If you are carrying a little more around the middle that you are comfortable with, then it may be time to try out some ab workouts and exercises to bust that belly fat. You probably aren’t looking for more creative crunch exercises that probably leave your neck and back strained. Instead of lowering yourself to the floor, laying on your back, and placing your hands behind your head, try these workouts and exercises instead.
Ab Workouts and Exercises: Sleep
It may not sound like much of a workout or exercise, but in today’s fast-paced world, forcing yourself to slow down and take enough time to get the proper amount of sleep will probably take just as much effort as crunches.
So while you may not consider sleep an ab workout or exercise, it does help your body produce chemicals that are key to weight control, and isn’t weight control the whole point of exercise?
Ab Workouts and Exercises: Yoga
Yoga is a great ab workout not only because of the physical exercise aspect, but also because it helps to calm your nerves and relieve stress. According to this article at AOL.com, “When faced with stress, our bodies release a hormonal cocktail of adrenaline, cortisol and insulin. Not only have high cortisol levels been associated with increased appetite and fat production, but the fat has been shown to typically deposit itself in the belly area.” So, if you take the time to relieve stress, you may just be taking the time to slim down your tummy as well.
Ab Workouts and Exercises: Dance, Dance, Dance
Whether you hit the club (sober) or dance around your bedroom, dancing is a fun and easy way to get your heart rate up and your waistline down. Cardio is a great way to get your body started in the morning. Paige Waehner, a certified personal trainer and exercise guide on About.com gives this list of the benefits of cardio:
Stronger heart and lungs
Increased bone density
Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer
Temporary relief from depression and anxiety
More confidence about how you feel and how you look
I’ve already discussed how reduced stress and better sleep can help to slim down your stomach, so that alone shows that cardio is a great ab workout. Reducing stress, however, is not the only reason that cardio exercises make a great ab workout. More energy means you are more likely to keep on moving, which means that your body is going to burn more fat and build more muscles. It isn’t enough to target just your abs when working towards a flat stomach, a healthier body overall is going to help you in your quest. This is why dancing is a great ab workout.
Ab Workouts and Exercises: Visit the Kitchen More Often
We have long been told that it is better to eat several smaller meals that it is to eat 3 large meals because it keeps out metabolism going. So, in order to keep your body burning fat throughout the day, including the fat around your middle, visiting the kitchen more often throughout the day becomes a great ab exercise and daily ab workout. You need to make sure, however, that you are leaving the kitchen with smaller portions than you normally do, and with healthier foods.
Ab Workouts and Exercises: Arm Lifts
It isn’t what it sounds like. Simply lift up your arms isn’t going to do much, if anything for your abs. What will do something to help you slim down your stomach is frequently lifting your arm to bring water to your face. Drinking water is an obvious, yet often overlooked, step in any form of weight loss. Drinking water will help you to avoid eating unnecessarily as well as help to flush any toxins out of your body. So, lift that arm more often!
Ab Workouts and Exercises: Standing Side Crunches Taebo-style
I recall doing Taebo in the living room of my childhood home with my mother and the dreaded standing ab exercises that left me feeling the burn. One great ab exercise featured on the video involved standing with my legs shoulder-width apart. Then I had to point one leg out to the side while leaning my upper body to the opposite side, with my hands behind my head. I was then instructed by Billy Blanks to do a standing side crunch by bring up my extended leg while also bringing my upper body over to that leg. I instantly felt the burn on my sides and a slight burn in my stomach. Then I had to repeat the whole process with the other side. This amazing ab exercise made me feel like I was really achieving something, and my goodness I was. I began to see a reduction in the fat on my waist after a few weeks of Billy kicking my a** into shape.
Ab Workouts and Exercises: Controlled Side Bends
We used to do these very controlled side bends in track that I found to be quite easy while still feeling the burn. These side bends didn’t leave me out of breath like crunches or sit-ups did, they did however, give me results as an effective ab workout. All I had to do was stand with my legs shoulder-width apart with my hands behind my head. Then we were told to slowly lower to one side, and then slowly pull ourselves back upright using the muscles along our sides. It seems really simple, and that’s because it is, but things don’t need to be complicated to be effective. I had a nicely defined stomach when I ran track and I attribute that to the combination of cardio (running) and conditioning such as these side bends, that we were forced to do.
Ab Workouts and Exercises: Buns of Steel
I know that the video is called Buns of Steel, but when it really comes down to it, this video is a great whole body workout. While most of the tape is focused on the legs, there are ab exercises towards the end of the video that will leave you praying for mercy. This tape is highly entertaining, with its out of date hairstyles, clothing, and background music, which makes it that much easier to get started. Anytime that you can combine entertainment and exercise you are more likely to have success. You could fast forward this tape to the ab exercises, but then you would simply find yourself laying on the floor like you usually do when trying to flatten your stomach. My recommendation is to do the whole tape from beginning to end to get your blood flowing, and try not to cuss out the instructor on the tape when you can no longer lift your leg without it shaking violently with exhaustion. By the time that you get to the ab exercises, and these are my only exception to the no laying on the floor rule, the rest of your body with be so tired that you will be forced to use only your abs to complete them, which makes this whole tape a great ab workout.
Ab Workouts and Exercises: Front Kicks
This is another Taebo inspired ab workout that really works, and not only your abs, but your legs too. All you have to do is stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands up like you are a boxer protecting your face, and you simply pull one leg up and then kick out to the front. Then you do the other leg. The key to this ab workout is to use your ab muscles to pull your legs up, and keeping control over your midsection.
Ab Workouts and Exercises: Standing Figure Eight
This video demonstrates another great standing ab exercise that you can add to you ab workout. It involves standing and moving your arms across your body in a figure eight.
Practicing control over your midsection is very important when you are trying to target your abs. Next time you are walking around focus on keeping your abs tight and controlled and you may just have another easy way to tone your stomach, and you will also realize the kind of control that I have discussed.
Hopefully you have found these conventional and less conventional ab workout suggestions helpful, and will soon start to see a difference in your midsection.
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