Flutter kicks. Do them until the burn becomes too much.
Posts tagged abs.
When people want to tighten their midsection, they typically hit the floor to do endless crunches. What they don’t know is that unless you are already fairly trim, crunches may be a waste of time. It is a commonmisconception that the burn you get in your midsection from doing crunches would help reduce belly fat and create a flat tummy. Many of the most respected fitness organizations in the country, such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), have confirmed that this method of what is called “spot reduction” is a myth: specific fat deposits cannot be targeted with specific exercises. So what does work?
If you desire not only a strong core, but also a firm-looking tummy, you must first reduce the fat on top of the muscle. Sadly, crunches do not use enough energy to accomplish this goal. I believe that exercise alone is not enough to accomplish this goal. In order to reduce the belly fat that is keeping your abdominals hidden, you must take Dr. Oz’s advice and cut out the refined sugar.
By reducing your refined sugar consumption, you allow levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin to drop and levels of your fat-unlocking hormone glucagon to rise. This essential strategy for reducing fat around the abdomen not only reduces your risk for some of our most fatal illnesses, but also ensures that your ab exercises aren’t going to waste underneath a blanket of belly fat.
Once your tummy-toning strategy includes a nutritional component that restricts or eliminates refined sugar, you can move on to thestrengthening aspects that will result in better overall tone and firmness. Time for endless crunches, right? Wrong. As I mentioned earlier, crunches don’t really use that much energy. The key isstrengthening the legs and butt, because this is where your body has its largest muscles and its biggest powerhouses. For this reason, I always recommend my clients do a lower body exercise in conjunction with an ab exercise. This ensures that your workouts aresimultaneously strengthening the core muscles while also diminishing the layer of fat that hides those same muscles.
If you truly want the most accelerated fitness results, there is a third and final piece to this puzzle: cardio. But hold on just a minute, I’m not talking about the same old cardio that would have you chained to a treadmill or elliptical for an hour or more. When you time your cardio precisely, you really only need about 20 minutes a day to get slim more quickly. As confirmed by a recent article in The New York Times, the best time to do cardio is in the morning before eating breakfast. The best part is that it doesn’t even need to be intense cardio; a brisk walk around the neighborhood or even marching in place will do the trick. Exercising in the morning before breakfast primes the body to pull energy from stored body fat as opposed to a meal you’ve recently eaten. My only cautionary recommendation regarding this highly effective method is to not splurge at breakfast to “treat” yourself for your work, as this is the most common way that the benefits of exercise are erased.
Combining these 3 methods, either in the same workout or throughout your week, is the simplest and most time efficient way to ensure that as the weather gets warmer, your waist gets smaller. Before your next round of abdominal exercises, make sure you also have a strategy for strengthening your lower body as well as reducing your body fat.
Start by working three or four of these moves into your regimen no more than three times a week to avoid overuse. In two weeks, try the entire routine at once. You won’t feel a burn as you do with crunches, so complete only 10 reps per set to prevent injury. Rest for one minute between sets. You’ll need a 3- to 10-pound weight.
- Side Reach: Stand with feet together, holding ends of one dumbbell with both hands, arms extended overhead. Slowly lean to left and hold for one count. Return to start. Repeat on right side to complete one rep. Do 10 reps.
- Reverse Wood Chop: Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, one dumbbell in both hands. Lower weight toward left foot and crouch, lifting right heel. Stand, rotate torso right and bring weight across body on a diagonal overhead. Reverse motion to return to crouching on left. Do 10 reps; switch sides; repeat.
- Standing Bicycle: Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands clasped behind head and elbows pointed out to sides. Straighten left leg as you lift right leg, knee bent, thigh parallel to floor. Keeping knee lifted and steady, twist torso toward right. Return to start. Repeat on other side for one rep. Do 10 reps.
- Side Winder: Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands clasped behind head and elbows pointed out to sides. Lift right leg to side, knee bent, thigh parallel to floor. Keeping knee lifted, bend torso to right side, bringing elbow and knee toward each other. Do 10 reps; switch sides; repeat.
- Seesaw: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, hands on hips. Lift right leg, knee bent, thigh parallel to floor with foot flexed. Straighten right leg, pressing heel toward floor, as you lean torso backward. Return to knee lift position and repeat five times. Switch sides and repeat.
- Forward Bend: Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, arms overhead with palms facing in. Lift right leg, knee bent, thigh parallel to floor. Keeping knee lifted and arms raised, bring torso and knee toward each other as close as you can. Return to start; switch sides and repeat for one rep. Do 10 reps.
I want to try the decline crunch. I told Nick (my boyfriend) to sit on my legs while I hang off of the bed and try to do sit ups but he didn’t think I could do it so… I didn’t.
Standing exercises you can do to target your mid-section. Don’t have a weight? Grab a jug of water, a canned good, a bag of rocks…MAKE IT HAPPEN!!
1. standing core rotation
2. side bends
3. Reverse Tree Chop
4. Chop Down w/ Knee Lift
Do each exercise for AT LEAST 3 sets of 12-15 reps on each side. REMEMBER: keep your core engaged by pulling your navel into your spine, keep your shoulders relaxed and in line with your hips so you avoid putting too much pressure on your back. GO!
I have a weight. I guess I can try this!