People spend millions, if not billions of dollars, each year in the quest for
a flat stomach. Right now there are about 200 or more ab exercise devices out
there. There's the ab do-it, the ab rock-it, the ab roller, the ab dolly, and
so many more. You would think that with all of these amazing new products that
most people would be walking around with that nice, lean mid-section they've
always wanted. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
Most, if not all of these products, will do little or nothing to flatten your
stomach. And that's because these exercise contraptions cannot eliminate the
layer of fat that lies on top of your abs.
In order to be successful at thinning your waistline you must have a basic
under standing of how the ab muscles function and how your body burns fat. The
first thing that needs to be understood is the difference between fat and muscle.
Fat is excess calories and is primarily stored in layers on top of muscle tissue.
Muscle is made up of fibers that contract or shorten to produce movement. Fat
cannot turn into muscle and muscle cannot turn into fat! However, you can lose
muscle and you can gain fat. That's what happens to most people.
So if your goal is to thin your waist line and have a nice flat stomach, the
first thing you need to do is decrease / eliminate the layers of fat that are
on top of your abs. We all have a flat stomach; it's just some of oar's are
covered by excess fat.
The most effective way of flattening your stomach is a combination of strength
training (with a extra focus on mid-section), cardiovascular exercise (short,
hard workouts), and stable blood sugar (keeps you from adding additional fat
and makes it easier for the body to use body fat for fuel).
1. You must do some form of progressive strength training
The primary function of the ab muscle is to flex your torso forward. However,
there are also muscles that flex your torso to the side and muscles that rotate
your torso. Often times you see people on their ab roller every day doing hundreds
of crunches or sit-ups.
If you want to effectively strengthen your stomach you need to incorporate
the following types of exercises:
. 1-2 forward flexion exercises (crunch, sit-up, etc.)
. 1-2 side flexion exercises (side bends, side crunches, etc.)
. 1-2 rotational exercises (trunk rotations, standing twists, etc.)
The abs, are muscles just like any other and should be worked at most 3 times
per week. You also want to make sure you are training them progressively, working
them harder each time.
2. Use short, hard cardio workouts to increase metabolism
Cardio workouts are important because they CAN, if done correctly, increase
your metabolism for 4-24 hours or more! This means you are less likely to store
any excess calories as body fat because they are more likely to be used by your
elevated metabolism. Plus, you are more likely to burn off some excess body
Below is a sample interval workout that can be done with just about any
activity (walking, bicycling, swimming, stair climbing, etc.).
Warm up at easy pace 2-5 minutes - Perform 30 seconds of hard work
(almost as hard as possible) - Perform 1 minute of moderate work
(recovery time-catch breath) - Repeat this process 6-10 times - Cool down at
an easy pace for 2-5 minutes
3. Stable blood sugar is the key
And most importantly, you must stabilize your blood sugar! This is by far the
most important factor when it comes to burning away that excess body fat and
keeping it off! To effectively stabilize your blood sugar you must feed your
body frequently; like every 2-3 hours. The key is to give your body only what
it needs at that time. Your body burns calories 24 hours a day, so, why would
you only feed it once or twice a day? Give your body the fuel it needs: vegetables,
fruits, nuts, berries, whole
grains, and lean proteins (chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, etc.).
Many people are too hung up on how much fat is in food, or how healthy of a
choice it is. Calories are calories and it doesn't matter where they come from.
If there's extra. where's it going? Yup, you guessed it. body fat!
This is not to say that what you eat is not important because it is, it just
doesn't have that much of an affect when it comes to fat loss. Try to make healthy
choices whenever possible, but don't feel like if you eat a cheeseburger it
is guaranteed to be stored as fat.
4. Get the help of a professional
Unfortunately, most people don't know enough about the human body, nutrition,
or effective exercise to meet their health and fitness goals. Ask yourself this
one question, "Am I happy with my current progress or condition?"
If you're not, you should consider getting the help of a qualified personal
fitness professional. Don't depend on the information you get from magazines
or from your local gym/ health club. A qualified fitness professional can help
you achieve your health and fitness goals, and in less time than you would imagine.
If you are serious about your health and fitness goals, and you are ready for
that flat stomach, I recommend you start implementing the 4 strategies listed
in this article. These 4 strategies can help you take control of your metabolism
and burn off that excess body fat and having you looking and feeling great!
If you would like to receive more information on how to lose those love handles
please call me at 240-731-3724 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jesse Cannone is a certified personal fitness trainer, post-rehab specialist,
nutritionist, and a national fitness presenter. He is also the author of Burn
Fat FAST and A Bride's Guide To Fast Fitness + Weight Loss in addition to many
other popular fitness articles. He is known for his hard-hitting and to the
point style and offers a great free email newsletter called Fitness Success
News, which you can subscribe to at his website https://www.achieve-fitness.com
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By Jesse Cannone CFT, CPRS, CSPN