Strengthening the Stomach

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What do you mean, stomach fat?

You’re probably not heavy, not by a long shot. There’s barely an ounce of weight on you, and you try to stay active and try to eat well. Still, you look down and that belly persists. You’re standing in front of the bathroom mirror, wondering where it came from.

You straighten up, get yourself some good posture, and it vanishes. Relax, and it returns. Damn it, how can you get rid of this?

Where does stomach fat come from? Why does it have to be there, making clothing fit weirdly and making you self-conscious?

There are a few factors contributing to stomach fat. High stress makes your body retain fat, produce sugar and increase your appetite. Other factors may be slow metabolism and poor diet. To tone up, you need a healthy lifestyle.

But while you go around reducing your stress level and eating well, there are some exercises you can do to help.

Crunches help tighten stomach muscle, but they won’t be enough. You need to do full-body workouts to burn stomach fat and get you toned and trim.

Cardio and Pilates

Okay, so crunches aren’t enough. Whats the good news, then?

Well, all that jogging, running and playing sports you do in your free time? That’s all going to help you tone up. Plus, the lifestyle benefits of toning up more than make up for the time and effort involved.

We gave you a few tips for getting together a cardio routine in a small space, but now we’ll go over two Pilates techniques you can pull out next time you’re down on the ground doing some crunches.

Pilates help with flattening out your stomach because they work your abdominals and raise your heart-rate, helping you burn calories.

Double Straight Legged Stretch

 Okay, so you’re on your back, having just done your thirty or so crunches. You’ll want to take a short break before doing another thirty, so here’s a Pilates technique that strengthens your lower stomach.

First, straighten your legs. Raise your head and legs slowly off the ground and put your hands behind your head. While keeping your head and neck up, bend your legs.

Raise your legs off the floor and then straighten them out, keeping them lifted as high as you can. Slowly lower the legs until they are about a foot above the floor,and then raise them back up.

Repeat this ten to twenty times. It’s going to get your abs working pretty hard, and gives a great workout for your quads.

The Criss Cross
The Criss Cross works the abs, your hips and your shoulders. It also gets your heart-rate going like a maniac.

Okay, you’re still on your back. Put your hands behind your head to support your neck, and bend your left knee to your chest, keeping your right leg straight. Bring your left elbow to your left knee, so you’re facing towards the right.

Time to switch. Straighten your left leg out and bring your right knee to your chest. Touch your right elbow to the knee. Now alternate, straightening your right leg and bringing your left knee up. As you repeat these, keep your shoulders and head off the ground. Repeat ten to twenty times.

Get active.
 

 

Crunches and Pilates are only part of the secrets to stomach training. You can’t burn fat away from just your stomach, so you need to burn fat everywhere. Jogging three to five times a week, combined with stomach-centered strength training like crunches and Pilates will keep you trim and limber.

Stay healthy, readers!

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