Lets face facts: I’ve said a hundred times and i’ll say it again, those crunches and as-seen-on-TV devices won’t give you a flat stomach, never mind a six-pack. To rid yourself of that excess belly fat that covers your abs, you’re going to have to trust me with what i’m about to tell you. Exercise, especially the right kind of cardio, is the key to a core you can bounce pennies off.
Incinerate the fat
You may not want to hear this but i’m going to say it anyway. Doing lots of crunches is great but util you burn that excess fat right off you’re wasting your time. The best thing to do is to continue with those 20 minute abs sessions but to also include cardio exercise and plenty of it.
Some good examples of this are:
Ideally i suggest mixing and/or rotating each time by doing a different cardiovascular exercise, that way you wont get board and will be less likely to give up after a couple of weeks. It is also recommended to be strategic and either do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or very low-intensity cardio like walking, or ideally, a mix of both.
By including this into your weekly workout schedule, your will decrease the fat between the muscles, leaving you looking more toned and less flabby.
Build to burn``
I want to emphasis this point. By doing toning work and cardiovascular work you do speed up and improve the fat burning process, but don’t think that all that work needs to be focused on the abdominal area. This is another huge misconception. The truth is that by working the larger muscle groups, adding more muscle mass, you add efficiency to your metabolism and the levels reach heights it’s never before reached.
Large Muscle Groups To Concentrate On:
- Front and back of thighs
- Triceps and biceps
Also, when we workout the muscles we’re in need of more energy, more energy equals more calories. Those extra calories you’re body has been stocking up as fat will now become very useful and in fact they will help with the process of building new mass, instead of finding places on your body to hide out. Not only that but, you heat is now being conditioned (from all the cardiovascular stuff) and is way more effective at burning calories, so there you have the magical combination.
As the fat starts to decrease, it will come off all parts of your body. Your body fat is like one organ, located throughout your body, it is impossible to target one area, unless you have liposuction done.
I suggest to leave you abs session to the end of your workout. The reason behind this is that your abdominal muscles are being used throughout your workout during all of the other exercises you do.
This is a fact and you may not know this but your abs are important stabilizer muscles that keep your form in check, keep your posture correct and support your entire body. If you start out your session doing abs you will tire them out, and your while workout will be less optimal. Work down from the largest to the smallest muscles.
Strengthen Your Core
Doing core exercises is a must. Crunches and Janda sit-ups primarily work the largest abdominal muscles, the rectus abdominals, which flexes the spine. The function of this muscle is to compress the abdomen to a point, but these are not the only muscles to concentrate on.
The muscles located at the sides of the rectus abdominis. These are very important and if not worked can leave you with a protruding six-pack rather than a nice tucked stomach. They are the obliques and they are used when you bend sideways at the spine or twist at the waist, and just as i was saying, they contract to compress the abdomen, so you should work them just as hard as you work the rectus abdominis. You can do this by adding a twist to crunches, as well as dumbbell side bends. Just make sure that the movements are controlled to prevent any back problems from evolving or worsening any previous back problems.
Next you have the transversus abdominal muscles which are located at your sides, below the obliques. Often called “lower abs,” these muscles are especially important for women that are looking to lose their belly fat after pregnancy. Exercises that involve raising the legs instead of the upper body are effective at strengthening the transversus.
Adam Jacques Tips For A Tight Tummy
Walking works all the abdominal muscles. In addition if you want to target the arms at the same time, why not carry a little dumbbel in each hand or strap light weights to your wrists and swing your arms while contracting your midsection when walking and maintain a brisk pace. Once you get your body used to a daily walk you will be craving to go on walks everyday. Try walking for at least thirty minutes each time to achieve the aerobic effect, and it’s important to drink plenty of water.
What i love about weight training is that it not only helps the metabolism, but it also strengthens the bones. Adding muscle also does wonders for your energy level and self-esteem as you age.
Yoga, although not one of my favorites (just because i’m not flexible) is equally effective at strengthening your body, especially your abs and back. It has the amazing advantage of improving posture and creating a taller, leaner appearance. Pilates and many mat-based exercises are also great alternatives. The important thing is that you find an activity that you enjoy doing. This will greatly improve your odds of sticking with it.
The famous ab belts, do they work?
I’ve seem many ads pitching devices that have amazing results by stimulating your muscles and without one ounce of effort. I’ve even seen an “ab belt” that claims to do the work of 700 sit-ups in 10 minutes! The ad shows people smiling with “Ab-whatevers” around them. How exciting!
The people in these ads (very well paid) claim to have lost inches of their waist as a result of using these products. Men with amazing six-pack abs credit the device. This, i’m afraid is feeding the disillusionment about how to lose belly fat. As i have mentioned previously, strengthening your abs alone (and these machines couldn’t possibly do much of that) just won’t do it.
But why you ask?
Because of fat! If an overweight woman does hundreds of crunches a day, she may develop strong abs, and they may even tighten up a little, but they will still be hidden by fat, and the fact may be that the stomach may even look even fatter.
About 50 percent of your body fat is located directly beneath the skin. Do you know where most of the rest of it is? Inside the muscles. Doing crunches will not get rid of this fat, and neither will the vibrating belt in the television ads.
The power of the mind
This for me, is the most important part, the programing of your mind. Using scales to measure progress is unless, and i tell all my clients that. The fact is, if you’re working out with weights your bound to put weight on, but that weight will hopefully be muscle, and at the same time you may lose a few inches around your waist. Instead, use the pair of jeans that you want to fit into again, or the pair that fits you now, or even the mirror once you’ve lost a significant amount of fat. You will see a slight change every few weeks, and this should give you the motivation and confidence needed to continue the struggle.
Walk with your head high and chest out. Do back and leg stretches daily to improve your posture. When driving to work, sit up straight and adjust the rear-view mirror so that your’ll know when your slouching. Try not to let your shoulders fall forward when you’re at your desk. Trust me you will look great just by doing these things.
I must admit. There are people out there with great genetics, and we all look at them wondering how lucky they are. They on the other hand probably don’t even think about it. Consider it as a character building experience. There is no point in blaming your ancestors for your excess flesh in the middle, take control and work that little bit harder and you to will look great in no time at all.
You can still sculpt out a slimmer silhouette with cardiovascular exercise, a healthy, balanced, low fat diet and whatever bonus activities you throw in. This may not be a novel approach, but it really works.
I’m not telling you that it’s easy, as it definitely is not, but it really is pretty simple. In an age where people don’t even have to go outside to grill a steak, it’s tempting to spend a few dollars on a quick fix, but don’t give in to that fast-food temptation. Human anatomy hasn’t changed much throughout history, however. If you adopt your grandparents’ work ethic and apply it to your every day life, you will achieve your greatest results.
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