Wanted - flat tum

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12/05/2003 at 14:41
Just wondering if anyone had any tips on maintaining/reattaining the flat stomach that made a brief appearance late in my marathon training. I don't want to keep up 35 miles a week but I do want to look fab in my bikini. Will stomach crunches do the trick? Or some other gym routine? I'm currently doing about 15 miles a week plus the odd swim.
12/05/2003 at 14:47
90% of achieving a flat tum is sensible diet (low in saturated fat and simple sugars). Crunches are useful up to about 20-30 reps but more are not necessary - if you can do more than that with ease then add some resistance.

Keep up a good level of CV exercise and remember that the best way to "re-shape" your body is to add a couple weights sessions per week (with weights heavy enough to leave you unable to keep lifting after 8-15 reps).

Good luck!
12/05/2003 at 14:52
Do you just want a flat tum or do you want some muscle definition?

I have kept up my stomach routine (which consists of 3 sets of 20 crunches every day, more if i have the time) for nearly a month now which is a record for me.

Its definition im after, which is there already, just hiding under a layer of 'insulation' lol!
12/05/2003 at 15:01
A flat tum eh?

Listen up! You have already experienced the first rule of getting a flat tum - you need quite a low body fat - and that is what marathon training does for you. (Think Paula Radcliffe - very little body fat and her tummy is like a stretched drumskin!)
Sad fact - this entails lots of cardiovascular exercise and lots of care and knowledge about diet.

The next rule is abdominal muscle tone - running strengthens this to some extent without specific exercises. Abdo crunches are OK for the upper muscles (just below your ribcage), but if overdone they can leave you with relatively weak lower transverse and deep abdominal muscles - and the effect is a rather unsightly "pot belly"! So if you intend to do abdominal exercises, try to get a knowledgeable gym instructor to demonstate a balanced program -

- sorry - long answer to short question -
12/05/2003 at 15:05
Leg raises are very good for the lower abs.

Although saying that, i can feel my crunches most in my sides and very low abs, dont know why this is?
12/05/2003 at 15:15
Yes, yes! My upper abs are much better than my lower ones...I'll give leg raises a try. Basically I just want flatness, but a little definition would be nice. Surely a bit of muscle can help to hold in the fat?!

What about the swimming? Any particular strokes that are better than others (backstroke?)

Maybe you feel the crunches lower down because your upper abs are already toned from running, DBSA?
12/05/2003 at 15:20
Maybe, although unlikely

There is another thread on here somewhere, not that long back, i was quite concerned that i wasnt doing them properly and am putting to much strain on my back, should the back be straight or cruved?
12/05/2003 at 15:22
Sadly, the fat is on top of the muscle otherwise a good theory!
12/05/2003 at 15:23

since i started swimming it _has_ helped my abs/core stability. in theory crawl should involve a rolling action which i'd have thought helps.

wish i looked good in a bikini :-)
12/05/2003 at 15:26
Wish i had a private pool to swim in....
12/05/2003 at 15:34
if i wore a bikini i'm fairly sure i'd have the place to myself pretty quickly.
12/05/2003 at 16:01
Can't do crawl :(

I'm a very bad swimmer, not helped by the fact that I can't see a thing without my contacts so not even the sight of you in a bikini could scare me...
12/05/2003 at 16:12
specsavers do approx prescription goggles (at 0.5 thingy increments) for £30
12/05/2003 at 16:20
Pilates.

Even early on in Pilates, you learn a lot about lower abs. It's a refinement of "crunches" I believe, takes a bit of learning, does not involve the six-pack, but once learned, does not need 35 miles per week, nor particularly horrible dieting. I say this because it's made a noticeable difference for me, and I'll never hit 35 miles per week, and I've never successfully followed a slimming diet in my life.

And its good for running as well. (Strong core makes moving the legs easier.)
12/05/2003 at 18:06
I don't think there is an easy way to a flat stomach. Lots of work and good diet!
12/05/2003 at 19:59
I found that pilates was the best way to good good core strength, which happened to bring along with it a flat stomach and the beginings of a 6-pack. It's also improved my posture and improved my running. Well worth a try if you can find a class. Definitely worth finding a class though - don't just try a book or video, you really need an instructor.
13/05/2003 at 15:44
Whats a pilate?
13/05/2003 at 17:43
a bit like a pirate with a six pack
13/05/2003 at 17:49
To get a flat stomach eat little and do plenty of ab work and keep fit at all times. The exception was ginger spice who went on atkins diet coz she couldnt eat little. As soon as you stop the above it goes pretty rapid-The cheap option is to do what most of us do-Hold your breath when someones looks at your tum!

RD
13/05/2003 at 17:58
Already doing that last one...
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