You're tired of the beer belly.
You want your love handles gone.
You dream of what it would be like to have a six pack.
On top of being less than attractive, excess belly fat increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease. While your midsection is one of the most difficult areas of the body to trim and tone, it can be done!
But it's going to take some work.
If your abs are completely hidden under an oversized belly, it takes more than just crunches to reveal toned muscle underneath. To burn off this extra layer of fat, you'll need to increase the intensity and consistency of your workouts and cut the junk out of your diet.
Get 30 to 60 minutes of challenging exercise five days each week. Call or email me to make your workouts more effective.
In addition to your regular workouts, include an ab workout every other day. What should your ab-centric workout look like?
Check out the exercises below to find what you should add to your ab routine. Choose four to eight of the following exercises and perform 15 to 20 reps of each.
One of the best ab workouts that also works your obliques (side muscles) and back is the bicycle. Lying on a mat, put your hands behind your head and gently support your head with your fingers. Lift your knees toward your chest and lift your shoulder blades up off the floor. Twist your body toward the right, bringing your right elbow toward your left knee as you extend your right leg out straight. Switch sides by bringing your left elbow toward your right knee and extending your left leg. Continue in this pedaling motion.
A classic exercise known for effectively toning abs, the crunch starts as you lie on your back, bend your knees, and keep your feet flat on the floor. Bend your elbows and cross your arms over your chest. Keeping your lower back on the floor, use your ab muscles to lift your head and shoulders off the floor. Hold for three seconds, lower back to the starting position, and repeat.
Targeting a tough area to tone—your lower abs—the reverse crunch is another great abdominal muscle workout. Lying on a mat, keep your arms at your sides with your palms facing down. Lift your knees up toward your chest until your knees are bent 90 degrees. Using your abs and avoiding a rocking motion, curl your hips and lower back up off the floor, lifting your legs toward the ceiling. Hold for several seconds and then lower your hips down. Repeat.
To do a trunk rotation, you'll need a dumbbell or medicine ball. While sitting on the floor, hold the weight near your body, lean back slightly, and bend your knees so your heels touch the floor. Twist your body to the right, hold for a second, twist to the left, and then repeat, twisting to the right next.
Planks work your abs as well as your back. Lying face down on the floor, place your forearms on the floor. Lift your body up on your forearms and toes, keeping your elbows under your shoulders. Using your core muscles, hold yourself up for as long as you can until lowering to the floor. Practice your planks until you can hold yourself up for 60 seconds or longer.
Another exercise that works both your abs and back is the bird dog. In a kneeling position with your hands and knees on the floor, raise your left leg up behind you until it's parallel to the floor. At the same time, lift your right arm up in front of your until it's parallel to the floor as well. Hold for a second, lower your leg and arm back to starting position, lift your right leg and left arm, and repeat.
Remember that your diet plays a huge part in getting flat, sculpted abs. Cut out all the junk from your diet by eating wholesome, real foods and drink plenty of water.
Want flat abs faster? Call or email me today and I'll get you on the fast track.
There are certain fitness myths that just won't die.
These ideas are passed from one unsuspecting person to the next, a little tidbit of misinformation that does more harm than good.
I've heard them all.
There's the myth about ab crunches melting off belly fat. (Sorry folks, spot reduction doesn't exist. You've got to burn the fat from your body as a whole.)
Then there's the one that says the faster you do an exercise the better, even at the expense of form. (Ouch. This philosophy has caused many an injury. Never sacrifice form for speed.)
I've even heard one that says recovery days are not necessary. (Rest days are actually of vital importance to your recovery and weight loss.)
But of all the fitness myths out there, the one that gets under my skin the most is the belief that fat loss comes as a result of long, slow cardio sessions.
I've seen many people waste their time and effort on this one.
The truth is that intense, shorter workouts that incorporate resistance training with challenging bouts of cardio will burn fat quicker than a long, steady cardio session.
Who doesn't love to save time?
If you are still plodding away on the treadmill 60 minutes at a time then you are spending more time to get half of results.
Allow me to introduce you to a little technique called HIIT.
High-Intensity Interval Training is an exercise strategy that improves performance with short training sessions. These sessions involve a warm up period, several short, maximum-intensity efforts that are separated by moderate recovery intervals, and a cool down period.
The addition of explosions of speed into your comfortable pace will increase your power, muscle tone, speed, strength, endurance and best of all it allows you to burn more calories.
There you have it-all you need to know to take your workouts to the next level.
Do you have questions about using HIIT to get better results? I would love to hear from you.
Call or email today and I will schedule a time to meet with you one-on-one to strategize the quickest and most effective route to meeting your fitness goals.
Owner and Lead Personal Trainer at Perfect Fit Wellness Center.