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The Secret Exercise Trick for Getting Flatter Abs Faster

Here's how pairing a cardio exercise with an abs move will fast-track results ASAP.
Young sporty woman practicing, doing crisscross exercise, bicycle crunches pose, working out, wearing sportswear, black pants and top, indoor full length, white sport studio

If you're determined to get a flatter stomach and put your abdominal muscles on display for the world to see by summertime, your to-do list includes a healthier diet rich in whole foods (see here for the full shopping list), at least 7 hours of sleep per night, drinking at least half of your bodyweight in ounces of water every day (so, if you're 120 pounds, you'd need 60 ounces of water), and good stress management. Also, as it pertains to the gym, there's at least one secret way you can really fast-track your flatter stomach starting now: You can perform "targeted fat loss training."

Here's how it works (and please know that it's much simpler than it sounds): To reduce fat on a certain area of your body, you want to drive as much blood flow to the area as possible and then apply some intense muscle contractions. (Don't worry, I demonstrate all of this below.)

Now, our abs and obliques don't receive the same amount of blood flow as muscles such as our legs and arms, and this is why it's harder for people to lose belly fat. But by driving more blood towards your abs and then working the abdominal muscles, you help mobilize and break down fatty acids, which can help you achieve a flatter stomach.

Here's how you do it: You're going to pair a cardio conditioning exercise and an abs exercise together. The conditioning interval part should be a tough 45-60 seconds, where your heart rate should be elevated pretty high. (It will be intense.) Once you get your heart rate up, then you'll immediately jump over to an abs exercise for the same time frame. Make sense? Below I've provided two example workouts that show this put into practice. For best results, I'd advise you to perform 4-5 sets of the following exercises back-to-back—and do them 3 times per week. And for more great exercise advice, see here for The 10-Second Trick That Will Help You Lose Weight.

Workout One, Part One: Treadmill Sprints for 45-60 Seconds

treadmill sprints

Set the treadmill on at least a 1-degree incline. Keeping your core tight, start sprinting hard at a speed where you can maintain a good pace for the duration of the entire sprint. To sprint properly, keep your elbows tucked to the side when your arms are swinging. With your feet, you want to be on the balls (not the heels), with a slight forward lean. And for more great targeted workouts, don't miss the 5 Things You Need to Do for a Perfect Butt.

Workout One, Part Two: Bicycle Crunches for 60 seconds

bicycle crunches

Laying flat on your back, rotate your body up by taking one elbow and bring it towards the opposite knee. With the other leg, fully extend it by reaching your heel straight out. Flex your abs hard as you finish, then repeat with the opposite side.

Workout Two, Part One: Bike Sprint for 45-60 Seconds

bike sprint

Hop on an exercise bike of your choice, and set it at a medium resistance. Slightly lean forward, and begin sprinting at a pace that you can maintain the entire time.

Workout Two, Part Two: Reverse Crunches for 60 Seconds

reverse crunches

Start the movement by laying down with your lower back flat on the ground. Keeping your core tight, raise your feet back towards your body, flexing your abs hard. Lower your legs slowly, maintaining tension in your core before performing another rep. Remember: Getting a flatter stomach takes time and consistency, but if you incorporate these tricks, it can help you achieve results in shorter order. For more great workouts you can try at home, read about how you can Walk for Weight Loss With This Amazing 20-Minute Walking Workout.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu is a fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles. Read more
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