As a WebMD investigation explains, acquiring toned abdominal muscles is not as easy as doing a prescribed amount of sit-ups per day. Instead, a combination of full-body exercise, good posture and healthy eating will help individuals of all ages reach their goal of flat abdominal muscles.
Sit-ups are a great place to start when you want to have flat, strong abdominals, but sit-ups alone aren't enough to maintain your abdominal muscles over time, according to WebMD. Instead, start taking a core-strengthening Pilates class to work your abdominal muscles along with the rest of your body. Keeping your entire body in shape is necessary to get rid of that natural layer of fat that will often exist over abdominals.
In addition, fitness experts Ellen Barrett and Liz Neporent suggest working on your posture, maintaining healthy eating habits and setting realistic goals are all important aspects of getting and maintaining flat abdominal muscles. Women's Health also suggests a combination of dumbbell side bends, standing core stabilization, bow extension and reverse dumbbell chop exercises that are often more effective than a standard crunch or sit-up.