A toned tummy is one of the most sought after training outcomes when I discuss goals with the women I train.
Whenever I am doing a personal training session with one of my trainees and I say we’re doing a “core” exercise it’s definitely an element of my programming where more often than not, I get an enthusiastic response 😀
(In contrast, whenever I say we’re doing something like the assault bike or Prowler I more often than not get a less enthused response!) 🤢
And whilst it makes sense in theory that training your Ab muscles directly would be the best way to improve your tummy’s appearance, the truth is the more effective training practice lies elsewhere…
Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of core training and it is something I do a reasonable amount of with the women I train and also in my own training regime.
But for the most part, I am doing this to make the core strong, not necessarily because I think training the core is the best way to improve the aesthetic appearance of the tummy.
Core training will only have a visible effect on the tummy when overall body fat levels are relatively low and most trainees need to reduce overall body fat levels first before core training will improve the appearance of the tummy.
So what’s the training secret to loosing fat around the tummy then? 🤔
Train your LEGS often and hard.
– Energy balance (calories in vs calories out) is the most important factor in reducing body fat, including that around the stomach
– Collectively, the muscles in your legs make up the biggest and strongest in your body
– Therefore training legs with with consistency and intensity will maximize calories burnt per workout.
– It will also maximize the acute elevation in metabolism you experience for 24 – 48 hours after training. If you train frequently you can spend the vast majority of your week within this metabolic state.
– Long term leg training will have profound benefit on overall muscle content on your body. This means a higher BMR (basal metabolic rate). This is basically your metabolism at rest. It accounts for approximately 70% of the calories we burn every day so maximizing this number is key.
– Leg training has powerful benefits on hormones which keep our bodies as youthful as possible and also play key roles for fat loss and muscle toning.
– Leg training also provides strong cardiovascular benefits.
The girls I train usually hit the gym approximately 3 times per week. A large allocation of that time will be spent performing compound movements such as deadlifts, squats, lunges, Leg Presses, pushing prowlers etc.
Only a small percentage of programming will be allocated to direct core training.
So if you are performing tons of ab crunches and planks every week in pursuit of the model tummy and aren’t experiencing the results your hard work deserves than I would strongly encourage you to implement the above.
I guarantee you it will prove more effective 😉
Thanks for reading,
Paul Taylor PT