As a personal trainer I routinely field questions about flat stomachs and six pack abs. Men and women want the secret formula to a rock solid mid-section. There are 5 tips that can help anyone increase their chances of a slimmer, fat-free waistline.

Flat Stomach Tip 1) Eat plenty of fibrous foods. This helps aid digestion and elimination. All too often the protruding lower abdominals are caused by enlarged intestines. Aiding the body's digestion and elimination processes will help give a flatter appearance to the lower stomach area.

Flat Stomach Tip 2) Create a strength training routine that addresses all of the major muscle groups. A nice trick I learned along the way is to increase the musce in your shoulders. This gives the appearance of a smaller waist. Working your whole body is more advantageous for many reasons. A few reasons are:

- Working the entire body creates balance. Working just the abs will result in an imbalance and may lead to over-use, under-use or injury of certain muscles.

- Working the entire body will add more lean muscle. Women need to add lean, toned muscle to their body. They should not be afraid of bulking up or looking like men. The more muscle we have, the more calories we burn. Each pound of muscle burns 35-50 calories per day.

- Just working the abs usually results in over training. With a full body routine each muscle receives attention and proper rest.

Flat Stomach Tip 3) Drink plenty of fluids. Water and unsweetened teas are best. Keeping the body properly hydrated will aid in digestion and elimination.

Flat Stomach Tip 4) Participate in a cardio activity most days of the week. I recommend doing a mix of session lengths and intensity levels. The total workout time should typically be kept under an hour (including strength training). A few days should be medium intensity and medium length cardio sessions. A few days should be reserved for long sessions with low intensity. One day each for a higher intensity, shorter program and a rest day.

Flat Stomach Tip 5) Incorporate the Plank Pose into your ab routine. The Plank Pose works the transverse abdominis muscle. This muscle is responsible for holding the stomach in and supporting posture. This is one of the best ab workouts in my opinion. It really works the muscle responsible for a flat stomach. More info can be found on the Plank Pose at

Combine these 5 tips for a flat stomach and get ready for results. Genetics play a role in the over all appearance of your stomach, but just about everyone can benefit from a reduction in body fat. The simplest way to a tight mid-section is to make a lifestyle change. Dieting is a quick fix that usually results in frustration and weight gain. Learn to achieve optimal health by applying positive habits.

Lynn VanDyke is the head trainer at . Her wildly popular ebook, Melt the Fat, comes complete with over 100 exercises, 160 daily menus, 63 ways to stick with it, 100 strength training routines, 800 healthy meal suggestions and loads more. Learn more by visiting: Melt The Fat

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