Excess of subcutaneous fat that lies under the skin can cause a "plump" appearance (Scott, 2014). Ab exercises can significantly improve muscular endurance, but strength training alone is not sufficient to reduce abdominal subcutaneous fat (Vispute, 2011). If your goal is to flatten your abdominals, you should incorporate multi-muscle exercises that engage your upper abdominals, lower abdominals, obliques, transverse abdominals and lower back muscles (Thapoung, 2013). You will also have to maintain a balanced, healthy diet, that focuses on proper calorie intake (Scott, 2014).
These three multi-muscle exercises will help you burn calories and cinch your waistline.
(1) With dumbbells in hand, position yourself with your hands directly under your shoulders. You can be in a pushup position on the knees to modify.
(2) With your palms facing in, lower your body to the floor then press up to the starting position.
(3) When at the top of the push up, pull the weight in the right hand to the side of the chest squeezing the shoulder blades. Lower the weight back to starting position and repeat the movement on the left side.
(1) Place your head back and glutes on the wall. Place your hands and arms against the wall with your palms facing forward.
(2) Do not lose contact with the wall. Your elbows should be in line with your shoulders (90 degree angle at the elbow joint).
(3) Slide your hands up the wall as high as you can without the elbows or hands losing contact with the wall. Lower and repeat.
(1) With a padded barbell across the hips (can also be done with free weights or no weights at all) and your feet flat on the floor, place your upper back against a stable bench.
(2) Lift your hips until they are in line with your body, squeezing in the glutes. Lower your hips and repeat.
To build muscular endurance, strength and flatten the core, you can complete 2-4 sets of each exercise with 10-25 repetitions (ACSM, 2014). If flattening your stomach is your goal, be sure to have a regular exercise routine that is well rounded (including cardiovascular training, and flexibility training) and a healthy balanced diet!
Also if you are interested in nutrition advise, visit our lastest blog post on lean bulk macros!