What Do Cheerleaders Do to Keep Such a Flat Stomach?

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Cheerleaders have enviable bodies. After years of training, these athletes have not only mastered the sport, but they are impressively fit, too. It's no wonder that they often show off their flat, toned stomachs with midriff-baring uniforms. Luckily, you don't have to be a skilled tumbler to have a cheerleader's midsection.

Cardio

  • Many cheerleaders have flat stomachs because they have a low body fat around their midsections. To get rid of excess fat, cheerleaders must burn more calories than they consume. To do so, cheerleaders engage in cardiovascular exercise during practice. For example, the cheerleaders at Marshfield High School in Massachusetts must run a 10 minute or faster mile at the beginning of every workout. Although you can't choose where to burn fat, you will eventually shed off your belly if you continually burn more calories than you eat.

Strength Training

  • Cheerleading requires strength and plenty of muscle. This allows athletes to tumble with more power and execute difficult stunts perfectly. Luckily, muscle tissue also burns more calories than fat tissue, thus facilitating weight loss. To build muscle, the cheerleaders at Worcester State University must complete three sets of 20 push ups, three sets of 30 squats, one minute wall sits and three sets of handstand push ups against the wall during practice.

Ab Exercises

  • Cheerleaders have flat stomachs because of their incredibly strong abdominal muscles. The sport requires plenty of core strength for tumbling and stunting, so exercises for the abs are important. The cheerleaders at Worcester State University do three sets of 60 crunches to strengthen the stomach muscles. They will also lie on their backs and bring their legs straight up to a 90 degree angle, count to 10 and then slowly bring them back down again without ever having their heels fully touch the floor. Finally, they bring the legs back up. They must complete five sets of 10 reps.

Diet

  • It's true that abs are made in the kitchen. No matter how much cheerleaders work out, they won't have flat stomachs unless they eat properly. According to "Shape" magazine, NFL cheerleaders are advised to eat a diet that is rich in lean protein, like chicken and fish, and low in carbs. Complex carbs like oatmeal, quinoa and whole wheat pasta are okay to eat before practice, the magazine explains. In addition, they should eat 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day to prevent tummy bloating.

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