I'm not one to post pictures of midriffs on my blog, however, I read this awesome snipit in the latest Women's Health and I couldn't keep it to myself.
Here's what it says.
"Planks and crunches are surefire ways to build core strength, but they're not enough to whittle your middle, says a new study. Volunteers did seven different core-strengthening exercises five days a week. After six weeks, they had stronger ab muscles, but they didn't lose fat or inches. To zap body fat, you have to train all of your major muscles groups, which increases your resting metabolic rate so you blast more calories all day long, says study author Sachin Vispute, M.S.Ed., of the University of Illinois at Chicago. To lose the flab even faster, add cardio and watch your diet."
I believe in this whole-heartedly. And this is why in my own workouts and when I'm training clients, the emphasis is on total body strength-training, not ab exercises. In fact, we spend very little time on abs and the time time spent on abs is mainly spent in some variation of the plank.
And the results are there.
After having the girls, my abs were pretty obliterated. I mean, you can't blame them. I was pregnant for basically two years. After Stella, I picked up my running mileage and managed to drop most of the weight pretty quickly. But I had a few stubborn pounds and a gut that just kept sticking around.
Running alone was not cutting it.
My sister passed along this book to me and it changed my body completely. After just a couple weeks of strength training my sister looked at me and said, "Your body is starting to look like it did before you got pregnant." I thought I heard angels singing in heaven. That was the best encouragement ever.
The best thing about the program I followed in the book was the fact that it had very little ab exercises, yet my abs were coming back into shape. Dare I say, somewhat flat. When you place the emphasis on strengthening your entire body, your abs manage to tighten back up.
And while I can't say they're perfect, I can say that the new normal is pretty good.
So my advice, buy the book, follow one of the programs, clean up your diet, lift like a boy and you will see results.