There is one common problem area on most women – the dreadful pooch. Even when a woman’s body fat is low, they can still have a rounded tummy. Why? Because their muscles aren’t strong enough to hold their tummy flat.
Picture the ab muscles acting like tie down straps. As you engage your core muscles and tighten your tummy, it’s like cranking on the ratchet to pull everything in. As your muscles get stronger, it is easier to hold your tummy flat. But, if your abdominal muscles are weak, you only can hold your stomach flat for a few seconds or minutes – and some people can’t even pull the tummy in at all.
The more you work your abdominals, and engage the core, the stronger and tighter those muscles will get, making it easier to hold your stomach. Sit ups and crunches are always the go-to exercise, but there is one exercise that is often left out of routines that trains your core to improve posture, tighten the waistline, and flatten the stomach all in one exercise – it’s called a plank.
You’ll never work so hard staying so still.
It’s funny how holding a position still is so much work. Your arms will tremble, your core will burn, your body will wobble around and your body will drip with sweat. You’ll grunt, moan and pant – and you’re eyes will be glued to the clock until it reaches 0 so you can have relief. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Give it a try today.
Try to do all three rounds with NO rest (don’t even let your knees or hips drop once). If you MUST rest, set rules, like only allow 5 seconds rest after round one. Set goals each time you do this workout. Slowly increase your time from 30 seconds each to 40 seconds each, etc until you reach 1 minute each for 3 rounds. This workout can always be amped up by increasing length of time, or number of rounds.
In yesterday’s blog I talked about how it would take 8,250 sit ups to erase one cheeseburger. Why did I pick sit ups for the exercise? I didn’t choose it because it’s the most effective exercise. I chose to use sit ups as my example simply because many people are still under the impression you can work your belly off with ab exercises.
While many people would say it’s a “no-brainer”, that you need to do cardio to burn calories (or stored fat) over doing a specific exercise to target one area, tell that to the millions of people who spend their hard-earned money on silly ab-flattening devices. Why? Because dumping money on a chance to get abs with ease is a lot more tempting than trimming down the hard (and right) way.
If you want to lose your belly fat, tighten your midsection, and see a six-pack, here are 25 ways to waste your money.
25 Ab Gadgets You DON’T Need
- Ab Rocket
- Ab Glider
- Ab Lounge
- Six Second Abs
- Ab Roller
- Ab Rocker
- Ab Wheel
- Ab Doer
- Ab Flyer
- Ab Force
- Abs of Steel
- Ab Coaster
- Go-Fit Core Ab Ball
- Flex Belt Abs Toner
- Waist Trimmer
- The Crazy Abs
- Ab Energizer
- Ab Circle Pro
- Semi-Recumbent Ab Bench
- Abmat Abdominal Exerciser
- Slendertone Abdominal Muscle Toner
- Body by Jake Abs Exerciser
- Ab Rocket Twister
- Velform Sauna Belt
- Multi Core Flex Pro Ab Gym
NOTE: If you are bowing up right now, and about to post a comment telling me how much you love your Ab Wheel, hold your breath. I’m not saying that some of the ab devices don’t actually work your abs (although most of the items on the list are junk). What I’m saying is, you don’t need them to get great abs – plain and simple! 🙂
Fact or Fiction: You Can Target Belly Fat
If you REALLY want to get rid of all those past mistakes stuck to your belly, you need to improve your diet and do cardio. There’s really no other way around it. You can’t target fat, and isolate what you want to lose, and what you don’t. Answer is No. You can’t target belly fat.
For instance, you can’t hop on the Ab Wheel and lose just belly fat, just as much as you can’t do a bunch of cardio to just lose belly fat – but here’s what you CAN expect.
Ab Machines: Tighten, strengthen, build, and tone specific muscles.
Tip: Ab machines are great for tightening stomach muscles, which can make it easier to hold your stomach in, and keep your tummy flat. They also can help build each individual abdominal muscle (the “cube-like” squares) so your abs have that six-pack appearance. The leaner you get, the more definition you will see.
Cardio Machines: Burn calories, burn fat, and improve overall muscle tone.
Tip: Cardio helps melt the fat that covers your abdominal muscles. If you do cardio that incorporates upper body movement, like boxing, running, elliptical, and aerobics, you can increase calorie burn and tighten the core from the rotation in your upper body. However, the primary reason most people do cardio is to burn calories to manage weight.
Diet: Controls body weight, body fat, and muscle mass.
Tip: Even if you do abs exercises, and do a ton of cardio, none of that matters if you replace the calories burned by just eating more food. That’s why diet is SO important while on the quest for six-pack abs.
Here is a great workout that will get your heart rate up, as well as tone your core!
5-Minute Abs Circuit
Do each exercise for 60 seconds each, back to back, with little to no rest between exercises. I use the Gymboss Interval Timer to track my time.
Repeat 3 – 5 times
Today’s Motivational Quote:
Although our gym rocked, our workouts were really pretty simple and could be done almost anywhere. Steve shares his Cardio and Abs Hotel Workout he did this weekend, which required little equipment or time.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.