Most of the time, when someone sets out to lose some weight, they focus on getting a toned, flat tummy. After all, there’s not much that is more motivating than slipping on that pair of jeans that haven’t fit in years or in getting compliments from everyone about how great you look. According to the Lean Belly Breakthrough, slimming your midsection is one of the best ways to improve your health.
However, if you really believe that you’ll be able to successfully spot treat your belly fat by doing a few crunches, you might want to re-think that. There are a few exercises that you can include as part of your workout routine that are effective at burning belly fat as well as fat from the rest of your body- here are a few of them:
What Kind of Exercise to Lose Belly Fat
Run on an Incline
According to the experts, running on an incline instead of a flat surface increases total calorie burn by around 50 percent. Whether you’re at the gym on an inclined treadmill or you’re outside running on a hill, it’s best to start out walking for 5 to 10 minutes before increasing to a jog. As you pick up your pace, your heart rate should increase fairly quickly.
Jog for about 5 to 10 minutes and then increase your pace again to a run. You don’t have to do a sprint, but you should be working hard enough that you can’t carry on a conversation. Run for about 5 minutes and then start dialing your pace back down to a jog. For about 30 to 45 minutes, you should alternate between jogging and running.
Use Rowing Machine
So, you don’t have access to water and a canoe. That doesn’t mean that you can’t row in the gym. Rowing is effective for increasing your heart rate, which helps burn fat and blast calories. However, it’s also great for working muscles in your core, shoulders, back, arms, and legs that you may not be accustomed to using. This will shock your body and increase your muscle tone. Start by doing 20 seconds of rowing and 10 seconds of rest.
When you stop to rest, see how far you’ve gone. You should do this about 8 times, attempting to beat your distance each time. Once you’ve finished with this 4-minute circuit, row a quick 500 meters and see how long it takes you. This is what you should strive to at least match- if not beat- on your next session.
Add HIIT to Your Workout Routine
At one time, it was believed that long, steady cardio sessions were best for fat blasting- but now research has proven that fast, intense cardio is more effective. For maximum results, you’ll need to practice varied, intense workouts including short intervals that leave you completely worn out. Researchers have determined that this contributes to the “after-burn” effect where your bod continues to burn calories even after your workout is over.
Experts suggest that you alternate between exercises that work various muscle groups. Spend about 10 minutes warming up and then 30 seconds doing as many reps as you can of your favorite exercise. However, you must make sure that you alternate between muscle groups so that one group has time to recover while you work out another. This allows you to increase the intensity and decrease the amount of rest required.
Use a BOSU Ball
You already know that cardio is critical when you want to burn off the fat that’s sitting on top of your abs. However, it’s also critical to work your abs even as you’re burning fat. To do this, try holding a plank on a BOSU ball. This is different than a typical plank because the BOSU ball is also testing your balance. When your body is attempting to find control, your obliques, abs, and deep transverse abs are activated. Strengthening your core also increases your metabolism, which helps you burn off more calories and fat.
Lift Heavy, Rest Less
If you’ve been using moderately-heavy weights but you still want to lose that belly fat, start by increasing the weight and taking less time to rest between reps. You’ll see more of that afterburn effect when you lift heavier weights. However, you want to make sure that there’s no change in your technique as you increase the weight- you don’t want to risk injury.
Yes, it’s true- simply going for a walk can help you burn away that belly fat. Sure, it sounds simple- but a 45 to 60-minute brisk walk will go far in boosting your metabolism. Plus, walking keeps you from over-training. Over-training is bad because it increases cortisol production, which is a stress hormone that contributes to belly fat. Chances are that since an evening walk decreases cortisol production, it will also help you unwind after a long day or work through those emotions that have you tied in knots.
When you start a weight loss routine, chances are you’re going to focus on flattening and toning your tummy. However, according to the Lean Belly Breakthrough, there’s so much more to it than that. Keep these things in mind and you’ll see your belly flatten in no time at all.