Whenever we think of losing belly fat and having a flat stomach, the things that come to our mind are doing crunches and stomach exercises. Though stomach exercises are good for toning stomach muscles, they alone may not be very effective in losing belly fat. To get a flat stomach, you require to lose fat that's deposited on your stomach muscles. A combination of regular exercise (consisting of cardiovascular exercises and strength training) and a low-calorie diet can help you lose belly fat. These exercises are highly effective in reducing stomach fat, burning calories, and helping you gain strong stomach muscles.
There are different types of exercises like cardiovascular exercises, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and abdominal exercises that can help you burn belly fat by boosting metabolism. Swimming, dancing, biking, playing sports, etc. are some cardio exercises that can help you get a flat stomach. HIIT is a high intensity form of cardio where the intensity of exercise is varied every few minutes thus forcing the body to burn more calories in a shorter span of time. Abdominal exercises such as crunches or leg lifts work well on ab muscles and should be done, along with cardio exercises and HIIT in order to lose belly fat and have a toned stomach.
Cardiovascular Exercises to Lose Belly Fat
When one aims to lose fat from any part of the body, cardiovascular exercises have to be a part of his exercise routine. Depending on one's choice, one can choose from many different exercises. It can be a simple exercise like brisk walking, which does not require a gym membership and it can be done any time. If your place of work is not very far from your residence, you can decide to walk it to work. The other alternative is to ditch the car, when you want to run errands. Make sure that the walk is brisk. Walking on an incline has added benefits.
The other cardiovascular exercise, which you can undertake is running or jogging. I like to go jogging early in the morning to a park close-by. It gives me a good exercise and a chance to spend some time midst nature. So that you do not end up injuring yourself, it is important to wear the right shoes when you go jogging. Also maintain the right posture when you jog.
Cycling as a form of exercise has caught on with a number of people. People are using it as a mode of transport as well. It is a great way to exercise and an eco-friendly mode of travel. If not for commuting, you can make use of a stationary cycle for working out. Make sure you maintain a decent speed while cycling.
Swimming is the best exercise for those who love it. An added advantage of swimming is that it does not impact the joints, yet is a great workout. Therefore, even people with injuries can choose swimming as an exercise. Along with swimming, one can opt for water aerobics to add variety to the exercise regimen.
- To do this exercise, lie on an exercise mat and place your feet on the floor.
- Place your hands behind your head and lift your shoulders off the floor.
- Slowly come back down, but do not touch your shoulders to the mat. Repeat this exercise 10 to 12 times.
Swiss Ball Crunches
- This exercise is like crunches. Lie on the floor, but place your calves on a Swiss Ball.
- Support your head with your hands and lift your shoulders off the floor.
- Lower your shoulders, but do not touch them to the floor
- Repeat this exercise 10 to 12 times.
- Lie on an exercise mat and lift your legs off the floor, without bending them in your knees and use your hands to support them.
- Lift your shoulders off the floor and try to bring your head closer to your legs.
- Lower your shoulders, but do not touch them to the floor. Keep your legs in the same place and repeat the exercise 10 to 12 times.
- To work your love handles, stand with about three feet distance between your feet.
- Slowly bend sideways to your right, with your left hand extended above your head.
- Come back to the center and repeat the step on the other side.
- Finish 10 to 12 repetitions of this exercise on both sides.
- To do this variation of crunches, lie on the floor with your feet placed on the floor. Lift the right leg and place the ankle of the right leg on the knee of the left leg.
- Support your head with your hands and lift your shoulders off the floor. Twist to the right side and try to touch your left elbow to your right knee.
- Lower your torso, but do not touch your shoulders to the floor and repeat this exercise 10 to 12 times.
- Once you are done with this side, repeat the exercise on the other side.
- This is a versatile exercise, which works lower as well as upper abs along with the obliques.
- Lie on an exercise mat with both your legs extended out straight and your hands intertwined behind your head.
- Lift your shoulders and legs off the floor. Bend the right leg and bring it closer to your chest, but keep your left leg extended out straight.
