Most of us dream of having a perfect body – slender physique, small waist, lean arms, and of course, flat stomach! Unfortunately, many people find it hard to trim the excess fats in their belly even after starving themselves to death, taking expensive diet pills, and undergoing medical treatments. But did you know that you really don’t have to do all these things to flatten your stomach? A growing body of research suggests that cardio exercises, particularly short bursts of sprinting (instead of running longer distances) can actually help you chip away those stubborn fats and flatten your stomach!
For decades, scientists have been reminding us about the critical role of exercising in losing and maintaining weight, and in promoting good physical and mental health. When it comes to fat loss, there’s only one golden rule: CONSUME LESS CALORIES THAN WHAT YOU BURN. Cutting your calorie intake and avoiding your favourite foods alone can be very difficult and does have negative consequences. For instance, resisting yourself from eating donuts could actually lead you to binge-eat and consume more calories than ever! On the other hand, by starving yourself to death, you are actually depriving your body with the essential nutrients it need to stay healthy. That's why I offer low calorie nutritionally complete foods by Cambridge, with weekly weigh ins so I can keep an eye on progress, and support you while you lose weight.
But for stomach fat, what do you do? Simple – you just have to exercise! But maybe you’ve tried so many exercises already and have spent a fortune on gym memberships and fitness machines but couldn’t get results. Most probably, there’s something wrong about your exercising routine. Scientists from San Diego State University studied some of the popular abdominal exercises and ranked them. Here are the top five:
Looking to have abs? Well then, you better try this exercise! To do this, first off – you have to lie on your back. Next, put your hands at the back of your head and then bring your knees to your chest while lifting your shoulders off the floor. Slowly bring your right elbow towards your left knee while you straighten your right leg (as if you are pedalling). Do the same thing with your left elbow. Researchers suggest doing 1-3 sets of the routine, with 12-16 repetitions. To add more resistance, you can use weights. You decide what level you are. If you are a beginner, grab a 5-pound weight, if you’re an intermediate, make use of an 8-pound weight, and if you’re an advanced fitness student, carry on with a 10-pound weight.
Usually a great way to get abs is by using a piece of equipment known as the ‘Captain’s chair’ which is only available in gyms but if you wish to work out at home or on the go, the best bet is to do dips. Take two parallel surfaces or objects which are at a minimum height of your waist and simply hold yourself up with your legs tucked up behind you. Next, dip downwards toward the ground, bending at your elbows until your triceps are horizontal. Then push up again. Do 12-16 repetitions of this and the best thing is you can do it almost anywhere.
Exercise Ball Crunch
For a flat stomach with 6-pack abs, this exercise routine is worth trying. You will just need an exercise ball which you can buy from local stores or over the internet. To start with, lie on the ball with your lower back fully supported. Put your hands behind your head. You will get your strength mostly from your abdomen but sufficient support from the rest of your body is needed to avoid injury. Once ready, contract your abs to pull the bottom of your rib cage towards your hips, lifting your torso off the ball. Keep the ball stable as you curl up and slowly lower back down to stretch your abs. Again, do this for 1-3 times, with 12-16 repetitions per set.
Vertical Leg Crunch
For this exercise, you have to lie on the floor and raise your legs straight up. Cross your knees and place your hands beneath your head for support. Lift your shoulders off the floor by contracting your abs while keeping your legs in fixed position. Do this for 1-3 times, with 12-16 repetitions per set.
Long Arm Crunch
This exercise uses the same technique with that of the traditional floor crunch, only that you hold your arms straight behind you for added intensity. To do this, lie on the floor and extend your arms straight behind, keeping them close together and near to your ears. Contract your abs and lift your shoulders off the floor while keeping your arms straight. Same thing with all the above routines, do this exercise for 1-3 sets, with 12-16 repetitions.
Exercising along is not enough to achieve a tone abdomen and a leaner body. You also have to give importance to a balanced diet and a less-stressful lifestyle. This way, you can lose and maintain weight just the way you want it.
Best wishes, Steve xx