How to Lift Weights to Flatten the Stomach

How to Lift Weights to Flatten the Stomach

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Spot reduction -- the idea that exercising one part of the body reduces fat in that area -- is a myth. If you perform crunches, for example, you'll strengthen your abdominal muscles, which does provide a more toned look, but you won't burn fat exclusively around your stomach. The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you take in. To flatten your stomach with a weight-training routine, therefore, include a strong aerobic component, then add a strength workout to help firm your abdominal muscles.

Circuit Training

Step 1

Perform circuit training to reduce your overall body fat. A circuit includes multiple exercises that you perform consecutively, with no rest in between. This type of training keeps your heart rate elevated and helps you burn calories. Regular circuit training combined with a sensible diet will help you burn more calories than you ingest, which will then reduce your body fat. Circuit training burns fat over your entire body, including your belly.

Step 2

Choose exercises to include in your circuit. Almost any type of weight-training exercise can fit into a circuit. Lift free weights, use exercise machines or choose a combination of both. The key is to keep moving for at least 20 minutes. For example, avoid including multiple barbell exercises if you'll be forced to add or remove weights from the bar before each exercise. Feel free to include those exercises if you find a gym with multiple fixed-weight barbells. Likewise, don't include machines that require complicated setups. If you're in love with a particular exercise that includes a time-consuming setup, make it the first exercise in your circuit.

Step 3

Work different muscle groups on different days. Leave your muscles about 48 hours of rest between weight-training sessions. You can perform a full-body circuit every other day, or work out your upper body one day and your lower body the next. For example, you can do a circuit with bench presses, military presses, biceps curls and triceps extensions on one day, then do dumbbell squats and lunges, leg curls and leg extensions the next day.

Abdominal Strength Workout

Step 1

Lie face-up on an incline bench to perform barbell push crunches. Position your knees on the bench's bend and your feet below the foot pads. Hold a barbell with an overhand grip with your hands shoulder-width apart and your arms extended straight up, relative to the floor. Exhale as you curl your upper body toward the ceiling while your arms remain vertical and your lower back stays on the bench. Inhale as you lower yourself to the starting position.

Step 2

Work all of your abdominal muscles by performing a dumbbell pullover. Lie with your upper back across a bench and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shins vertical and your body straight from your knees to your shoulders. Grasp a dumbbell in both hands and extend your arms horizontally past your head. Exhale as you lift the dumbbell above your upper chest, then inhale as you return the weight to the starting position.

Step 3

Lie face-up on the floor in front of a low pulley machine to target your rectus abdominis muscles -- the muscles that can give you the “six pack” abs look. Attach straps to both of your ankles and to the low pulley. Lie flat and grasp a support behind your head. Exhale as you bring your knees to your upper chest by flexing your hips and knees, then your lower back. Inhale as you slowly return to the starting position.


  • Remember to combine your abdominal strength workout with circuit training -- or a similar calorie-reduction effort -- so you'll burn the necessary fat to flatten your stomach. For example, you can do a circuit one day and ab strengthening the next. Or, perform your abdominal strength workout immediately after you complete your circuit. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise in your abdominal strength workout.


  1. Rygecroft

    What luck!

  2. Mervyn

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  3. Eugene

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