The Crunch and Hold is one of the most effective beginning exercises for firming up your belly.
Lie on your back and lift your shoulder blades off the floor, your hands crossed over your chest and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat this movement for 15 repetitions. Try repeating the 10 second crunch and hold for 4 sets of 15 repetitions before breakfast in the morning and 4 sets of 15 repetitions before going to bed at night.
Make it part of your daily routine. A variety of abdominal exercises will help build and tone your abdominal muscles. Now, eat a healthy diet and incorporate 30 minutes of cardio vascular exercise 5 times a week and you will soon see the muscles!
Remember, a strong and flat stomach is not just accomplished by working out, it has to become part of a complete healthy lifestyle. The key components are healthy diet, cardiovascular training, strength training and targeted abdominal exercises. However, in order to achieve your goal you have to focus first on what you eat, not only how many sit-ups you do in a day! As with any fitness and health goal - nutrition and exercise are always working together.
Here is a list of simple healthy nutritional guidelines:
- Drink at least two liters of water per day
- Eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits per day (eat a variety of fruit and vegetables of different colors and choose in season produce for better nutritional value)
- Eliminate fried foods, processed foods, fast foods, and dairy with the exception of non-fat milk and non fat-yogurt
- Eliminate processed highly refined sugars (for example: sodas, cookies, candy)
- Eliminate fatty red meat - only lean red meats (1-2 times weekly)