How to get toned abs like Strictly Come Dancer Kimberley Walsh

Girls Aloud band member and Strictly Come Dancing runner-up Kimberley Walsh has been sporting pretty spectacular looking abs recently.

Weeks and weeks of hardcore dancing is guaranteed to tone your core muscles, but this isn't the essential thing when it comes to getting a steel stomach.

Endless painful crunches are not the answer for great abs because they're probably pretty well defined already. Every time you stand, sit, walk, run, bend, twist, push or pull you're working your core muscles, but in most of us they're hidden under a layer of fat.

Kimberley's lean healthy diet and intense exercise regime means she keeps this fat at bay and her abs shine through.

To get you back on the toned tummy straight and narrow, it's time to dispel the abdominal myths once and for all...

1. Doing crunches will give me a six pack

To some extent your core muscles will be tightened and strengthened, but if they're still hidden under fat what's the point? This type of targeted exercise won't burn much fat because you're only concentrating on a small group of muscles. If you really want your body to be lean and toned you need to do some serious fat burning by running around, jumping, diving, sprinting and lifting weights.

2. Cardio is best

Of course, building up your stamina and improving your heart health is crucial, but spending hours on the treadmill isn't great for fat burning. Interval training, where you do short high intensity bursts of exercise, are much better for attacking fat and burning calories.

Skip the boring machines and take classes that focus on working all your muscles, like Body Combat or add a few dance-based workouts into your routine. Free weights are also great for boosting your metabolism and old favourites like squats and lunges use loads of muscles at the same time. A full body workout rather than a 20 miles run is the way forward.

3. I've got to cut out all the fun foods

This is partly true because gorging on pizza and crisps isn't going to get you Kimberley's stomach, but more important than cutting calories is cutting toxic fatty foods. Heavy white starches, saturated fat and fizzy drinks will make you feel bloated and lethargic so don't think twice about removing them from your diet.

That doesn't mean you can't have curry, chocolate and pasta occasionally, just make sure it's all in moderation. Chow down on fish, chicken, fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocados and olives for a vitamin, mineral and 'good' fat boost.

So if you're deadly serious about getting Kimberley's abs in 2013 you know what you have to do...shake up your diet, get active and throw away the abs cradle.

What do you think? Leave a comment below to be in with a chance of winning a £100 goodie bag