The abdominal muscles run from just below your pectoral muscles to the base of your pelvis. Because the abdominal region is made up of multiple muscles, it is possible for certain muscles in this region to get more exercise than others, resulting in uneven amounts of muscle mass in your abs. Despite this, many individuals confuse uneven abs with the fat that covers their lower-abdominal muscles but not their upper ones. Reducing this belly fat cannot be done through toning exercises. Instead, performing cardiovascular exercises along with following a healthy diet is what's required to burn the necessary calories and lose weight.
According to Dr. Marilyn Glenville on the Natural Health Website for Women, some women have a tendency to develop excess fat around their waists, resulting in a pear-shaped figure. This shape leaves the upper-abdominal muscles looking more toned than the midsection. While the abs beneath the surface are the same, evening out this region will give you a more uniform and healthier physique. Adding cardiovascular exercises, such as running, swimming or biking to your weekly regimen will help you burn calories. Performing these exercises two to three times for at least an hour a day will help boost your metabolism. In addition, limiting your caloric intake will help you to further burn body fat, indirectly reducing fat around your middle.
If you are noticing that your upper-abdominal muscles appear larger and more defined than your lower-abdominal muscles, you will have to perform abdominal exercises that isolate this region in order to even them out. Lower-abdominal exercises range from bicycle kicks to incline leg raises. To perform a basic bicycle kick, lie down on your back with your hands behind your neck and feet flat on the floor. From here, bend at the knees, lifting your lower legs up until they are parallel to the ground. From this position, rotate your hips, bringing your right knee into your chest while extending your left leg out. Bring your left knee into your chest while extending your right leg out. Rotate between these two positions until fatigued.
If you want to increase muscle in your upper-abdominal muscles, certain abdominal exercises succeed in isolating this region. Upper-abdominal exercises range from incline planks to decline torso twists. To perform an incline plank, stand directly in front of an incline bench with your knees slightly bent and arms at your sides. From there, lean forward with your forearms pushed against the bench for support. Tighten your core, holding this position for 30 seconds or until fatigued.
While abdominal exercises are designed to help strengthen your core muscles, it is important to use attention when performing abdominal exercises. Have a trainer observe your form, the first couple of times, to make sure you are executing the exercises in ways that are beneficial while not causing strain. Warm up for five to ten minutes before abdominal exercises with dynamic movements like jogging on the spot or walking lunges. Cool down after working out with static stretches.