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Flat stomach but not abs?

monamisomonamiso Posts: 7Member Posts: 7Member
What exercises can I do do give me a nice toned stomach but NOT give me abs? My friend said sit ups and reverse crunches, but she said they'd probably work my abs too and I really don't want abs. I've seen people who have nice flat stomachs without abs so I know it can be done, I just don't want to do the wrong exercises and wind up with a really muscular stomach. I don't really have belly fat since all my weight goes to my butt and thighs but it's not toned. I just want some nice definition without a six pack.

EDIT: In case anyone thinks I'm being lazy, I have looked online for exercises for flat toned stomachs but they always seem to work the abs too, hence why I'm asking here.

Replies

  • Cindym82Cindym82 Posts: 1,249Member Member Posts: 1,249Member Member
    Flat stomachs and abs are made in the kitchen
  • Cindym82Cindym82 Posts: 1,249Member Member Posts: 1,249Member Member
    Flat stomachs and abs are made in the kitchen, your abs are there under the layer of fat and everything you do as far as exercise with strengthen your abs. The only way you would get defined abs was if you ate to have abs and dropped your body fat.
  • LoraF83LoraF83 Posts: 15,777Member Member Posts: 15,777Member Member
    Visible abs are the result of reduced body fat.

    So, the answer is to lose weight and reduce your body fat until you get the results you desire. At some point, you will have a flat stomach, but no visible abs.

    Core exercises are good for building core strength, but not for giving you a flat midsection.
  • monamisomonamiso Posts: 7Member Posts: 7Member
    But surely if you're trying to tone yourself you need to work the muscle in some way? Tone and definition doesn't come from just not eating.
  • Sarauk2sfSarauk2sf Posts: 28,493Member Member Posts: 28,493Member Member
    Don't get too lean and don't do a ton of direct abs work. Much of it is genetics though.
  • KarenJanineKarenJanine Posts: 3,529Member Member Posts: 3,529Member Member
    Visible abs are the result of reduced body fat.

    So, the answer is to lose weight and reduce your body fat until you get the results you desire. At some point, you will have a flat stomach, but no visible abs.

    Core exercises are good for building core strength, but not for giving you a flat midsection.

    This. No one wakes up having developed a six pack overnight. When you've reached the level of definition you're happy with stop reducing body fat. If you end up with more definition than you like then eat more.
  • GuybrushThreepw00dGuybrushThreepw00d Posts: 788Member Posts: 788Member
    keep your bodyfat % above 20%
    Exercise has nothing to do with it

    body-fat-percentage-women.jpg
  • monamisomonamiso Posts: 7Member Posts: 7Member
    I don't understand this 'eat less gain muscle' advice. I assume it's just something I've been mislead about, but I thought there was some kind of lifting involved with toning the stomach? I mean yes obviously I'm reducing fat, but surely reducing fat doesn't just make your stomach defined without some kind of working in that area? Could someone explain to me properly how it works? Does exercise not reduce body fat?
  • GuybrushThreepw00dGuybrushThreepw00d Posts: 788Member Posts: 788Member
    I don't understand this 'eat less gain muscle' advice. I assume it's just something I've been mislead about, but I thought there was some kind of lifting involved with toning the stomach? I mean yes obviously I'm reducing fat, but surely reducing fat doesn't just make your stomach defined without some kind of working in that area? Could someone explain to me properly how it works? Does exercise not reduce body fat?

    Exercise *can* build muscle.
    Exercise burns calories. Having a calorie deficit will lead to a reduction in body fat.
  • Cindym82Cindym82 Posts: 1,249Member Member Posts: 1,249Member Member
    You can start to reduce your body fat by doing HIIT training, that's where you run at a high speed for a few mins and than walk for a few mins and repeat this for 20-30mins. But doing cardio forever will not do the trick. When you've lost enough weight than you incorp. weights and lower the amount of cardio to get the "toned" look. But that's not all of it, your diet needs to be in check too. The cleaner you eat the easier it is to lose the fat. Meaning no processed foods or sugars, white breads, pasta, etc
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 30,507Member Member Posts: 30,507Member Member
    But surely if you're trying to tone yourself you need to work the muscle in some way? Tone and definition doesn't come from just not eating.

    Your abs are always working...pretty much everyone has a 6 pack, it's all about what's covering them up. Whether you are male or female, you have to have a very low BF% to have visible 6 pack abs. Also, most women don't bulk muscle, including their abs without a **** ton of work...doing some core work and lifting isn't gonna do it, so don't worry about it.
  • RandiLandCHANGEDRandiLandCHANGED Posts: 633Member Member Posts: 633Member Member
    Flat stomachs and abs are made in the kitchen, your abs are there under the layer of fat and everything you do as far as exercise with strengthen your abs. The only way you would get defined abs was if you ate to have abs and dropped your body fat.

