Quick Tips to Get a Flat Stomach

how to get flat abs
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It is the Holy Grail for fitness aficionados: tight abs. Even outside of the gym, everyone wants to know how to get a flat stomach quickly. Dietary changes can help you to change the look of your midsection. But for long-term results, you really need a comprehensive flat belly plan.

First, learn the basic elements that determine how your body is shaped. Genetics can play a big role. Then you need to set reasonable expectations based on your body's biology. Then, use these tips and lifestyle modifications to get a midsection that means business.

Tips for a Flatter Stomach

Some of these tips help you to develop strong abdominal muscles and a flatter belly over time. But some tips help you to get a flatter stomach quickly. Try to incorporate as many of these tips into your daily routine as possible. 

Understand Anatomy

Familiarize yourself with the muscle groups that make up your abdominal area. If you understand how the muscles work, it will be easier to use them properly when you exercise. Then, plan a smart abdominal workout to complete at least three times per week.

It doesn't have to last longer than 10 to 15 minutes, but it should include exercises to work the internal and external obliques on the sides of your torso as well as exercises to work the rectus abdominis, which runs down the middle of your midsection and defines your six-pack.

Brace Your Corset

Learn to tighten that deep layer of abdominal muscle (transversus abdominis) as you move through everyday activities. It should feel like you are tightening a corset around your midsection. But don’t hold your breath. With this simple modification, any daily movement can become a core exercise that will help you get flat abs.

Stand Up

Avoid long periods of sitting. Stand and contract those strong abdominal muscles when you are at work or when performing desk jobs at home. In addition, be aware of your posture when you stand. Good posture promotes a strong core and a strong core will promote better posture. Good posture helps you to look taller and makes your stomach look flatter.

Do Stability Training

How do you turn a bicep exercise into a core workout? Add a stability challenge! Do the exercise in a standing position and add an unstable surface under your feet. That way you have to brace your core and use your abdominal muscles to balance and stay upright while you work your arms.

You can add this kind of balance challenge to any exercise. Use tools like a wobble board or a bosu to enhance your stability training.

Boost Your NEAT

Effective workouts are essential, but your random daily activities also play a huge role in how many calories you burn every day. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) can help you to burn off excess belly fat. Make small changes to improve the number of calories you burn each day. But don’t compensate by eating more.

Add Interval Training

No time for long workouts? No problem. High-intensity interval training will help you burn more calories all day long by maximizing your post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC is a fancy term for what most people call “the afterburn.” EPOC allows you to burn more calories even after your workout is completed.

Lift Weights

Build and shape muscle to improve the overall effectiveness of your workouts and to maintain a healthy metabolism. How much weight is enough? The standard rule is to lift 70% to 80% of your maximum resistance to build and shape your muscles.

Maximum resistance is usually defined as your “1 rep max” or the most weight you can lift in one repetition. For most people that means lifting more than the 2 to 3 pound little pink weights that you find in some fitness centers.

Drink Water

Stay hydrated to stay energized and active. You’ll also reduce belly bloat from water retention if you maintain a well-hydrated body. Skip the high-calorie sports drinks and sweetened drinks. Stick to homemade flavored water to keep your hydration habit cheap and healthy.

If you feel like your belly weight is due to water retention, there are safe ways to lose water weight quickly so that your tummy gets flatter in a few days (or even a few hours).

Dress Properly

Know your body type and dress to promote confidence and long, lean lines. You can fake instant flat abs with a well-structured jacket or a tailored top.

A Word From Verywell

In order to get flat abs, you need to combine a good diet with a good training program and good genes. No one has a perfect midsection, but you can make the most of what you have with smart lifestyle decisions.

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  1. Mangine GT, Hoffman JR, Gonzalez AM, et al. The effect of training volume and intensity on improvements in muscular strength and size in resistance-trained men. Physiol Rep. 2015;3(8). doi:10.14814/phy2.12472