Bodybuilders say "Abs are made in the kitchen", and this is very true. A proper low-carb and more plant-based diet will aid in the fat burning process of cardio and crunches. By avoiding salty, processed foods and consuming the correct fruits and vegetables with great workouts, you can fight that bloat and rock those sexy abs!
This is a behind-the-scenes pic from a shoot, and there is zero photoshop. I don't look exactly like this right now, but I'll be back there soon!
As a Nationally competitive equestrian in the past, I found the importance in core strength to support proper posture and balance. From experience, I've seen many athletes injure themselves because though they were incredibly fit, they simply didn't have the core strength to stay "put together" and would use their upper and lower bodies too much. Our center simply cannot be ignored, not only are tight abs sexy, but they're extremely important!
If you can do at least three reps of 20 correct upper, lower and oblique crunches once or twice a day, you will thank me later. If you are just getting back into working out full-force again, you can break these reps up into sets of 15 to start, then increase as long as you feel the burn and your crunches are legit.
Also, if you aren't familiar with planking (as in work-out planking, not the Facebook craze), you ought to get into it now! This is an excellent way to strengthen your core anywhere, whether you are at home, the gym, the beach, the park, etc. There are a couple of photos below of a regular plank and one-legged plank for you to get a better idea of what the position looks like.
Get into push-up position, then go down to your elbows while keeping your body completely still. Focus on using your core to hold yourself in that position for exactly a minute. If your arms tire right away, that means you aren't using enough of your core, so tighten that baby up! For one-legged plank, get into the same potion and take turns holding one leg up at a time, this will tone your booty and hamstrings while tightening your core.
I'll have to take photos of other proper sit-up positions that are very effective at some point so that you can have more of a visual reference.