Tell me how you got a flat stomach!

Whenever I lose weight, I’ve always kept a little lower belly pooch. In fact, I’ve been in situations where my lower ribs were kind of visible and I STILL had my lower belly pooch.

I’m tired of it. I want to get rid of it. FTR, I’m female (26), no kids. I know it’s harder for women than men, but looking around me at school I see tons of girls with relatively flat abs, so clearly it’s not impossible.

Tell me how you did it!

It’s a lot of genetics, tbh. I’m the same way - when I was at my smallest (size 4) and was working out like a fiend, I still had fat on my lower belly. I’m just not built for a flat stomach, and I don’t have the time or motivation to work out enough to get a flat stomach.

You’re supposed to have fat there (as a woman) so it’s going to be really hard to get rid of if you’re not already predisposed to having very little fat in that area.

Rowing machine and plank pushups.

Also, (this is the continually harder part) cutting out a lot of carbs and processed sugars from my diet (and the slightly easier part) eating more proteins and veggies.

I always HAD a firm stomach, you just couldn’t see it - I called it my ‘stealth abs.’ :smiley:

I could always do pull-ups and push-ups, and hundreds of reps of crunches - you just never would guess that from my slightly woobly midsection.

The rowing machine works really well, because in addition to working the stomach muscles, it’s also working back, shoulders, chest, and sides. All that tightens up my posture and makes me look thinner in the stomach because I’m not all slouchy.

In addition, the cardio aspect of it helps keep my fat burnt off, which has always been the real challenge for me. I think that’s the main reason I’ve finally tightened up visibly.

Push-ups are roughly the same idea. I put my feet up on a box (I’ve tried a balance ball, but my balance is shit, so I usually use that when I feel like concentrating on not falling, rather than actually doing any push-ups.) I got a set of those little handle things to push from, so my wrists don’t take too much abuse.

What I really noticed from the push-ups (started with them first because the rowing machine took a while to save up for) is that even without my stomach being much tighter visually, I looked thinner there because my shoulders and chest were broader and more squared off - in contrast with my newly wide shoulders, everything else looked slimmer.

You can’t spot reduce fat with anything but liposuction. If it’s muscle tone, do crunches. Do them very slowly, sets of ten-fifteen (or whatever you can manage).

When you do them, think of raising your spine off the floor one vertebra at a time, as if your torso is a hand and you are making a fist.


Hit puberty and grew out of the baby fat. For 15 years, it was smooooooooth sailing. :cool:

Since then… Er, can’t help you there. :wink:

Actually, for women, crunches have been shown to not do squat for lower belly fat, which I’m pretty sure is what the OP is asking about. (It’s that spot right above the line where the top of a bikini bathing suit sits.)

I did crunches all through highschool and college, and never got rid of that horrible thing. Upper stomach looked great! Still a little poogy bit right there at the bottom of my torso. :mad:

I went to a fitness coach, and she taught me about all other stomach exercises that get done when you’re not thinking about it - those work ALL of your stomach, not just the front bits like crunches do. Once I started working my side-abs and other muscle groups, it really did tighten up.

I’m not a swimsuit model by any means, and I still don’t have a six-pack, but I don’t have a little baby pooch of jiggle either, and that’s all I need.

That said, I think I’d still be jiggly if I didn’t watch what I eat, at least a little.

From my research in DC, NY, Miami, Atlanta and Orange County* I have found that the secret to getting rid of a pooch while still being able to drink a lot of alcohol is liposuction. It’s best if you marry or live next door to a plastic surgeon.

*Via the research channel called Bravo and their series of instructional videos called “The Real Housewives” :wink:

Guy here…

Back when I had a six pack I used to do high-intensity interval training 3 times per week, lift weights 3-4 times per week, and manage my diet religiously. I think I only did ~15 minutes of ab specific work twice each week.

Diet is the most important. Abs are made in the kitchen.

Lose even more.

You can’t spot-reduce fat in a particular area with magical exercises. You just have to keep losing the weight until the last bit goes.

All exercises will do is make the muscles underneath the fat look nice - which is great once the covering fat layer is gone. But you can’t spot-reduce areas to lose fat; you have to just continue to diet and wait. Eventually it’ll go, but that last bit might be a bitch to lose.

Choose good parents, and lose more weight, as others have said. Exercise isn’t really going to do much for you, since ab work doesn’t burn a lot of calories, and that’s what you need to do. Add more cardio to your workouts will help some, but the bottom line is that some people are just not destined to have a flat stomach without serious restricted diet.

My genetics are definitely not on my side as I come from overweight people, but I’ve found that inverted crunches keep my stomach in shape. I suppose it really depends on what you’re looking for as far as a level of tone/flatness.

