Having a toned, flat stomach is often one of the ultimate goals among people trying to get healthier. Though all sorts of fancy contraptions have been marketed for improving abdominal muscles, they are not necessary. Instead of doing countless sit-ups, you can sculpt the perfect flat stomach with one simple exercise.
WHY THIS WORKS
The reason that this exercise is so beneficial is because it targets all of the core muscles at the same time. Instead of only activating the surface muscles, which are commonly called the “six pack,” this exercise targets the transverse abdominous, the gluteus maximus, and anterior deltoids. As studies in the Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise have proven, an exercise that activates all muscles at once is most likely to improve strength, stability, and overall fitness. The key reason that this exercise flattens the stomach is because it works out the transverse abdominous. The transverse abdominous is a muscle that runs sideways beneath the top layer of abdominal muscles. It is responsible for pulling in and tightening your entire core. Common sit ups do not use the transverse abdominous, but this often ignored muscle is the one that can make your stomach flatter and your waist smaller.
HOW IT IS DONE
In order to gain the maximum benefits, it is necessary to ensure that you are in the correct position. An improper position can result in injury to the spine or muscles. The body should be absolutely straight and still throughout the exercise.
• Start with your hands and knees on the ground.
• Make sure that your palms flat onto the floor at roughly a shoulder’s width apart.
• Elongate your neck and lift your head so that your nose is facing the floor and your face is parallel to the ground.
• Slowly extend your right leg back and rest your weight on your toes. Then extend your left leg to the same position.
• The weight of your body should be entirely on your hands and your toes. Your buttocks should be slightly lower than your shoulders, and your whole body should extend in a single straight line from the top of your head to your heels.
• Tighten your midsection and slowly breathe in and out throughout the exercise.
• Hold this position for as long as you can, up to 60 seconds.
• Slowly lower your knees to the floor and lean back so that you are sitting on your heels, and rest.
• Repeat the entire process three times.
Though this exercise might sound simple, it can actually be quite difficult to do at first. You may have to start out holding it for a shorter period of time and gradually build up your endurance. The eventual goal is to be able to hold the exercise for 60 seconds at a time. By doing a few repetitions of this exercise every day for a month, you can gain a flat, toned stomach and improve other important muscle groups too.