Many women are not happy with their bodies below the waist.  There are two ways to conquer this issue: exercise, proper diet and acceptance. Many women find that after having children, their abdominals have definitely taken a hit.  Often, through diet, core work and cardio exercises – plus a hefty dose of patience – women can get their midsections back into shape (although few see a complete return to their pre-pregnancy abs, it has been accomplished by some).

Keep in mind that diet is a huge part of the equation when it comes to creating flat abs – if your diet is high in fat and sugar, you just won’t get the results you are looking for. Go for quality – lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid consuming too many breads, pasta and refined grains such as white rice. This is true whether you need to lose weight or not – if you do need to drop a few pounds, you also need to cut down on your caloric intake. But even if you’re happy with your weight, healthy eating will help you build muscle and increase your energy. This will go a long way to help change your body composition (in other words, your fat to lean muscle ratio).

Now for the exercise part – there are, literally, hundreds of different abdominal exercises out there. They are all fairly good and variety will help to keep your body from plateauing.  It is very important to focus on performing exercises with proper form to ensure the best results plus to avoid injury.

 When you work your abs, make sure the contractions are coming from your midsection. If you are feeling neck or back strain, or you feel the effort in your hip flexors (where your legs meet your torso), then you are likely losing proper form. To get an idea for a short but effective ab and glute workout, check out some of my videos such as “Sexy Glute and Ab workout” here.

Shaping up your legs and glutes is an easier project to tackle, especially if you don’t mind having muscle definition. Some classic leg exercises are squats or lunges. The wider squats, with your legs past hip width, will focus more on your glutes, while the more narrow squats, with your feet just a few inches apart, will focus on your quads – the muscles at the front of your thighs. The key to squats and lunges is the form – knees shouldn’t go over the toes, and in lunges, the knee and ankle should be in complete alignment. In squats, you should focus your weight into the heels of an out of the toes.  Good form will help you get the most out of these moves, and they’ll help you avoid injury.

In the end, if you are consistent with your training and diet, you will see great changes in your body.  It is important to also accept your limitations and what nature has given you.  If you have never had skinny legs, chances are, you won’t get them now.  It is better to improve on what you have, be happy and healthy being the best you can be and not try to become someone else.  So be happy with the results you get, and realize that you’re doing wonderful things for yourself by exercising and eating a healthy diet. In the long run, that’s the most important part.