How to flatten your stomach
How to flatten your stomach
Let's face it, most westerners are fat, and getting fatter. In most of the western hemisphere the availability of fast, convenient and fat laden foods has contributed to a growing problem of obesity in most of the developed world. And with this comes the added issues of back problems and even diabetes.
What I am going to present here are some fairly simple, no nonesense, old school techniques and advice for getting a flatter stomach and improving your overall health. And you don't need any of those expensive gadgets you see on late night infomercials that are of dubious quality and limited effectiveness. Especially when a majority of them wind up as expensive clothes hangers or on a table at a yard sale.
With a little work and a lot of consistancy you can see results in 4 to 6 weeks.
Sex, Lies and Crappy Products
Ok, we've all been up way past our bed times and got sucked in to watching those infomercials claming that this product will do everything from give you a rock hard six pack to cook your bacon for you in the morning (may want to lay off the bacon for a bit though) And we all know people who have actually bought these products. Now ask yourself, if you know someone who has purchased one of these things, is their stomach any flatter that it was say, six months ago? More than likely the answer is no. Don't get caught up in the fancy graphics, the heat sensitive camera that shows how hard the muscles are working, or the great looking models with the tiny waists. These are actors, paid to perform and say just what the marketers want you to hear. And to play on your emotional response by appealing to either your sex drive or your vanity.
The truth is there is no miracle pill, no piece of plastic and tubing that can reduce your waistline overnight. The good news is, you can do it yourself, with no equipment and just a bit of will power and consistency.
Let's Go Old School
I know you have all heard of, and probably done some abdominal crunches at sometime in your life, while a good exercise to be sure, I am going to introduce you to some other, decidedly old school exercises that will make those crunches much more effective.
But first a word about consistency. You cannot reduce your gut overnight, that is just a fact, and often after a long day in the salt mines the last thing you want to do is get on your shorts and work out. What I have found, and what I do every morning in addition to my regular bodybuilding workouts is this; As soon as I awake, six mornings a week, I do 50 push ups and 50 crunches, leg lifts or some other abdominal exercise. Doesn't sound like much but it is a highly effective habit. Think about it, 50 sit ups x 6 days a week is 300 sit ups in a week. Now in the course of just a month you've done 1,200 sit ups! That's nothing to sneeze at. Combine that with over 1,000 push ups and you are making some real strides. Doing this first thing in the morning will also jump start your metabolism and make burning the calories you do take in easier.
When I first began competing in bodybuilding years ago I had had several really old school guys take me under their wing who taught me a lot about lifting, things I still use today, and one thing they told me was that guys like Steve Reeves (Mr America and later famous for playing Hercules) were getting big, classically proportioned physiques long before Nautilus machines were invented. Back in the 1940's and 50's the ideal was well proportioned physiques with small waists-- Unlike the steroid bloated competitors of the last thirty or so years.
And two exercises that they used were stomach vacuums and standing or seated twists. For some reason, vacuums especially, have fallen in to disuse in most workout programs but there are few more effective exercises you can do for your waistline when combined with crunches, leg lifts and sensible eating.
To do twists, simply lay a broomstick across your shoulders holding on to each end, legs shoulder width apart and twist from side to side 50-100 repetitions each side should be enough for one session. You can also do them sitting if you prefer and I would advise alternating between both methods.
Remember, be consistant and you will see results.
Things To Keep In Mind
A few points to keep in mind as you go through this process.
- Be consistant, the fat is not going to go away by wishing it so.
- You cannot spot reduce, doing sit ups will not alone reduce your waistline. You lose fat from all over your body so eat sensibly.
- Try doing sit ups and push ups right out of bed, it helps wake you up and will jump start your calorie burning for the day.
- Don't believe the infomercials, they only want your money.
- Learn to feed your body, not your mouth.
- Equipment like a slant boards and weights can usually be found cheap on craigslist or at garage sales.
- Whenever possible walk up stairs instead of taking the elevator.
- Aerobics are great but it's your skeletal muscles that give your body it's shape.
- The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.
- Good Luck!