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Secret Exercise Tricks for Getting Flatter Abs Faster, Trainer Says

There are two major things that most people get wrong when trying to strengthen their core. Here's how to do it right.

Most of my clients who hire me have the goal of losing fat and getting flatter abs.

When embarking on a fat loss journey, many people don't focus on the big things that matter: strength training consistently, eating a healthy diet, and getting in their daily steps. Instead, they focus on performing only ab exercises, hoping it will help them flatten their stomach.

However, no matter how hard you train your abs, if you're not nailing the basics consistently, you won't get a flatter stomach. But, if you're doing the right things and focusing on the habits that make the biggest impact, then there are two tricks you can do in order to build your core, and improve your stomach, faster.

Related: 5 Major Secrets to Getting a Lean Body for Good, Experts Say

The first one is proper breathing. Most of us aren't breathing the right way during exercise or we're not maintaining tension in the right muscles. If you want to really engage your core during ab exercises, you need to flex your abs hard during the concentric while exhaling out all of your air and hollowing your stomach.

The second trick is to have proper pelvis alignment and to engage our glutes and hamstrings. Many people mistakenly end up engaging their hip flexors rather than their core when performing ab exercises. In order to use your abs instead of your hip flexors, you need to incorporate reciprocal inhibition. This means engaging the muscle opposite of the one you don't want to recruit. In this case, engaging your hamstrings and glutes will take the tension off of your hip flexors so you can actually work your abs.

Here are two exercises for both tricks. Incorporate them into your routine and you'll notice an improvement in your midsection and help get flatter abs faster. Perform 3-4 sets of the following exercises:

Pulldown Crunches x 15 reps

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Position yourself on a lat pulldown machine while holding the bar. Keeping your core tight, begin crunching all the way down. Flex your abs as hard as you can while exhaling all of your air out. Hollow out your stomach by drawing it in as hard as you can. Hold the position for 3-5 seconds before performing another rep.

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Dead Bug x 6 reps on each side

5 dead bug
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start by laying on your back with your hands towards the ceiling and your knees up. Fill your belly full of air and pull your ribs down so that your lower back presses into the floor. Begin by taking one of your arms and the opposite leg and extend it all the way just above the floor.

Once you've reached that point, exhale all of your air, keeping tension in your core. Then bring the arm/leg back and repeat with the opposite side.

Related: Brie Larson Reveals Her Exact Ab Workout

Janda Sit-Up x 8-15 reps

sit up

Position yourself to where you're lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your heels are pressing against a sturdy surface. Perform a sit-up while digging your heels towards you, flexing your hamstrings.

As you come up, flex your abs as hard as you can, exhaling all of your air. Lower yourself slowly (aka with control) before performing another rep.

Related: Mark Wahlberg Reveals His Exact Ab Workout

Ab Wheel Rollout x 10-15 reps

Ab Wheel Rollout abs exercise

Get into a kneeling position with your hands holding the ab wheel. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, extend your body forward towards the ground, leading with your arms and hips. Go down as far as you can while maintaining tension in your abs, then return back to starting position.

For more, check out Secret Effects of Lifting Weights Just Once Per Week, Science Says.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more about Tim
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