would have gotten that tight tummy had she:
- focused on more cardio to bring down her fat levels
- do more core exercises targeting her abdominals to built more muscle in that area
I personally know a yoga teacher who gave birth via C-section and still maintained the nice toned tummy. You would not know that she had a kid by looking at her tummy. There are also other friends, some who are instructor, who kept a flat abs through cardio and weight training.