Ladies, we all know one of the biggest issues when getting in shape is dealing with our little “kangaroo pouch”. You know what I mean. That little bubble of a belly. The entire reason we don’t have a flat stomach. While our little kangaroo pouch is for a possible future joey of our own, it can be extremely frustrating trying to get that flat tummy we have been working so desperately hard for. In this article, I will outline the reasoning behind our difficulties at achieving our goal of having abs, and some tips on how to finally get one!
Unfortunately, the main culprit behind our kangaroo pouch is good ole’ genetics. It was found that in female bodies, our fat is much more likely than men to be stored in our abdomens and around our uterus and other reproductive organs. We store fat more efficiently, and it has been found we have an average of 6 to 11 percent more fat on our body. It is simply biology. Nothing we can do to reverse that, although there are several options to still tackle our flat stomach and washboard abs.
Diet changes, even slight, can be one of the largest factors that will push your body to the next level. Common issues include too much salt in your diet and food allergies. Having a diet laden in salt will make you retain water weight. Food allergies, those you may not even know of, can also wreak havoc in your digestion, resulting in even more water retention and bloating. Taking care of your body is extremely important and taking the proper precautions before working out can make major differences.
Something you also keep in mind is that you should limit the amount that you eat before working out. While it is necessary to eat enough so that you have energy before hitting the gym, one of the biggest downfalls can be eating too much, and not the right food. Proper pre-workout snacks should include complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats. Nuts are a popular choice, along with protein shakes or smoothies. Those sugary candy bars and sodas you have been hiding in your kangaroo pouch won’t do you any good.
On to what we have all been waiting for, the exercises! While jumping around like a kangaroo to keep off our kangaroo pouch may seem like a probable choice, there are several other exercises that can offset that kangaroo pouch. Certified personal trainer, Doug Sklar, has found that 3 sets of 60 second planks is exactly what we need to attain our fitness goals. And the best part, you don’t even have to do all 60 seconds at once! It may even be beneficial to some to split up the time, as it can defer injuries within your back.
Another major exercise routine should include High Intensity Interval Training, or as some of you may know, HIIT. You will work out at your maximum intensity and continue burning calories. Continue doing this, even if you have extremely little fat on your body. These workouts will continue to transform and shape your body to the best it can be. You should aim for 30-60 minutes of cardio every day, and HIIT is the perfect way to hit your ideal body goals. Other cardio options include swimming, running, and biking.
Taking all of these factors into consideration, discovering your abs hidden away behind that “kangaroo pouch,” should be attainable. Remembering to eat healthy and appropriately, staying away from too much salt, and actually doing your planks and cardio will immensely help your goal. If it is still truly difficult to get that perfectly flat tummy and washboard abs, don’t sweat it! It is perfectly normal and it’s just biology playing a role in all of our lives.
My name is Haley Carlton and I am going into my fourth year of a five-year program at Drexel University in Philadelphia! I am currently studying geoscience and I plan on getting my PhD in Oceanography when I graduate from Drexel. I am a member of the club swim team and I love running 5Ks. Outside of class, I also act as a handler and short-term foster for Service Dogs in Training.
- Brooke, Taryn. “10 Reasons Why You Don’t Have a Flat Stomach.” The Cheat Sheet, 12 Dec. 2017, www.cheatsheet.com/health-fitness/reasons-why-you-dont-have-a-flat-stomach.html/.
- Millstein, Seth. “Why Women Aren’t Meant To Have ‘Flat Abs’.” Bustle, Bustle, 17 Dec. 2018, www.bustle.com/articles/32447-how-do-i-get-flat-abs-is-a-biologically-rigged-question-for-women-to-be-asking-themselves.
- Nelson, Brooke. “This Is Exactly How Long You Need to Hold a Plank to Flatten Your Belly.” Reader’s Digest, Reader’s Digest, 23 Jan. 2019, www.rd.com/health/fitness/how-long-to-hold-plank/.
- Ogle, Marguerite. “5 Reasons Why You’re Having Trouble Getting a Flat Tummy.” Verywell Fit, 16 Oct. 2018, www.verywellfit.com/why-cant-i-get-a-flat-stomach-2704408.