Total Gym’s 8 Do’s and Don’ts To Tighten Your Stomach After 40

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How Get A Flat Belly After 40

Life after forty can be fabulous and fit rather than fat and flabby.

Some may say that the second the birthday candles are blown out, their metabolism went on vacation! Was it the extra cake?  Or was the culprit the aging process taking over? How do we prevent this from occurring, knowing aging is inevitable?

If you are over 40, at some point or another, you may have developed a middle age pouch either from lack of exercise, a poor diet, or post-baby. Even though a tummy tuck may sound like a good solution, there are good and natural ways to slow down the fat-storing process, such as eating healthy foods, performing intense core workouts, and having the goal to make it happen!

The 8 Do’s and Don’ts:

Having a flat and firm core after forty takes patience, effort and knowledge of some important facts. A tight tummy is more than just for looks. Here are some ‘core truths’ that can help you banish belly fat and get a flatter, tighter, and ageless midsection!

  1. DO Strengthen Your Core To Improve Your Overall Health– Core muscles support the back, protect vital organs, and allow daily functional movement. Ignoring the core and allowing extra fat increases the risk for coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. (See the workout at the end of the article!)
  2. DON’T Go Crazy On The Crunches – Performing traditional crunches have value, but doing hundreds will not lead to a tighter midsection! Abdominal muscles often stay hidden underneath a thick layer of belly fat, so the key is to train your abs a few times a week with a variety of core movements and burn fat with cardio sessions. More isn’t better!
  3. DON’T Ignore Cardio and Strength Training- A solid combination of cardio and strength training plays a vital role in melting the excess fat the body holds onto. To get a flat tummy and muscle tone, you need to burn off the top layer of fat in order to replace it with lean muscle from strength training.
  4. DON’T Underestimate the Importance of the Diet– Diet is 80% of the fat reduction process. What you intake plays a vital role in how you look and feel. Cut out empty calories and processed foods from your diet and swap them for healthier options. Most of your meals should consist of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, and lean proteins. We know that a clean diet is a big part of the equation, but knowing what to cut out can make a difference in choosing better options.
  5. DON’T Turn Into Starvin’ Marvin- Your body needs fuel to function. With all the crazy diets out there, you may be tempted to try one in hopes to lose weight, but don’t ever starve yourself. No fuel means no energy for muscle growth, and your body will begin to store energy as fat! You’ll need clean energy from food to perform daily tasks and exercise. Reduce your caloric intake in order to lose weight/fat safely.
  6. DO Increase your Metabolism– As we age, our metabolism begins to slow down. This occurs for many reasons, not just because of getting older! If you live an active life, keep at it and switch up the routine! But if you move less, eat more, and push off healthier options, then it becomes a tough to keep your metabolism burning at an elevated rate. Regular exercise and eating cleaner will help you burn off the extra calories even when you’re at rest!  Plus you’ll get a rush of endorphins and feel good.
  7. DO Hydrate to Cleanse– Water is essential for your body to function optimally. Staying hydrated also helps the body stay in balance and keeps the insides clean. Sufficient water intake helps flush excess toxins from the skin, which can result in less bloat, less fat, and less body weight!
  8. DO Perform Pilates, Especially if You’re Post-Pregnancy– Giving birth is tough stuff! Post-pregnancy weight is something that is hard to accept, especially if you had a C-section. Your tummy can go back to being flat if you strengthen your core from the inside out and progress slowly when you’re ready. Pilates exercises train the core to build a solid base of inner strength. Stay positive and know you can have your pre-baby belly back.

Tight and Toned Tummy Pilates

There are many other exercises that target the core from the inside out. Listed below are some of my favorite Pilates core exercises that will help strengthen your core and attack the excess middle fat from different angles.

  • I suggest training the abs a minimum of 3x/ week & perform 2-3 sets of 20-25 reps per exercise. 
  • When designing your own core routine, incorporate at least 3 exercises that target each angle as well as your lower back for symmetry.
  • Eat a clean diet and incorporate cardio & strength sessions to burn the fat and convert it to muscle!

5 Pilates Moves to Fight Belly Fat:

  1. Roll Up – Targets rectus abdominus (6-pack area)
  2. C-Curve Hundred (cables) – Targets rectus abdominus (6-pack area)
  3. Bicycle – Targets obliques
  4. Swan to Swimming – Targets core, lower back and flexibility of spine
  5. Incline plank pulls – Targets functional strength


(a) Beginner: Kneeling/ Forearms
(b) Intermediate: Legs Extended/ Forearms
(c) Advanced: Full Plank

* Please refer to the accompanying video for demonstration of the exercises.

You CAN have flat abs after forty! Where there’s a will… there’s a way and if you want it, you can truly make it happen.

Best Always,


Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Wow again!!! I’m back home after traveling to N Carolina and hit this abs after 40 workout along with your other workouts, and Again, the order and amount of reps looked simple in the beginning, yet very hard burn by the end, I’m actually doing this one and your “shrink a dress size” serious exercises (even though I’m a male and I don’t wear dresses ) there’s nothing wrong with wearing a dress if that’s what you want to do, just not for me. I love the progression you step through from one exercise to another and how each one correlates with one another. You always hit the targeted area and deliver the beat results, you are the best and your workouts are always well thought out, thank you once again Maria !!!
    This girl Rocks!!!!

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