    This part is not FACT, only opinion. Many people (myself included), do not "eat for abs." A low enough body fat % will show them, so like others said, keep your body fat above a certain percentage.
  • LorinaLynnLorinaLynn Posts: 13,591Member Member Posts: 13,591Member Member
    If you don't want visible abs, don't "let" (as if it's that easy) your body fat percentage get too low. Stay around 20% and you won't have a six pack.
  • monamisomonamiso Posts: 7Member Posts: 7Member
    Ok so, start with intensity cardio on my cross trainer and eat less fat to reduce body fat then when i've got to 20-22% body fat start lifting to define? Sorry I'm lost when it comes to this stuff. Another question just to be annoying, how would I adjust my macros to target body fat on my diary? Mine are currently 40carbs/30protein/30fat. Is it just a case of making the fat less and adding protein?
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 30,507Member Member Posts: 30,507Member Member
    I don't understand this 'eat less gain muscle' advice. I assume it's just something I've been mislead about, but I thought there was some kind of lifting involved with toning the stomach? I mean yes obviously I'm reducing fat, but surely reducing fat doesn't just make your stomach defined without some kind of working in that area? Could someone explain to me properly how it works? Does exercise not reduce body fat?

    You're not necessarily gaining/building muscle...everyone has muscle already...when you strip the fat, that muscle shows. If you want to build muscle, you have to eat at a modest surplus.

    For the most part, sit-ups, crunches, etc are a waste of time...you are far better off doing compound lifts and doing some core work than doing sit-ups and crunches. At any rate, for visible 6 pack abs, you have to be at a very low BF%...and you also have to do quite a bit of weight lifting (not necessarily crunches)...you also have to pretty much eat and train like an athlete, which mean you have to eat a lot and workout a lot.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Posts: 30,507Member Member Posts: 30,507Member Member
    Ok so, start with intensity cardio on my cross trainer and eat less fat to reduce body fat then when i've got to 20-22% body fat start lifting to define? Sorry I'm lost when it comes to this stuff. Another question just to be annoying, how would I adjust my macros to target body fat on my diary? Mine are currently 40carbs/30protein/30fat. Is it just a case of making the fat less and adding protein?

    Calorie deficit to reduce BF%.

    That said, 40/30/30 is a good macro ratio because you get a lot of protein which is the building block of muscle. At a caloric deficit, plenty of protein will help preserve the muscle you have. In the absence of protein and resistance training, you lose a lot of muscle, as well as fat when you're on a "diet."

    You should start lifting now...you'll likely have a very difficult time even getting to 20% BF without lifting because you'll continue to lose weight, but a lot of it will be muscle and will leave fat behind...so you get to a good weight, but you're still "skinny fat". Lift now.
  • gxm17gxm17 Posts: 374Member Posts: 374Member
    IMO, what you'll want to do is incorporate core-based exercises into your workouts three times a week. I was able to reshape my naturally round belly through core workouts and maintaining enough body fat so that my stomach looks flat, not chiseled. Everyone has different genetics at play, but this has worked for me. My stomach looks somewhere between the 20% and 25% models, even though my body fat percentage is closer to 19%. And, for me, the only thing I do in the kitchen is eat. :D
  • monamisomonamiso Posts: 7Member Posts: 7Member
    Ok so, start with intensity cardio on my cross trainer and eat less fat to reduce body fat then when i've got to 20-22% body fat start lifting to define? Sorry I'm lost when it comes to this stuff. Another question just to be annoying, how would I adjust my macros to target body fat on my diary? Mine are currently 40carbs/30protein/30fat. Is it just a case of making the fat less and adding protein?

    Calorie deficit to reduce BF%.

    That said, 40/30/30 is a good macro ratio because you get a lot of protein which is the building block of muscle. At a caloric deficit, plenty of protein will help preserve the muscle you have. In the absence of protein and resistance training, you lose a lot of muscle, as well as fat when you're on a "diet."

    You should start lifting now...you'll likely have a very difficult time even getting to 20% BF without lifting because you'll continue to lose weight, but a lot of it will be muscle and will leave fat behind...so you get to a good weight, but you're still "skinny fat". Lift now.

    This is really helpful, thank you for spelling it out for me.

    I've recently started a 1,300 cal goal, and do at least 30 mins of exercise five times a week. I haven't really lost anything yet (it's only been a month so I wasn't expecting to) but if I carry on with this regime (and add lifting say twice a week) will I eventually start to lose body fat? Or does my cal goal need to be less?

    Thanks for all your help guys, I never knew most of this stuff.
  • Lt_StarbuckLt_Starbuck Posts: 590Member Member Posts: 590Member Member
    You have to control your nutrition to change the amount of body fat covering your abs. They are there - you just cant see them because the blanket covering them is too thick.

    Bring down your bodyfat% and you will see them.
  • BonaFideUKBonaFideUK Posts: 313Member Posts: 313Member
    The shape and definition of abs is partly to do with genetics, the other part is low bodyfat. If you want a flat stomach but not abs then I would advise you to do a lot of cardio and avoid all exercise work involving your core (center) muscles.
  • Lt_StarbuckLt_Starbuck Posts: 590Member Member Posts: 590Member Member
    If you want a flat stomach but not abs then I would advise you to do a lot of cardio and avoid all exercise work involving your core (center) muscles.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA
  • bagge72bagge72 Posts: 1,325Member Member Posts: 1,325Member Member
    This all must be very confusing to you. The simple answer is through diet and exercise you lower your body fat % to where you get the desired results you are looking for.
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