Diet and exercise can make a big difference in your physical fitness, but losing belly fat can be one of the more difficult trouble spots. While crunches can help with belly fat, they aren’t the most efficient exercises to tame your muffin top.
Lou Schuler, co-author of The New Rules of LIfting for Abs, explains,”Crunches work only the muscles on the front and sides of your abdomen, but it’s important to target all the muscles of the core to get more defined abs—including lower back, hips, and upper thighs,”
There are however, better and more efficient exercises that can help you strengthen your abs and burn belly fat. Here is a compilation of some gut-busting exercises.
○ The side plank works your entire core. Lie on your side, and support your weight in a straight line while supporting your weight on your elbow and feet. Hold in a diagonal line for 30-45 seconds. Repeat for both sides.
○ To do a lunge twist, hold a medicine ball in both hands, then lunge forward. Once in the lunge position, twist with the medicine ball towards the right, then return to center. Come up out of the lunge. Repeat with the other side.
○ An alligator drag starts in pushup position. Brace your abs and glutes, then walk forward on your hands, pulling your legs behind you. You will look like an alligator dragging your tail behind you.
Walkout from Pushup Position
○ This also begins in pushup position, however, put your hands out about two inches past your shoulders. Then, walk your hands out as wide as possible, then walk them back in.
Bridge Opposite Arm-Leg Reach
○ Lie flat on your back, with your left foot flat on the floor, and right foot extended towards the ceiling. Stretch your left arm up towards the ceiling. Stretch your leg out to the right while stretching your arm out to the left. Repeat.
○ Sit comfortably cross-legged, with your hands on the floor beside you. Lift your body off the floor while simultaneously tightening your pelvic floor. Hold for three seconds then let your body back down. Repeat.
○ This begins on all fours. Keeping your right leg at a ninety degree angle, raise it up behind you. Lower your knee towards the floor but don’t make contact, then raise it again. Do this fifteen times, then switch legs.
Oblique Driving Knee Crunch
○ Using a stability ball, lay back and place your feet firmly on the ground, knees bent at a ninety degree angle. Crunch up, lifting one leg up towards your chest, while twisting your torso toward your bent leg. You are also stretching your opposite leg out straight at the same time. Then, straighten your lifted leg, and lay back flat. Repeat.
These exercises, coupled with proper nutrition, will help to get rid of stubborn belly fat. In no time, you’ll forget all about inefficient crunches and will soon see the difference in your physique.
Photo credit: Keith Allison / Source / CC BY-SA