As a personal trainer, this is probably one of the number one questions that clients and gym members ask me on a continual basis.

Sure, there are plenty of exercises that you can do to target your abs, but for most people, the hardest thing to understand is that you cannot spot reduce fat and that a strong core, with “chiseled six pack abs” cannot be achieved simply by doing tons of crunches on the floor.

Which is why I wanted to share Chichi’s (from the Fit Villains blog) recent post where she answered this question SPOT ON. Check out her response

“The best thing I did for my core was to get off the floor! Isolating your abs does little to help them show and just isn’t functional.

I didn’t start noticing core STRENGTH until I swapped crunches for tuck jumps, burpees, tuck jumps, planks (all kinds) and mountain climbers. They target your entire core (inside: the corset part and outside) and are fabulous, total body exercises. I didn’t start noticing DEFINITION until I started eating cleaner and training ALL my muscle groups: adding more lean muscle to my back, legs & arms helped boost my metabolism drastically.

I get asked a lot about ‘ab’ workouts and I admit I’m not big on advising people to pursue unrealistic goals: six packs are not necessarily possible for all women while maintaining a healthy body fat percentage. Most women will always have a little extra in the tum, and that’s just fine by me (also doing my best to help them feel better in their more ‘tum’ skin).

However, if you’re looking to burn fat and build core strength, try…

1. Getting off the floor
2. Strength training. Every bit of ya.
3. Using fat burning H.I.I.T cardio
4. Focusing on tougher exercises with less reps (think 8-15 reps until you fail instead of the 100’s of crunches many women do).
5. Adding compound exercises like burpees, mountain climbers, swings, pushups etc.
6. Adding instability to your existing routine (stability balls, bosu balls etc.)

Click the link to continue reading about her thoughts on diet and clean eating for a slimmer stomach and for a link to her “Hardcore Core Weekend Workout!” (Read more here).

What’s the best ab workout for a flat stomach?