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Flat Ab Tip No. 3: Examine Your Diet and Digestion

"If you have abdominal fat you can have great ab strength and great posture, but you won't have a flat abdominal or a six-pack," Barrett says. "You have to change your diet and increase your energy output."

In other words, eat less and move more.

"You need to burn off more calories than you take in to reduce body fat," Neporent adds.

Unfortunately for many people, the abdominals are a place where fat tends to accumulate, Barrett says.

"No matter how many ab exercises you do, you're still going to have an extra layer [of fat] covering the abdominals [if you're carrying excess weight]," Neporent says.

Flat Ab Tip No. 4: Props Are Optional

Stability balls and Bosu balls, straps and bands, even those fancy MBT Masai walking shoes are not necessary to achieve flat abs.

Props are wonderful, and they may help you work your core more readily, elevate you to a different level or simply mix it up, but you don't need them to meet your fitness goals.

"Gimmicks or fancy gym memberships aren't necessary. You don't need space, you don't need sneakers, you don't need fancy clothes," Barrett says.

For instance, strengthen your abdominals when you're at the park, raking leaves, taking a walk. Even while socializing at a cocktail party you can stand straight and exhale to draw the navel to the spine.

Flat Ab Tip No. 5: Take Things Slow

There are no fast fixes, Barrett says. Even the promised quick fixes end up being temporary. "It's a goal. You have to plan on a slow and steady progression," she says.

Barrett says most people will experience set backs, roadblocks, and utter frustration along the way. Rewards come with time and consistency.

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