How To Tighten Your Stomach
There may be more than one reason to tighten your stomach, or more precisely, tighten your stomach muscles. Some men work at it with a goal of developing washboard abs, while women will often do stomach tightening or flattening exercises following pregnancy and childbirth, to avoid having permanent or semi-permanent flab or a pouch about the midsection. Both men and women need to work at it as a part of an overall fitness program, solely for the reasons of looking and feeling good.
Personal trainers, and yoga and Pilates instructors often refer to the stomach muscle as the core, or the core muscles, suggesting that exercising these muscles are an important part of any conditioning program. And they are right. When you make a concerted effort to tighten your stomach muscles, and work on other muscle groups as well, you'll not only look and feel better, but find that success breeds success, and keeping the stomach or core muscles tight will be something you'll just naturally work at for years to come.
That doesn't mean you have to do several dozen crunches every day for the rest of your life. Once you get in shape, it takes less effort to remain in shape, as long as the determination and dedication is still there.
$$$ Not Needed - You don't need fancy machines or gadgets, or 5-hour DVD courses, to get the job done. Want to tighten your stomach muscles? All you need is a place to exercise, which can be a spot in your living room, or a park or neighborhood to jog through. The desire to do something about a hanging pouch or the presence of love handles has to be there as well. Given a place to workout, a few basic suggestions or instructions, and the commitment to follow through, success should be guaranteed, as long as you stick with your program.
Getting back to the term core muscles, or core muscle group, Strengthening your core muscles should really be the centerpiece of any bodybuilding or conditioning program. If you don't work to tighten your stomach muscles, you'll really have a tough time getting and staying in shape. And in starting out by doing stomach crunches, the most basic of the stomach tightening exercises, you'll quickly find out what kind of shape you're in, and how far you have to go.
Don't Just Isolate The Stomach Muscles - Just as working the core muscles give you a good foundation for overall body conditioning, working the other major muscle groups will aid strengthening your core muscles. If you do nothing but crunches, you'll probably make some progress, but not as much as you'd hoped, plus doing nothing but crunches can quickly become quite boring.
Exercise your other muscle groups too, especially the back muscles, which should always be exercised in conjunction with exercising the stomach muscles. Exercise your leg muscle groups as well. Running or jogging will to the trick as far as your legs are concerned, plus aerobic exercise is good for your heart and lungs.
Crunch Variations Important - One mistake many make when working stomach muscles is to rely solely on basic crunches. The obliques (side muscles) need to be exercised as well, which is done by rotating the shoulders and touching an elbow to the opposing knee as you lift your torso. Reverse crunches, done by lifting your legs instead of your torso when lying flat on your back are also recommended. When you life, exhale, through your nose or mouth, when you relax, inhale, but through your nose only.
Don't Forget Diet - A diet including hot fudge sundaes and potato chips is going to work against you. If you're not eating a healthy diet, you're not doomed to failure, but your effort to tighten your stomach muscles and keep them that way will be one, long frustrating battle, sometimes two steps forward and one step back, and sometimes one step forward, and two back. Find a place to workout, design a routine, either on your own or with some expert advice, and if the desire and commitment are there, you'll get your tight tummy or washboard abs, and maybe quicker than you'd hoped.