If you’re one of the millions of women who’d love nothing more than to show off toned abs at the beach, but struggle to see any definition at all, this 30-day abs challenge is the perfect way to get a head start on your summer bod!👙 In addition, I’m sharing my go-to tips for shedding excess belly fat FAST so you can show off your gorgeous and toned abs just in time for summer!
How To Dominate The Flat Abs Challenge
It’s a common misconception to think you can simply “crunch” your way to a six-pack. As much as I’d love to tell you that a zillion sit-ups will give you the abs of your dreams, it’s not always that easy. In fact, isolated abdominal work will only get you so far! There’s also a saying that goes “Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym,” and while this does hold merit, there are several contributing factors that can prevent you from getting the abs of your dreams. I’ll also share a few helpful tips to ensure that all the hard work you put into the physical side of the flat abs challenge will pay off come summertime!
Why you can’t lose belly fat
We all have abs, but for some of us, they’re buried below a layer of visceral fat, also known as belly fat. Visceral fat is slightly different than subcutaneous fat (the fat that lives right below the surface of your skin) because the visceral kind is more likely to raise your risk of serious medical issues, like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, high cholesterol, and more. If you struggle getting flat abs because you have a “spare tire” around your belly, it’s likely due to one of the following factors that are preventing you from losing the excess fat.
Eating poor quality foods
Eating too many calories
Lack of sleep
Lack of cardio exercise
Too much alcohol
Poor gut health
How to lose more belly fat
If you want to be successful over the course of the 30-day abs challenge, here are a few tips to help you boost fat loss around your tummy and get the most out of the abs challenge.
Stay hydrated—Water is the key to life! Not only is it essential for our survival, but staying properly hydrated throughout the day has numerous health benefits! Water keeps your skin healthy and clear, flushes harmful toxins from your body, and helps your body and organs function optimally, including your metabolism! A healthy metabolism has been shown to help you burn more calories at rest and maintain a lower weight.
Clean up your diet—Americans are known far and wide for our poor diets, excessive sugar intake, and outrageous portion sizes. If you want to crush the 30-day abs challenge, cleaning up your diet is a must!
Include aerobic exercise—If you’re one of those people who avoid aerobic exercise (cardio) at all costs, I urge you to reconsider, especially during the flat abs challenge. Aerobic training simply means that you are exercising while keeping your heart rate with a specific zone (70-80% of your maximum heart rate). This type of training has been shown to not only improve heart health and other health conditions, but also boost your metabolism to help you burn more calories throughout the day, even when you aren’t exercising!
Be consistent with your ab workouts—When it comes to getting flat abs, repetition is the key to success! Staying consistent with the ab workouts throughout the challenge helps build the muscles in your core to strengthen, tone, and tighten your stomach!
5 Best Ab Exercises That Fire Up Your Core
Did you know there are six different muscles in the abdominal wall and each muscle requires a unique angle of flexion in order to be fully activated? That’s why it’s important to include a variety of different ab exercises into your workout routine. The 30-day abs challenge includes the five best ab exercises that fire up every angle of your core, to reveal bikini-ready abs all year long!
You’ve likely heard of performing planks for stronger abs before—but have you ever wondered why or how planks are so effective for your core when they don’t involve a “crunching” movement at all? The answer is actually quite simple. Planks are considered a type of isometric exercise that involves the static contraction of the core muscle without any visible movement in the angle of the joints whatsoever. This type of exercise is especially helpful for strengthening your back, chest, shoulders, and neck, not just your abs. Planks that develop this isometric strength in your core give you the power to keep from hunching while standing or sitting for long periods of time and improving posture overall. The plank activates the transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, and the internal and external oblique muscles.
2. Bicycle crunches
Bicycle crunches are super effective for getting a tight tummy throughout the 30-day abs challenge because they are one of the few core exercises performed in the transverse plane of motion (rotational movement). These are especially beneficial because consistent exercise in the transverse plane will increase your core strength and stability, balance and coordination, and rotational power. Unfortunately, many people neglect movements in this plane of motion which can prevent them from seeing optimal results. Bicycle crunches involve multiple core muscles including the rectus abdominis, hips, and obliques. Performing this exercise while keeping your legs off the ground also targets your lower abs.
3. Reverse crunch
Otherwise known as lying leg raise focuses on toning the muscles in the lower abs, obliques, and the transverse abdominis. When performing this exercise it’s important to keep your pelvis tucked in so your lower back is touching the ground while you complete the movement. People often make the mistake of forgetting to engage their core during this exercise which can add stress to your hip flexors and take away the impact it has on your core. If you feel your lower back come off the ground during this exercise you should reset and begin again while keeping your core engaged.
4. Alternating heel touches
This particular ab exercise is great for toning the side of your abs, also known as your obliques. Have you ever seen anyone with a slight “V” shape at the lower part of their abdomen? This exercise does exactly that! Be sure to lift your upper body off of the floor as you reach for your ankles, this ensures that you’re engaging and toning the upper part of your abs (the rectus abdominis).
5. Ankle reach leg lifts
Our fifth and final ab exercise for the flat abs challenge is the ankle reach with a leg lift. This exercise focuses on the upper and lower part of your abs. The goal here is to begin the exercise with your legs on the floor, lift your legs to a 90-degree position (you should be using your lower ab muscles to complete this movement), and then using your hands, reach for your ankles by lifting your upper body off the floor and engaging your lower abs. This is a tough one but it really targets all areas of your abs!
Take The 30 Day Abs Challenge!
By the time you complete this flat abs challenge you will have worked your way up to complete 100 reps of each exercise! But, don’t worry! We’ll start small and work our way up in small increments! You can do this! For additional encouragement and support throughout the challenge, be sure to join the SkinnyFit Facebook Community to stay connected with other women working toward their goals! Are you ready for the 30-day abs challenge? Here it is…