Lean & Clean


If you find your stomach to be your trouble area, do not feel discouraged because of your genetics. This does have a great deal to do with this but that does not mean you are destined to feeling like a bakery of rolls and a muffin top. 


Stop blaming mom and dad for something you can change! Don’t let go of your dream visions of lean, defined abs. It can be super frustrating pulling up every pair of pants to make them into high-waist pants to hide your muffin top. Take a deep breath. Before you give up, read on because where this is a will, there is a way. As a personal trainer, I have the tricks of the trade to help you get a leaner midsection. As a mom of 4 with not-so-fab ab genetics, I have learned to defy this and attain six pack abs and a strong core.


So, let me share with you just how you can achieve fab abs and even help to prevent injury!


Diet is Critical


I love the saying that abs are made in the kitchen because it is impossible to outrun a bad diet. Regardless of how much exercise you do, you need to eat lean protein, whole grains, veggies and fruits. Balance is key to achieving great results so be sure to eat the proper portion size. 


If you can master a healthy diet, you will lower your body fat stores and begin to see your abdominal muscles as a result. When uncertain, seek a registered nutritionist to help you get on the right track to achieving lean, sculpted results.


When Do You Eat?


If you find yourself eating dinner late at night, this leaves little time for adequate digestion and this can put a halt on your abdominal sculpting goals. This will have you waking up the next day bloated. So, make a change! It is important to lay off the calories 2-3 hours before you get to bed. This will help you to lean down and sleep more easily. When you are in contemplation of a late-night snack, get to bed and save some calories as you slim down.


Make Sure You Do Enough Cardio


Aside from strengthening your heart muscle and burning calories, cardio will help you to get shredded. As you sweat and get stronger, you will also get sculpted in the process. How much cardio should you be doing?


Ideally 30 minutes to one hour daily will give you great health benefits while helping you to slim down. 


Choose running, biking, swimming, hiking or whatever heart rate raising cardio you like. Just be sure to push yourself so that you finish your workout sweaty and satisfied that you gave it your all!


Remember the Weights


Commonly neglected among women in fear of bulking up too much, weights can help to boost your metabolism and shred your body in all the right places.


Those with this fear are greatly missing a chance to completely transform their body and defy the gravity that comes with age. Cast your fears aside and give it a try. You will burn more calories at rest and feel an extra spring in your step. Then you will wonder why you waited so long to integrate weights into your training program. If you do not know where to begin, consider hiring a trainer to set you on a program based upon your goals.


Engage, Tighten and Hold


One of the best ways to see abdominal definition is to engage, tighten and hold. Hold your abdominal muscles for 10-15 seconds for 3 times per day. I also find tightening your core when performing weighted exercises helps to increase strength in the core. Just think of the body builders as they perform their posing stances prior to a show. Tightening the muscles is great practice for teaching your body to stay that way! Within a matter of weeks—combined with healthy eating—you will begin to see changes in your mid- section.


Key Ab Exercises


The plank is one of the best abdominal exercises to work your total core, which is helpful not just aesthetically but also in injury prevention. To make the most out of this effective exercise, be sure to tighten your abdominal muscles and hold in position for 1-2 minutes. The plank can be performed daily if you want to see amazing results.


After over a decade of performing the plank, I still find this exercise to be a challenge!


So, with all this useful information, take a page from my trainer book and get on track to achieve amazing abdominal results! Every day you choose who you want to be by your actions. So, act and work to achieve your goal of lean abs starting today!



Tara Zimliki is a nationally recognized weight loss expert, personal trainer, health coach, health writer and founder of Tara’s Bootcamp, the Premiere Bootcamp of New Jersey. Tara also runs her own blog, funfitmama.com