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7 seconds to a Flat Stomach - The Truth Behind Toning Your Abs
“Crunches. He’s going to tell me to do lots of stomach crunches isn’t he? Man if I hurt my neck doing another pointless crunch I swear I’m gonna….” That is what many people think when they first hear someone telling them the secret to flat toned abs. And I’m right there with you. Crunches are boring, unproductive and shockingly ineffective compared to the two techniques I’ll reveal later in this article.
The truth is the most effective abs exercises are performed Standing Up. But no gym instructor or personal trainer will tell you that and the reason is, most don’t know. Pilates and stability ball instructors are perhaps closer to the secret of the six pack than anyone else. In both, you are taught basic pelvis and abdominal tension, but they never get further than that. They never get to the good stuff.
The secret to a well toned waist, a firm trim tummy, and strong sexy six pack – is all contained in 1 word - Isometrics. Isometrics, defined as the contraction of a muscle without moving the joint, is the scientifically proven fastest way to build strength and muscle.
Before I explain step by step how to perform an isometric contraction for the waist I wasn’t to explain a little bit about the actual muscles you will be working. One you will be familiar with, and it’s the less important of the two. The other, well it’s crucial for developing a flat stomach.
In the following exercises we will be working the Rectus abdominus and the Transverse abdominus. The Rectus is commonly called the six pack. It’s a sheet of muscle running from the base of the rib cage (sternum) the pelvis. It gets the six pack look from the tendons running across it. Here’s the thing though – the rectus naturally curves outwards when developed – meaning you get a muscle belly!
So how do you keep it in tight and flat and develop the coveted washboard look? That is where my friend the transverse abdominus comes in. He connects the rectus to the lower back and effectively pulls the abs inwards, towards the spine. The problem is very few people even realise they have one, and those that do don’t know how to train it.
Well here’s how….
The 7 Second Stomach Flattener
1. Stand or sit tall and straight. 2. Breathe in and as you do so pull in your stomach. 3. Keep this tense and held in place 4. Contact the abs as hard as you can, you rib cage will dip down slightly and your pelvis may rotate upwards 5. Breathe out making an “sssss” – this will cause inter-abdominal contraction 6. Continue this for 7 seconds. 7. Once finished keep the stomach in tight and repeat ten times. 8. Do NOT relax the stomach until completely finished all 10 reps.
The All Natural Tummy Tucker *Do this ONLY on an Empty Stomach*
1. Stand up straight with your feet wider then shoulder width. 2. Exhale all the air form your lungs 3. As you do so bend over as though trying to touch your toes 4. Once you are as low as you can bend and have breathed out all the air you can, pull in your stomach as much as you can 5. Hold this tension and slowly stand up 6. You want to keep you stomach in as tight as you can 7. Tense your stomach keeping it in tight. 8. Hold for ten seconds. 9. Slowly relax and capture your breathe 10. Repeat 10 times.
That’s it. You just need those two exercises and they can be performed virtually anywhere. You can practice in the shower, in the car, in the office, anywhere.
Now I will mention one thing – you won’t see visible results if you have a high body fat %. You will of course feel the results and quickly too. Your stomach will naturally begin to pull inwards, and become firmer. But guys you need your body fat % close to 8% and gals you need it about 12% to really see chiselled definition.
The best way to do this is enjoy a nice walk, first thing the morning before breakfast. Refreshing, invigorating and slimming, and combined with these two exercises which will improve digestion and fat burning you’ll be trim and slim in no time.
Copyright 2006 Paul J. O'Brien
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