A targeted and purposeful diet and a combination and manipulation of exercises
Originally Posted by fatnomore
What are the best ab exercises to do to tone up my stomach? I lost a ton of weight and am ready to begin shaping my stomach. And please do not say crunches.
in which the focus point is reducing body fat low enough to reveal the muscle definition underneath, is my short opinion on toning.
This can be done with compound major exercises
core work where the core acts and functions as a stabilizer), and some direct
core work (where the purpose "should be") to minimize (as much as possible) the hip flexors involvement in taking over the movement pattern, cardio, if desired, or if one responds well to it
, and manipulation of the routine to make it more metabolic in nature.
The major compound lifts (will work the core indirectly through stability and support during the function of the movement), will "aide in keeping as much muscle as possible" as you focus your attention on diet to reduce body fat. And, the direct core exercises, will strengthen and some cases tighten the core, and assist in building endurance (if rep range is correct, but WILL NOT TONE the area).
Its all about diet here and manipulating exercise to maintain the muscle you have (and strengthening and building "up" the core), while focusing some of the routine on reducing body fat.