Tummy Exercises That Really Work
One of the hardest places on the body to get in shape is the tummy. Exercises and diets left and right claim to deliver the toned abs you want, but anyone who has tried to trim their middle knows that not every method works.
According to experts, the following exercises are by far the best for getting the very most out of your abdominal workout. Each one is a variation on that old standard, the crunch. However, these twists on tradition pack a punch when it comes to sheer results.
- Experts agree that one of the most highly effective exercises that you can do to tone and strengthen your abdominals is the scissor-crunch. To do this, get into the same position as you would for a regular crunch: back flat on the floor, arms behind head. With your first crunch, bring your right elbow and left knee together so that they touch (or as close as you can get them). On your next crunch, bring your left elbow to your right knee. Alternate back and forth on each repetition.
- Another tummy exercise that has been proven to give results is the “captain’s chair” crunch. You’ve undoubtedly seen one of these things in the gym. It looks somewhat like a chair with no seat. It is a tall stand with two cushioned armrests topped with handgrips. This very low-tech piece of equipment merely provides the support. You will do the work. Hoist yourself up into the “chair” so that your back is up against the backrest and your forearms are flat against the armrests. Grip a handle with each hand. Using the muscles in your stomach, bring your legs up toward your chest slowly. Gradually release them until they are straight again. Hold this position for a few seconds, then repeat.
- An alternative tummy exercise that is often more comfortable for those who suffer from back pain is to do crunches on a medicine ball. You’ve no doubt seen these things in gyms, and maybe you already have one. They are inexpensive, and can be a really valuable tool in your ab-blasting arsenal. In fact, many sports-medicine studies have shown that you’ll get a much better bang for your buck using the medicine ball than with resistance bands and even many of the expensive abdominal exercisers you see on TV.
Choose your favorite of these – or mix them up – and run through 1-3 sets of at least fifteen repetitions on at least 3 days of the week. If you find that it is very easy to run through your sets, add more reps.
Here are a few more things you can do in addition to these tummy exercises to help you banish that stubborn belly fat forever!
- Avoid eating lots of sugary foods, as well as foods made with refined flour.
- Switch out your vegetable oil or shortening for olive oil; sauté your foods instead of frying them.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid excess salt in your diet.
- Eat lots of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Include aerobic exercise in your routine. Make sure to get your heart rate elevated for at least half an hour three times per week.
- Stop drinking soft drinks. If you absolutely can’t, reduce your intake so that you drink no more than one 12-ounce soda per day. Soft drinks are one of the worst sources of empty calories out there.
- Remember that a slow and steady weight loss is always the best way to go. Not only are so-called crash diets unhealthy, their results are usually not sustainable.
Follow these guidelines, and you’ll soon be well on your way to flaunting fabulous abs!