When it comes to getting rid of body fat, belly fat is the most stubborn. Sometimes, its easier to burn fat in other areas of the body compared to the tum-tum. Probably because everything we eat kind of shows in our tummy, and some of us just can’t resist food!
If you have been searching for a belly-flattening exercises for a long time, you might have come across spot-reduction exercises – like crunches and sit-ups – that are said to give you that flat and toned tummy within a week. Bullshit! Cause there is no such thing as spot-reduction exercises that target the fat in your stomach.
The only way to reduce that stubborn belly fat is to combine exercises like cardio, strength and core work-outs. Doing a whole body work-out is the best way to reduce tummy fat, resulting in a flatter stomach. Here is a combination of a few core-focused exercises that will burn your overall body fat, helping you achieve that toned and chiseled core.
My personal favourite and also a hell of a work-out. This is a great exercise that really focuses on your core, shoulders, triceps and quads. There’s a lot of jumping in this exercise, from the explosive plyometric movement, so it’s really great to get your heart pumping as well.
How: Get into position where your feet are shoulder distance apart. Send your hips back as you lower your body into a squat like position. Then, push your arms out to the ground and send your feet back so you are now in a plank position and your chest is facing the ground. Jump to your feet just outside your hands (it should look like a frog sitting) and jump explosively into the air with both your arms overhead.
If you are a beginner, this may be hard so do, so start slowly, find your pace and see how many reps you can handle. But trust me when I say that once you’re used to burpees, this will be your favourite exercise and it does wonders in reducing that belly fat.
2. Mountain Climbing
Similar to burpees, this is a great core strengthening exercise that you have to include in your work-out regime if you want to get rid of that excess belly fat. You will really feel the heat on this one. Mountain climbers target your core, shoulders, triceps and chest. A bonus, because you are toning your entire upper-body with this work-out.
How: Get into a high plank position, the back of your hands should be right beneath your shoulders – palm faced downward. Keeping your core tight, draw your belly button inwards and bring your left or right knee to your chest, bring it right back out to the former position. Continue this on the other knee as well. Take turns bringing both knees inwards to the chest, as you would when climbing a mountain.
You can do it slowly, or go in a jog-like movement, depending on your agility and strength. But of course, if you want effective results, you should be able to feel the burn when carrying out the work-out.
The sprawl is similar to the burpee, but this does not end in an explosive jump. A full body exercise that targets the entire upper body and tones the stomach. It works many of the major muscles in our body, like the shoulders, core, arms, glutes and hamstrings, to name a few.
How: Get into the same starting position as you would when doing a burpee, squat down and place your hands on the ground. Jump and push your feet backwards to a plank position and lower your body so it touches the ground. It does not necessarily have to touch the ground – again, it depends on your flexibility, and you can always work your way up. Once in the high plank position, jump with your feet back to the outside of your hands and get back up in a squat position. Now, repeat this movement according to the amount of reps you prefer to do.
This one is a pretty basic core strengthening exercise that is really beneficial in toning that tummy.
How: Get into a plank position with your forearm flat on the ground, equal to the distance of your shoulders. Your legs should be placed straight behind. Be sure not to bend your body upwards or be too low – not only would this reduce the effectiveness, but may also cause injury. Hold the plank position for seconds and repeat according to the amount of reps you are going for.
For the best results for a slimmer stomach through planks – suck in the abdominal muscles inwards and remember to keep steady breathing.
5. Spiderman Planks
Instead of your typical crunches, try the Spiderman plank work-out. This work-out tones and strengthens the core, and helps with posture as well as aligning the body.
How: Start by getting in your normal plank position. Bring your right knee to your right elbow while squeezing your abs and breathing steadily. Place your leg back to its former position. Repeat this step on the left leg and go for however many reps you decide to do.
6. Russian Twists
The Russian twist is a core workout focusing on improving your oblique strength. This exercise is usually performed with a medicine ball or a lighter dumbbell, in which the movement requires you to move your torso side to side while in a sit-up position, preferably with feet off the ground.
How: Sit up tall on the ground, keep your knees bent and if possible have your feet lifted slightly off the ground. This adds to the effectiveness of this exercise, then again, please do take it slow if you are new. If you have the exercise ball at home, you may use that during this exercise – but doing it without any equipment would be just fine. Lean backwards while keeping your spine straight and long, turn your torso to the right, hold the position and squeeze your right oblique muscles. Turn your torso to the left, hold it and squeeze your left oblique as well. Repeat this movement.
Be careful not to put too much pressure on your spine – we do want to remove the belly fat, not the spine, people!
7. HIIT Cardio
If you didn’t already know, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, which involves cardio and resistance training. This is a pretty challenging full body work-out that will take your cardio to another level. This exercise will start working you out at a very intense level, and then slowing down to a slower exercise, and then continuing by increasing the intensity of exercise again.
There are many ways to carry out HIIT exercise, please do checkout the YouTube video above to help you with this exercise. If you are a beginner, you may start by introducing these exercises little by little on a daily basis till your body is strong enough to handle it all in one go.
Now take note ladies – although we may all want a smaller stomach that can fit into that dress that’s stashed away in the closet waiting to be worn, please remember to take it one step at a time and most importantly, love yourself. Working out is to make you confident – don’t do it just because someone tells you to. And also, you will not attain results in a day, so don’t be bummed when you wake up with the same body tomorrow.
Exercises take dedication, discipline and time – so enjoy the journey!
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