3 Moves to Flatten Your Stomach

If you ever watch a woman carrying a baby on her hip, you will notice that the baby fits perfectly into that inward curve of her stomach (between the lower ribs and upper hip) like a missing puzzle piece. Women are meant to have the natural curves with which they were born.

However, a common complaint I hear from a lot of women is that they feel like they are losing their curves and their stomachs are getting bigger after doing numerous and repeated ab workouts, often in Pilates classes and high intensity workouts.

In body building, it is called the “Turtle Shell” — your stomach becomes distended and protrudes due to building bulk from crunches, planks and weighted ab workouts. I’ve noticed that most workouts tend to not only bulk up a woman’s legs and shoulders, but also their stomachs, creating the opposite effect of what they really want. The abdomen is just another part of the body I’ve noticed recently that is bulking and enlarging from girls coming from other gyms and my aim has been to create an ab routine that reverses that.

This has become a huge problem for women because it virtually erases the natural curves of the female stomach — what many women refer to as just being straight up and down. I always refer to it as the “noodle shape,” or when the natural curvature between the bottom of your ribs and your hips disappears due to muscle growth from building out your obliques. It is an issue that I hear so many women complain about.

As a result, I’ve developed an ab workout philosophy featuring routines to help accentuate that curve and keep your waist small, while toning the lower abs and bringing out the definition in your stomach.

In my program, you will see very little crunches and planks and a lot of stretching and core stability exercises to give women that perfect, toned, natural stomach. I always avoid exercises that put direct pressure on your abs to prevent them from breaking down and bulking, but just about every exercise I do in the hour with my clients requires their core to be active and engaged. I like to focus on lengthening the ab muscles more than contracting them, the same way I work the thighs and arms. Applying these principles has yielded amazing results with all my clients, by toning and flattening their stomachs without creating the protrusion and keeping the natural curves throughout their mid-section.

Here are three moves you can do to create definition in your stomach:

MOVE ONE:

Start with one foot in front of the other with all your weight on the back leg.

Fully extend your arm to the ceiling.

Slowly bring your knee to your hip and your elbow down even with your chest.

Lower the foot back down to the original position while simultaneously pressing the hand weight back up to the ceiling. When pressing up keep your core engaged and feel it lengthen.

The foot going down and the hand going up will lengthen and activate the ab muscles running down the middle of your stomach by stablizing your core.

Repeat for 8–10 reps.

IMPORTANT: Your eyes must always follow the weight going up to the ceiling then back down.

MOVE TWO:

Start with one leg extended back and the same side arm out to the side with the elbow even with your shoulder.

Step your back foot across the front foot by 1 inch.

Once that foot lands and you find stability, press the same side arm up towards the ceiling and over (following the foot).

Be sure to stretch and lengthen the obliques on the same side as the move arm and leg. BONUS: squeeze the glutes at the same time as you reach the hand over.

Repeat for 8–10 reps.

MOVE THREE:

Start with one leg extended back and both arms out in front of you at shoulder height.

Keeping both arms locked — rotate one arm around at 180 degrees and then back while keep the other straight ahead.

Make sure the rotation for the motion is coming from your stomach and your hips to keep all the resistance in your core. Twisting through your torso.

Repeat for 8–10 reps.

Test all three of these exercises out and tell me if you can feel or start to see the difference — leave your feedback in the comments section.