Related: ‘I Did 50 Crunches Every Day For A Month—Here’s What Happened’
Strengthening the core is important, not only to achieve a flat belly but also for improved posture, balance, and to help relieve lower back pain. But like most things in fitness, too much of anything is not a good thing. “All the benefits of strengthening your core can revert back if overdone,” says Swan, “with postural issues and muscle imbalance being the most significant.”
Plus, a big part of getting your abs in check has to do with what you’re eating. “You have seen the memes on social media!” says Swan, noting that abs really are made in the kitchen. “Working on your abs in the gym is very important, but not as much as working on the ingredients you are consuming. No amount of variation with crunches will develop a six-pack if you are over indulging in the calorie department!”
Hate crunches? Check out this standing flat-abs workout:
Related: How Many Butt Workouts Should You Do Per Week To See Results?
So what’s the best way to get results? Swan suggests balancing a healthy diet with cardio and strength work. “I recommend to my clients work out hard five times a week, taking a day between for a lighter workout and a full day of rest,” says Swan. “My advice is to work out hard and then let the body recover. You will see results faster and be happier with your efforts from working out!”