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Seay's Steps to a Stellar Stomach Everybody has them, but yours may be a work in progress. Your ab muscles sit below the surface on your stomach and taunt you as you spy into the mirror at yourself. Crunch after crunch, you promise yourself that you'll get that six-pack this summer...to no avail.

You're fooling yourself with one of the most highly regarded myths in the fitness world: you can do exercise that targets a

Seay Stanford Tips for great abs after children
Seay Stanford Tips for great abs after children

certain part of your body to get rid of fat there. While it's a great concept, it's not true, even though fitness magazines tout titles like, "Banish Belly Fat with 5 moves" or "4 Steps to Flat Abs." <----That's all RUBBISH!

Getting stuck in this rut is easy -- especially with such "expert" advice to lead us astray. But, I'm here to tell you what the REAL secrets to six-pack abs are. (Or, at least a flat tummy!)

It helps if you have cooperative genetics that are lean to begin with. But, if you don't, the first thing you must conquer is reduction of your body fat. Several actions will help with that goal:

  • Sprints: There are two main reasons that sprints are great for your abs. The degree to which your core, arms and legs and other body parts are activated during a spring induces a tremendous amount of stimulus on your abs, making them stronger and fitter. The second reason sprints are good for ab work is that they accelerate the fat burning process. Sprinting gets your body into an anaerobic state, causing your metabolism to spike, increasing your body's ability to burn fat.
  • Planks: This basic move is great for fitness seekers of all levels, as its low-impact effects don't stress most problem areas of the body. The plank is an isometric contraction that targets the deep core muscles, which will help bring those abs forward. It also works on all core muscles, building all muscle groups up on those areas.
  • Kettlebell swings: A new study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise found that using a kettlebell boosted exercisers' core strength by 70 percent after only eight weeks. Due to the kettlebell's odd shape, weight is distributed unevenly as you swing it -- causing you to engage your core to keep your body properly aligned. To swing it: stand with your feet hip-width apart and swing it between your legs, backward toward your butt and up toward your chest as you straighten your knees, squeeze glutes and stand upright.
  • Proper diet: Experts all agree that abs are made in the kitchen. A proper rationing of lean proteins (turkey, chicken, bison, fish and lean beef or pork), healthy fats (nuts, avocado and coconut oil), complex carbs (fruits) and lots of water are required to reveal that washboard stomach -- or even a flatter tummy. Over restriction of calories won't be successful. Clean eating and elimination of process foods is required.
  • Decrease stress: Research repeatedly indicates that stress triggers the hormone cortisol which increases your appetite and increases the levels of fat deposited around and on your abdomen. Dr. Pamela Peeke (author of Fight Fat After Forty) calls this "toxic weight," because it's often associated with heart disease, diabetes and cancer. And, it's totally counterproductive to your ab-licious goals. When you can, reduce stress through exercise, meditation or just simply by chilling out. Eliminate negative people from your life (when possible) and avoid uncomfortable situations when you can. Worrying needlessly about something you can't change is useless. When you can decrease your stress levels, you're one step ahead to forming some amazing abs.

Don't get me wrong: getting a flat tummy or developing a six-pack is not easy. It requires commitment, dedication and lots of sweat. But, it can be done using some simple steps!  And hey- if none of those work, there's always surgery.

lol I kid :-)

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