More women these days are wearing shirts that show off their midriff. Most of us agree, though silently, that if a woman is going to wear those types of shirts, that their abs should at least be somewhat flat, if not ripped. Nothing looks worse than a bulging stomach forcing its way into an image that could be quite flattering with the right stomach.
Here are some tips to achieving a flatter stomach without having to work out hours a day by doing stomach crunches in two different ways:
1. Stomach crunches are the easiest way to achieve great abs. Celebrities like Janet Jackson and Britney Spears are known to do hundreds of these a day when they’re preparing for shows.
However, you can achieve results, though not as quickly, by doing only a few of these, in short bursts, a couple of times a day. The best way to do them is if you have an exercise ball. This will protect your back because it gives you some flexible support, and also adds to the workout because, while you’re doing your crunches, you’ll have inadvertent extra body movements; toning is all about movement.
To do it properly, put the small of your back onto the ball, then lean back. Lift your body up until it’s perpendicular, hold it about 3 seconds, then release, lay back, take a breath, then do it again. Try to do at least 10 crunches in this fashion. If you can’t, do as many as you can; if you have no problems, try to go to 15, but no more to begin with. Rest about one minute, then start a second set of the same number you did the first time. Rest, and then do one more set.
If you can do this twice a day, within a couple of weeks you should notice some changes to your stomach. If at any time you start feeling back pain, reduce the number of crunches you do at one time, but don’t stop outright unless the pain gets to be unbearable.
2. If you don’t have an exercise ball, you can do stomach crunches the traditional way, which is to lay on the floor or a mat flat on your back. You should bend your knees to add support and to help you keep your back as flat as possible. You can use a small pillow under your neck if you need more support, but only keep your hands behind your head.
Where most people fail here is that they believe they have to come all the way up to their knees, and do it fast. Stomach crunches aren’t about speed; they’re about technique. To achieve the best results, lift from your stomach, not from your head and shoulders, and pull your body up only about six inches; that’s it. Hold it for about three seconds, then lower your body back down. Following the previous instructions, try to do at least 10, no more than 15, but only do as many as you feel comfortable doing. Rest for a minute, then repeat this cycle two more time.
For both of these processes, if you’ve been able to maintain your schedule for at least two weeks, you should be able to increase the number of stomach crunches you do. As you get stronger, you’ll notice the changes more. One word of advice, though. You’ll also need to start watching your intake of food; otherwise, you might notice a tightening of your stomach without the reduction you’re hoping for. As with all exercises, combining it with better nutritional habits will help you achieve the results you’re hoping for.