How to Get the Abs of a Dancer
Maybe you've seen her twist, turn, jump, and flip to gravity-defying degrees on Dancing With the Stars or dribble a basketball like nobody's business on her new NBC show, I Can Do That. Whatever your knowledge of the professional dancer's athletic abilities, we can verify from meeting her in person that Burke has the kind of body you pin to your "Summer Body Inspiration" board and admire. In short, it's amazing. She radiates fitness and health, and even seeing her in a T-shirt, you can tell just how flat her abs are. We got the chance to catch up with her at the kickoff event for Eppa Sangria’s Organic Oasis Mobile Tour and asked her the key to dancer-flat abs. Surprisingly? The answer had nothing to do with dance. Keep scrolling to see her interesting advice!
Given the dancer's top-notch physique, one of the questions we wanted to ask Burke was whether fitness or diet was more important when it comes to flat abs, but we didn't even have to ask—the first thing she told us was this: "Getting flat abs is 80% diet and 20% keeping yourself active." Fascinating, but cue our head-hang as we imagined breaking up with french fries, wine, and everything good in life. Of course, Burke says, that's not the case: "Lots of exercise is still important, and obviously I live a healthy lifestyle. It's okay to indulge in something you love. I love Eppa Sangria, so I'll have that, and I have one day a week where I eat whatever I want, but I stay hydrated, drink tons of water, do sit-ups, and go on hikes. Diets are bound to be broken, so what's more important is timing and portion control" (more specifics on that below!).
In terms of exercises for flat abs, Burke has four favorites she recommends. "Regular sit-ups, planking, getting a five-pound weight with your legs up while seated and twisting side to side to work out your obliques, and going into a downward dog pose, putting your knee to elbow, and working out each side doing lots of reps," she says (lots being at least three sets of 15 reps on each side).
Keep scrolling to read her number one tip for flat abs.
"My trick is not eating past 7 p.m.," she says, when asked for her top tip for a tighter tummy. "That is how I lost a lot of weight myself. I used to fluctuate a lot [about 30 pounds], and what really changed my body was not eating past 7. I saw the biggest difference in my body and abs from cutting out eating at night. I know it's really hard, but if you get hungry, you can snack on nuts or drink lots of water, because a lot of times when you feel hunger you're just really dehydrated," she says.
"So I have my last meal of the day at 6:30 or 6:45 p.m. I'll have salmon with rice, or if I'm out to dinner, I order appetizers. Not eating past 7 makes you really hungry in the morning, and I think breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You can indulge at breakfast because you'll burn those calories throughout the day. So I eat a hearty breakfast usually involving eggs and wheat toast with no butter (I try to stay away from butter), and fruit. Then lunch is veggies and protein. Four to six days a week, be really strict about the time you eat—don't eat once the sun goes down."
When asked for the key to flat abs fast, like emergency bathing-suit situation, she said again, "It's all about diet. And if you really want flat abs fast, cut the carbs."
Were you surprised to hear Burke's flat-ab advice? Tell us below! And click here to shop some slimming workout gear that will make your abs look flatter in the meantime.