Tone up abdominals with core-strengthening exercises and proper nutrition.
If you naturally have a flat belly or have recently lost weight to achieve a flat stomach, congratulate yourself on beating the battle of the bulge. However, a flat belly doesn't necessarily equate to a toned tummy. Gaining muscle definition or even six-pack abs is no easy feat, but it can be done with commitment to a consistent exercise routine and healthy diet.
Flat Abs to Fab Abs1.
Add core-strengthening exercises for the abdominals to your workout routine. Do core exercises three to five times per week as part of a strength-training routine after a cardio workout. Try a circuit of five to six exercises; do each exercise for one minute each with a 15-second rest between each. When you finish the circuit once, rest for 30 seconds to one minute and continue to complete two more circuits. A sample circuit might include front planks, side planks, medicine ball twists, reverse crunches and bicycle crunches.2.
Burn off any extra fat hiding tummy muscles with high-intensity interval training. Toned abs will pop out when your body fat is low enough to reveal them. Aim to do cardio five times per week with two of those sessions as HIIT. Intervals involve alternating harder efforts with lighter efforts for recovery. A sample running workout would be to run hard for 30 seconds to one minute followed by one to two minutes of jogging to recover; repeat eight to 10 times. Include a 10-minute warm-up and cool-down jog. You can also do intervals on the bike or in the pool.3.
Eat nutrient-rich, fat-burning foods to achieve a toned belly. If you eat too many nutrient-devoid foods that are high in sugar and unhealthy fats, you can end up with a slight tummy paunch or roll, even if you're not overweight. Eat protein-rich foods such as eggs, lean chicken or plain Greek yogurt with every meal to promote muscle growth and accelerate fat-burning. Furthermore, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D found in foods such as sardines also burn off fat and prevent fat storage, according to "Forbes."
- Consult with your physician or a health professional prior to making any dietary changes or starting a new exercise regimen that could negatively affect your health or existing medical conditions