Being physically active is a key to losing belly fat and should be combined with healthy nutrition. I’ve written about the best foods that help fight belly fat and I’ve mentioned that a proper nutrition is just part of the picture. Most of the belly fat is a consequence of unhealthy lifestyle – being physically inactive and consuming too many calories. You will see much quicker results when you eat foods that target belly fat combined with exercising. While finding an activity that you enjoy and do on a regular basis, such as walking, running or biking is great, it’s also recommended to target the specific area of the belly to tone the muscles and give the area a better definition and shape. And here come several simple belly exercises that you can easily do at home.
The Abdominal Twist, aka Upper Body Twists or Seated Twists, works your abs. This focus especially on the obliques. But it also works your upper abs and lower abs, as well. Swing your arms around each exercise, while keeping your hips and head stationary. Sit on a mat or other flat surface, with your knees slightly bent. Lean back while keeping your head and hips still. Exhale and reach across your body to the right, swinging your left hand. Go as far as your normal range of motion allows. Inhale, and return back to center. Repeat, to the other side. Return to starting position, this is one rep.
Scale Pose — Tolasana (to-LAHS-uh-nuh) — is an arm balancing pose that requires and creates strong abdominal muscles. Practiced during the Ashtanga seated sequence, it is also a popular part of Power Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga classes. Tolasana strengthens the abdominal muscles, arms, and wrists. The deep abdominal work stimulates your digestive system, as well. This pose also increases flexibility in the hips and wrists. Begin in Lotus Pose (Padmasana). Your legs should be crossed at the top of each foot resting on the opposite thigh. Place your hands on the floor on either side of your hips. Exhale as you press your palms firmly into the floor. Draw your abdominal muscles in and up, and lift your legs and buttocks off of the floor. Hold yourself suspended for five breaths, then release by lowering yourself back to the mat. Change the cross of your legs and repeat for the same length of time. More advanced practitioners can hold the pose for up to 100 breaths.
his is another yoga exercise that is excellent for both it’s fat burning and stomach toning effects. To perform this exercise, sit down with your legs extended straight out in front of you.
You can then either grab each of your big toes or anywhere on your calves, this hold will act as a stabilizer to assist you in performing the exercise. Lean, or use momentum to “rock”, backward while at the same time flexing your core muscles until you resemble a V shape, such as the one shown in the picture above. If feel like more of a challenge, once you get to the V position let go of your legs/toes and try to hold yourself in this position using only your core muscles (this will be very difficult, not recommended for beginners).
Hold for ten to fifteen seconds.
THE SWAN DIVE
Swan is an extension exercise. It is one of the best exercises you can do as a counter stretch for the many forward flexion exercises in Pilates mat work.
Swan opens the front-body, expands the chest and stretches the abdominals, hip flexors, and quadriceps.
Swan also strengthens. Throughout swan, the abdominals stay engaged and the shoulders, back, inner thighs, pelvic floor, glutes, and hamstrings are at work.
See the tips below for modification ideas for this exercise. Difficulty: Average, Time Required: 5 minutes
Lie on the mat face down.
Keep your arms close to your body as you bend your elbows to bring your hands under your shoulders. Shoulders should be away from the ears. The legs are usually together, but it is acceptable to do this exercise with the legs shoulder-width apart.
Start off with doing four sets of abdominal twists. Perform 5 repetitions for the first set, and then try and perform between 8-10 repetitions for the second and third set. For the second and third set, the 8-10 reps should be a challenge but if you find they are too easy or too hard you can decrease or increase a number of repetitions based on your preference. Then, for the last set, go all out and try to do as many repetitions as possible. Try to only take a 30-45 second break in between sets.
It’s no secret that picking a workout time and sticking to it is good for building a habit, but as health blog Greatist points out, it’s also good for performance.
It’s thought that when you work out at the same time every day you have higher oxygen consumption and lower perceived exhaustion. Essentially, the longer you stick with a routine, the easier it feels. So, does it matter what time you work out? Greatist suggests the question is more complicated than you’d think.
For afternoon workouts, it’s all about body temperature.