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How to get a flat stomach like an Ironman Champ (part 1)

Posted May 05 2012 9:00am

Corbin-tyr copy Whether it's a sign of health, beauty, virility, or movie star status, a flat stomach is something that many people all over the world crave. This is because a flat stomach is so hard to get, it can indicate full-body power or virility, and it is essential to powerful performance. In this article, you'll learn how to get a flat stomach safely, effectively, and with zero liposuction involved.

How To Get A Flat Stomach

Despite what many folks appear to believe, six-pack abs are not six soda-can shaped muscles that sit under the skin of your stomach, somehow magically filling and emptying as you become more or less fit.

Instead, your stomach muscles are made up of four basic groups that, like most muscles, appear to be named by ancient Latin monks:

1) The rectus abdominis: The rectus abdominis is one big sheet of muscle tissue that runs from your breastbone down to your pelvis.

2) The external obliques: The external obliques run from your ribs to your hips in a forward direction.

3) The internal obliques: Theinternal obliques run from your ribs to your hips in a backwards direction

4) The transverses abdominis: The transverses abdominis is located deep in your abs, underneath the obliques.

The key to better abs, which most people neglect when trying to get a flat stomach, is a training program that targets each of these muscles, and not just one of them. You simply can't train just one single muscle group of the stomach in isolation and expect for your abs to look fit, trim, toned, ripped or flat. Instead, you need to train all the stomach muscles in a functional, multi-muscle manner.

This is same reason why people who want nice arms can't just do bicep curls, but also need to do pull-ups and deadlifts, and why people who want a better butt can't just do lying hamstring curls, but also need to exercises do squats and lunges. The body responds best when we train entire muscle groups that surround our "trouble spot," and not just the isolated trouble spot. So people who want a flat stomach can't only do crunches.

So if this type of multi-muscle training is a goal, what would a flat stomach workout look like?

Flat Stomach Exercises

You should work your stomach muscles every 2-3 days, including abdominal exercise as part of a scheduled cardio workout or weight training workout. For your flat stomach training, you should include one exercise for each of the abdominal muscle groups, and also one exercise for your lower back. Here is a guide to choosing the proper exercises:

-Rectus abdominis: For your rectus abdominis, exercise choices include flexing motions of the spine, such as crunches and crunch variations, V-ups, sit-ups and sit-up variations, hanging leg raises, or knee-ups. Front planks are also quite good for this muscle group.

-External and internal obliques: Twisting and rotating motions are good exercises because they work both the external and internal oblique muscles. That is because if you rotate to your left, your left external oblique and your right internal oblique are doing the work, and vice versa. Twisting motions include Russian Twists, Cable Torso Twists, and the WoodChopper.


Please come back tomorrow for part 2

Ben Greenfield has been coaching athletes for over a decade from the website , and is author of the modern triathlon coaching manual, "How To Be A Triathlon Coach," at .

Follow on twitter @ everymantri or view latest videos on YouTube .

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