Lose Your Belly by Improving Your Posture
Everyone knows the children's song about the leg bone being connected to the hip bone, but how many people really take it to heart? Obviously, everyone knows that the leg bone does in fact attach to the hip bone; that's not the point. Probably not many people really stop to think about how related and interconnected the parts of the human body really are. In an illustration of this point, the back and stomach muscles are all affected by one another as they form a girdle around the lower torso. It stands to reason, then, that your posture affects how your tummy looks, and the strength of your stomach muscles affects your posture.
Stand Up Straight
This first step to losing a belly is to stand and sit up straight. This actually has a few different effects. First of all, slouching accentuates belly fat, so simply sitting up will make you appear slimmer. Second, proper posture help improves the strength of your back, which of course makes it easier to maintain proper posture longer. Third, poor posture leads to back pain, which makes stomach exercises difficult. Having good posture will make it easier for you to work out your stomach muscles and whittle down that belly. Lastly, a nice straight posture enhances blood flow throughout the body, particularly to the legs and lower back, both of which are involved in many stomach exercises. So, if you are trying to lose a belly, the first step is to simply sit and stand up as straight as possible as often as possible. Do that, and you are already on your way!
For those familiar with the crunchless crunch, this move will seem similar but backwards. For this exercise, you'll need to start by lying on your stomach with your forehead on the floor. You may use a mat or towel to cushion your pelvis and head. Position your arms by your sides, palms up. Contract your back muscles to lift your torso off the floor. Hold the contraction briefly, then release and slowly lower your torso back down to the floor. Repeat for an entire set.
The next part of this exercise begins by extended your arms out above your head (picture a superhero flying through the air). Now lift your legs off the floor simultaneously while keeping your head and arms held in place. Try to imagine your legs growing longer as you are lifting them up. Hold your legs up briefly, then slowly lower them back to the floor.
Doing these two things will help strengthen your back and correct your posture, which are great first steps to losing an unwanted belly. You will also want to continue working on your back muscles and other core muscles, such as the transverse and rectus abdominus. Stomach exercises that work the core will help straighten up your posture, lose belly fat and gain muscle tone in your back and tummy. As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.
Stomach Exercises to Eliminate Belly Fat
When the weather is warm many people are concerned about losing those few extra pounds of chub which stand between them and a sculpted midriff. Those who let themselves go in the winter months may be working overtime when the weather warms up and you're thinking about wearing your bikini. The good news is there are, stomach exercises to speed along the process. Some exercises are better than others, including the ones below, which are good specifically for trimming belly fat.
For this stomach exercise, you will need to lie on your back on a flat surface, such as the floor. Use a mat or towel to cushion your spine. Put your arms at your sides with palms facing up to the ceiling. Put your legs straight up in the air so that the soles of your feet are facing the ceiling and your legs make about a ninety degree angle with your torso. Keep your knees unbent and as straight as possible. Now, contract your ab muscles so that it feels like your belly button is being pulled toward your spine, while at the same time gently lifting your hips off the floor. Raise your hips to height of a few inches, keeping your legs extended straight upward. Hold this position, then slowly lower your hips back to the floor. Repeat for an entire set.
Seated Torso Twist
Stay on the floor for this stomach exercise, getting into a seated position. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Position your feet about hip width apart. Extend your arms straight out in front of you, interlocking your fingers. Contract your abdominals and lean back about forty-five degrees. Holding the contraction, rotate your torso as far to one side as you are comfortably able. Use your abdominals to control this motion so that your upper body moves at once, do not lead with your arms. Remember to keep your arms in from of you with fingers locked-- pretend you are aiming an imaginary gun. Once you have rotated as far as you feel comfortable, rotate back to center, then to the other side. Repeat these steps for an entire set. Take care to go slow and keep a controlled movement. Do not allow your momentum to twist you.
Aqua Size to a Flatter Stomach!
When the weather is warm, there is nothing quite like going for a refreshing swim at the local pool. To add to the benefits, you can use it as an opportunity to work on those stomach muscles. The water provides natural resistance, making the pool a great place to do stomach exercises to flatten out that tummy. Despite the greater resistance water has than air, aqua sizing is low-impact, meaning less strain on joints. Try out these exercises next time you take a trip down to your pool.
The first set of exercises to try is called the jump and dig. There are two moves in this set, one for the upper body and one for the lower body. The former is great for your obliques, and the latter works on your abdominals. To start, stand in water that is between your belly button and chest. To work the lower body (including your abdominals), put your feet a wide distance apart, then jump so your knees come up to the surface of the water and back down. Picture a frog as you do it . . . this will help you get the form right. Next, to work the upper body, begin by making a scoop with both hands at the surface of the water. Bring your hand scoop below the surface, then scoop up and to one side. Alternate sides to work the obliques on both sides. Start by doing the two moves separately for three minutes each. Once you have mastered the form, do them at the same time to exercise both sets of stomach muscles at once.
As you build strength and endurance, you can add water gloves to increase resistance. You can also do the exercises faster, packing more reps into each 3-minute period. Form is key, so do not sacrifice form for the sake of speed. It's better to do it properly than quickly. Also remember to set fitness goals and work toward them at a gradual pace. Do not push yourself too hard, too fast. You may want to see results fast, but an injury will seriously delay your workout goals. Start small, know your limits and build gradually.
As long as you're working on your midsection, here are a few additional tips. First, proper diet is essential to any fitness routine. A great, hard workout can be completely negated by improper eating habits. Second, stay hydrated both while working out and in everyday life. A good rule of thumb is to take your body weight in pounds, divide it by 2, and drink that number of ounces of water each day. This helps to keep the body functioning at it's highest level. Third, rest up. This means not only getting plenty of sleep, but also getting the right kind of sleep. Spend all night sleeping on your stomach, and you will wake up with a sore back, making it difficult to do your stomach exercises. Also be sure to schedule off days into your routine to give your muscles a chance to rest up and rebuild. Now you already have a great start on a toned, flat stomach!