Not surprisingly, one of the questions I get asked most often is ‘what exercises can I do for a flatter tummy?’. Lovely to think, isn’t it, that there is a magical exercise prescription out there that we can all do to reduce the tummy.

And while, yes, exercise is an important part of the equation (the right exercise that is) it’s far from the whole story. There are often a few other ducks that you might also have to get in a row first.

Flatter tummies require a holistic approach and often there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. However, there are a few common areas that many women who come to me will tend to need to work on to truly see the progress they want to.

1 = POSTURE

This is absolutely and always the first area that needs to be addressed (unless you already have perfect posture that is). Because if your posture isn’t optimal, you will continually be putting pressure on, and weakening, the abdominal wall. So, even if you are doing the right exercises a few times a week, you’ll spend the rest of the week simply undoing all the good work. Work on bringing the weight of your body towards the back of the food (most of us lean forwards – but you should be able to easily wiggle those toes), make sure your hips or ribs aren’t pushed forwards and also work on drawing your shoulder blades down your back to ensure your shoulders aren’t rounding forwards.

2 = GET YOUR NUTRITION RIGHT

There are no 2 ways about it – nutrition is absolutely key to reducing tummy fat. If you’re eating too much sugar and processed food, drinking too much caffeine and alcohol, you won’t get the results you want. All of these things inflame your body and make you more likely to store fat around your middle. Eat a diet rich in protein, veg and good fats and give chocolate, biscuits, white bread and pasta the elbow. Don’t go thinking that the exercise alone will do the trick – you HAVE to clean up your diet too.

3 = MAKE SURE YOU’RE REGULAR

If you ever suffer from constipation and / or bloating, this is definitely an area to work on. Constipation can lead to bloating and straining on the toilet, both of which will put undue pressure on the abdominal wall. Try adding more fibre – flaxseeds are great and if bloating is your issue a good nutritional therapist will be able to help.

4 = LEARN HOW TO ENGAGE THE DEEP CORE

When we think of core exercise, we tend to think planks, crunches and the like. But while those will help you towards a 6-pack (if you’re also stripping enough fat from your tummy to see those muscles), using exercises like this that work the top layer of abdominal muscles won’t necessarily give you the flatter tummy you’re after. In fact, if your deep core muscles aren’t properly activating then you could actually end up doming those muscles, resulting in the exact opposite of what you want to achieve. However, by locating and switching on those deep core muscles, you’ll be able to flatten the tummy and will also be able to work your core with every exercise that you do. If you want to know how to do that – take a look at this short video.

As always if you have any questions or want to know more, email alix@chickfit.co.uk You can also find out more about my next Holistic Core Restore® EveryWoman Course here.