- Extend the right leg as you bring the left leg closer to your chest.
- Continue to do this exercise for a set of 10 to 12 counts.
- To do this exercise for the upper abs and love handles, lie on an exercise mat with your legs bent and feet placed on the floor.
- Intertwine your hands and place them behind your head and not on your neck, so that your neck is well-supported.
- Lift your torso off the floor and twist to the right side, hold for a couple of seconds and slowly lower your torso, but do not touch your shoulders to the floor. Repeat these steps on the left side
- This is one iteration of the exercise. Perform 10 to 12 such iterations.
- Sit on an exercise mat in a cross-legged position.
- Slowly start twisting to the left side and try to reach the left hand as far as you can onto the right side from behind your back.
- You will feel the twist intensely on the right side and slightly on the left side.
- Release and repeat the same on the opposite side as well.
- Alternately you can finish 10 to 12 counts on one side and then repeat this exercise on the other side.
- This exercise can be practiced with or without a Swiss ball.
- Lie on the floor with your knees bent, such that your calves are parallel to the floor.
- Slowly try to lift your buttocks off the floor and try to bring your knees closer to your chest.
- Lower your buttocks and do 10 to 12 repetitions of this exercise.
Supine Leg Walk
- Lie on the floor with your legs extended out, straight.
- Hold on to the sides of the mat and lift both the legs about 6 to 8 inches off the floor.
- Keep the left leg in its current position and lift the right leg up, such that the sole of your foot is pointing towards the ceiling.
- Slowly lower your right leg, as you lift your left leg up towards the ceiling.
- Do 12 to 15 repetitions of this exercise.
- This is a great exercise to work the core.
- Lie flat with your stomach on the yoga mat.
- Slowly lift your body off the floor and balance your weight on the balls of your feet and your hands.
- Make sure your toes are curled under and your hands are extended out straight, but your elbows should not be locked.
- Hold the position for 7 to 10 seconds and slowly lower yourself and repeat.
- Lie on the yoga mat with your legs extended out straight and extend your hands out to the sides.
- Lift both the legs up straight into the air, so that they are perpendicular to the floor.
- Cross your legs, uncross and lower them to cross in the opposite direction, but do not touch them to the floor.
- Lift them up again. Repeat this 8 to 12 times.
- With this exercise, you will work both your lower and upper abs.
Hand Big Toe
- Although this seems to be a simple exercise, it effectively works the abs as well as the thighs.
- Stand with your feet close to one another and extend your hands up straight.
- Slowly bend from your waist downwards and try to reach your hands to your toes.
- Hold this position for a few seconds and come back up to repeat the exercise.
- This is a yoga exercise to work the abdominal muscles.
- To do this exercise, lie on your yoga mat with your legs extended out straight and your hands placed next to your body.
- Lift your torso and your legs off the floor and extend your hands in front of you.
- Hold this position for a few seconds.
- Lower your legs, but keep your torso as it is and lift your leg up again.
Upward Facing Dog
- Although this may seem to be a simple stretch, it effectively works the abdominal muscles.
- Lie with your stomach on the floor and your hands placed next to your body.
- Slowly lift your legs and your torso off the floor, such that your torso is almost perpendicular to your legs.
- Hold this position for a few seconds, before you release and repeat the exercise.
- To do leg lifts, lie on the floor with your legs extended out straight.
- Intertwine your fingers and place them behind your head, so that it is well-supported.
- Lift your legs up straight, so that they are perpendicular to the floor.
- Slowly lower your legs, but do not touch them to the floor.Continue to do 12 to 15 repetitions of this exercise.
- To increase the intensity you can also lift your shoulders off the floor, while doing this exercise.
Along with these exercises to lose belly fat, following a healthy diet which comprises food items low in fat and high in protein will help your body store less fat. It will increase your metabolism, thus helping you get rid of excess body fat. Do not forget to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water everyday, so that you do not have 'false' hunger pangs.