The Secret Behind Flat Abs

Uma Thurman caught letting it all hang out.

My #1 Flat Abs Tip is NOT an exercise. We crunch, sit up, lift, squeeze and burn our abs up hoping to make improvements, but there is one extremely important thing many people don’t do when they leave the gym that can sabotage it all – they don’t hold their stomach in.

Of course Uma Thurman, photographed left a few years ago, is not a fat girl by any means. But if she had been standing up tall and holding her stomach in, she would have even looked more slender and fit. Unfortunately the paparazzi caught her in a not-so-glamorous pose and now this photo continues to float around the internet, which stemmed the question “is this just another weird bikini shot or could she be pregnant?”

The idea behind training your abs is not JUST to build cubes of muscle that show through the skin and look like the coveted six-pack everyone dreams of having, but ab exercises also shorten and tighten the muscles which flatten the stomach. However, if you leave the gym only to eat huge meals that expand the stomach area, stretching back out the muscles, you are defeating the purpose of an awesome ab workout.

Here are a few things you can do outside the gym to train your abs to stay nice and flat.

6 Tips to Getting (and KEEPING) Flat Abs:

1.) Train your abs daily. Non-weighted abs can be done daily at home. The more you tighten them up with exercise, the more they’ll STAY tight.

2.) Keep meals small. If you’ve ever eaten a HUGE meal, you know how difficult it is to hold your stomach in. It’s MUCH easier to do this when you keep your meals and snacks small and manageable.

3.) Avoid loose clothes. Lose clothes say to me “relax! be sloppy! Let it all hang out!” Fitted clothes say “Shape up! Stand up straight! Suck it in! If you want to be held accountable, let your clothes help!

4.) Check yourself. Many times we don’t realize just how poor our posture is and how little we really are maintaining a flat tummy. Look in the mirror and use your muscles (opposed to just sucking wind like kids do when trying to hold their tummy in) to flatten your stomach. Hold that for as long as you can. At first you may not be able to hold it for long, but eventually your muscles will get stronger and tighter

Kyphotic Posture

5. ) Create triggers & reminders. Your body learns it’s resting tone. For instance, have you ever seen how a cop walks aroundwith their arms bowed out? That’s a learned behavior as they have to position their arms where it doesn’t swing and hit their gun belt. Over time, their body assumes this new position as their resting tone. You can do the same thing with your stomach. The more you practice it, the more you remind yourself with notes and set triggers, the sooner your body will learn this new posture as it’s resting posture and it will just become a natural position for you.

6.) Practice good posture. It is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to keep your stomach flat if your hips are rolled under and your shoulders are hunched over. Try it! Go look in the mirror and see how your your entire posture effects your belly. Elongate your body, flatten your stomach, stretch out your neck nice and tall, stand up straight, roll your shoulders back, lift your chest up, and curve your hips out (which delivers a nice perky looking bottom) – and see how much better you look!! Practice makes perfect!

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About Bonnie Pfiester

Fitness Columnist and Lifestyle Coach, Resident Trainer for Designer Whey, Fitness Advisor for FitStudio, powered by Sears, FitFluential Ambassador and Owner of Max Fitness Club, home of BCx Boot Camp in Vero Beach, Florida.

Posted on October 11, 2011, in Abs, Exercise & Training, PFIT TIPS, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. great tips
    now for me to go take off this loose tee and put on a tank top! lol

  2. haha 🙂 it works for me! ha!!

  3. Very good common sense advice.

    • I actually had a girl come up to me last week that said she started holding her stomach in after reading the article and her husband complimented her on how great her stomach looked 4 days later, not knowing she had starting working on that. SOOO COOL!!

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  5. These tips are very helpful and practical! I’ve noticed how it is nearly impossible to suck in your lower stomach right after a big meal :). I’ll definitely give these tips a try!

  6. This is so true. You’ve gotta train yourself to hold your abdominals in – Pilates is great for that. Also, when you are doing any type of crunches or abdominal exercises, you should be pulling your belly button in toward your spine. Great article, simple tip, but so effective!

  7. Thank you for what you might have. This is the most beneficial post I’ve study Everything that everybody else engages in on the subject of womens designer dresses and the things that youhas to do completely different.

  8. Good tips! I can feel that I am getting a flat stomach already.

  9. You’ll be moving backwards across the floor with your repetitions.
    Since you asked how to get 6 pack abs, you already understand that fizzy colas and sweet candy bars are already a
    luxury. Keeping your feet off the bed, twist from side
    to side, bending to touch your clasp hands to
    the bed on your left side, then your right side.

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