The Best Ab Exercises For Female Runners
Still seeking that elusive flat stomach? You need to train smarter, not harder. Here are the best ab exercises for female runners.
It can be frustrating – you run for several hours a week, maybe go to the gym too, and perhaps even do exercise classes on top of that. You watch what you eat, and have cut down on unhealthy habits. So why have you still not got a flat stomach. It’s not your fault – you’re doing everything right. Or at least everything you think is right! We’re here to bust some myths about flat stomach training, and to set you on the path to perfect abs.
Abs Are Made In The Kitchen
Ever heard that expression before? “Abs are made in the kitchen” – it means that, if you’re after lean, defined abdominals, your nutrition and diet count for an awful lot more than your exercise. So maybe it’s time to take a good look at what you’re eating (and drinking) to see if your hindering your own efforts. Keep an honest food diary for a few days, noting food amounts, times and how you feel (physically and emotionally). And yes, even secret nibbles, little spoonfuls, and the kids’ leftovers count!
Stress Is The Enemy Of Flat Stomachs
Stress releases a hormone called cortisol, which is renowned for encouraging your body to hang on to bodyfat… around the stomach, waist and torso. If you’ve ever been quite lean, but still had that annoying pocket of fat below your bellybutton, stress was the culprit. Stress in this instance is anything perceived as stressful by your body: emotional stress, stress from relationships, work, finances, family, physical stress (including dieting and excessive exercise), lack of sleep or too much caffeine (from tea, coffee, energy drinks, fat burners and anything with a stimulant effect). It’s time for a lifestyle check: where are your stresses coming from, and how can you cut them out, manage them or rethink your attitude towards them?
Don’t Build Ab Muscles Up
So many people do endless sit ups and crunches in a bid to build a flatter stomach. But, think about it. If you wanted bigger biceps, what would you do? Curl them… over and over again. By performing the same curling movement with your abs, you are building the muscle up and making it larger. This isn’t a problem in itself, but if you want a flat stomach, it won’t help. Instead, try core training.
Core Training For A Flatter Stomach
By far the best form of training for great abs is core training. Try Pilates – the deep, controlled movements are ideal for flattening your stomach and teaching you how to connect with each level of your abdominal muscles. Performing the plank, and its variations, are wonderful for developing a flatter stomach and smaller waist. Make the most of time spent in queues, washing up, or brushing your teeth by holding your stomach (from ribcage to pelvis) in tight and then releasing the hold to 80%, holding it there as you breathe for a minute or two.
Let us know how you get on, and if you’d like more articles on the dietary, stress management or core training aspects of getting a flatter stomach.