I had a chinup bar (like this guy) installed in a doorway and hang from it to do my crunches. I find it works a lot better than just doing them on the floor or on a mat.

Shodan is 100% correct here. You can do 200 sit-ups a day, every day, and if you continue to eat poorly, and are sedentary, you will still have an unattractive gut. Oh, you’ll eventually have a six-pack, but it’ll be hidden by a few inches of fat. A healthy diet and a good, sustained cardio regimen is really all you need, and if you want to do 5 minutes of crunches a day for definition, fine. But again, you cannot spot reduce, especially in the abdomen area.

Please share with the class. Crunchess have done wonders for my upper belly, but not below my belly button. So, what did she have you do to work your lower stomach and side-abs?

I do my best to maintain a normal BMI, plus I run 5 miles two to three days a week. I still have a belly. I could probably get rid of it by losing 20 pounds, but I’m not going to do that. I feel fine where I’m at.

One of my coworkers also runs two or three days a week. Plus he runs a half-marathon each year. He has a bigger belly than I do.

I’ve been following the AHA diet pretty strictly, especially the proscription against saturated fat. Doing this, I’ve lost 30 lbs in 6 months. After 3 months, I could see that my life-long goal of having actual visible abs was possible, so I started to do a lot of ab work. I make a point to do some ab work every day. I usually do “bicycles,” leg lifts, very-small-angle situps, hanging leg lifts (to the side, for obliques), machine oblique twists, and machine crunches. I just ordered some abs straps, because the hanging work is hurting my shoulder. I’m happy to report that at age 50, I actually have abs! I still have a little “pooch” at the navel, but I think I can get that to disappear with some more work.

I also do 30 minutes of treadmill 5x/week, which has probably helped as much as anything.

Male, 41. I wouldn’t say that I’ve got a flat stomach and/or sixpack however there is some visible muscle definition there, especially if I lean back a little or tense the muscles.

I dropped about 40 pounds through healthier eating (WW) and a lot more exercise (I bike and run regularly and work out a lot). For a while my workouts were pretty standard at-home stuff (including lots of crunches in a few flavors). A few months ago, for variety, I did P90X - the ab routine is pretty good and it only takes 15 minutes.

As with many fitness-related topics, there’s no secret. As others have noted, you can’t spot-reduce fat (other than by surgery) so don’t worry about that. Find a healthy eating routine that you like and can stick with for the rest of your life, and increase your activity level doing a variety of things. The visible results will follow.

I have six pack abs and the key is aerobics. You have to run, run, run and when you fall of the treadmill, pick yourself up and run some more.

Of course you can do any aerobic exercise. But they key is running.

You can control how much you weigh but genetics control where the fat goes. And the first place it goes on, is the last place it comes off.

Actually abs are one of the easiest muscles to build. Most of us after a month of ab exercises will easily feel strong abs. Of course most of us have flab covering those abs up.

This is where aerobics come in. People ask me all the time how I got my abs. The answer is aerobics.

Basically everything **beowulff **said, minus the machine crunches, and adding what my husband calls “throwdowns” and I call torture.

These things are even better than bicycles for lower abs. Basically, you lay on your back and have a partner standing with their legs straddling your shoulders, both of you facing the same way. You lay your legs out straight on the ground, and lift them up as far as you can get them with your legs held straight. The partner takes your legs by the ankles and “throws” your legs back towards the ground, and you have to stop your legs from hitting the ground (the idea is to let them get as close as possible to the ground before pulling out), and then pull them back up vertical to “throwdown” again.

Those are killer, and paired with the bicycle crunches and oblique twists, really get those lower stomach muscles that crunches ignore. Pull-ups are good also, as are push-ups, because they tone the lower back muscles and help “pull” your other core body muscles back tight against your spine.
The other part is really the rowing machine. I HATE HATE HATE running, and so the rowing machine works pretty well to get my heartrate up to what it needs to be.

I agree with everyone else that it’s totally possible to have great abs and not really notice them, because of that stubborn fat layer - that’s only going to come off with cardio and a diet change (less carbs, less sugars, more proteins and lots of veggies, and LOTS of water for me).

This is called something else if you do it by yourself (lowering your legs together and not letting them touch the floor, then lift them back up together), isn’t it? I’ve heard it called something like “heels to the sky” but I think that someone was just giving it a cutsy nickname. Whatever it’s called, it’s 10x harder to do than crunches.

Bicycle crunch is rated as the most effective, as concluded by San Diego State University study:

You cannot spot reduce, but since we’re talking abs, might as well throw some science into the mix.