Lose Belly Fat

March 16, 2011

There are two areas of the body that the average woman is unhappy about and wishes were smaller. They are the hips and the belly. Belly fat can be especially challenging to get rid of which may be one of the reasons liposuction in this area is so popular. Neither exercise nor diet alone will get rid of belly fat. But combining a low calorie, nutritious diet with the right types of exercise can go a long way to banishing belly fat.

Women who have been pregnant and carried babies to term should be aware that sometimes it's impossible to get the perfectly smooth pre-baby belly you once had because the skin has stretched and may not completely return to its original position. The same holds true for extremely overweight women who have lost a lot of weight. Still, the right exercises can go a long way to getting you almost six-pack abs as long as you eat healthy as well.

Exercises that challenge your endurance and work your entire body are the best for getting rid of stubborn belly fat. They're also good for strengthening your core muscles. Strong core muscles help support your body and can also reduce back pain and the chance of back injuries. Here's a look at some exercises that can get you started on banishing unwanted belly fat.

Jumping Jacks

You might remember these from your elementary or high school physical education classes. They're a good way to warm up your body and will get your heart beating faster in no time.

Begin by standing straight with your body weight shifted to your toes. Keep your legs hip width apart and make sure your knees aren't locked. You arms should be hanging at your sides with muscles engaged. Jump up and as you jump spread your legs as far apart as is comfortable while moving your arms up sideways with palms facing the ceiling. Clap your palms over your head as your feet touch the ground.

Keep motions fluid and resist the urge to hold your breath. Holding your breath can increase your blood pressure. Inhale when jumping up and exhale when jumping down. Repeat for three sets of 10 jumps.

Lie Down, Stand Up

This exercise offers full body toning and provides a good cardiovascular workout (meaning it works and strengthens the heart) as well.

Begin by lying flat on your back on the ground. You can use an exercise mat for comfort. Your body should be in relaxed readiness. This means you shouldn't be stiff but all your muscles should be engaged and ready for sudden movement. Place your hands palms down on the ground beside you. Make sure they're pressed firmly to the ground so that you'll be able to push yourself up quickly without transferring your weight to your elbows.

Using your heels as a fulcrum (lever point), push your body off the ground with your hands and jump into a standing position in as fluid a motion as you can. Immediately do a basic jumping jack paying special attention to timing, balance and breathing pattern. Repeat. To challenge yourself further, add more jumping jacks to the exercise.

Side Plank

This pose will work the oblique abdominal muscles (the ones along the side of your stomach) and help trim away love handles while burning calories to help you lose weight. It's a difficult exercise that can be modified to meet your fitness level.

Begin by resting on one hip and supporting your torso with one hand. Your arm will be straight and the rest of your body from the waist down will touch the ground. Your other arm will be outstretched above your head. If you have wrist problems or weaker arms, you can bend your supporting arm so your elbow is on the ground and taking most of the weight.

Inhale and lift your torso using mostly your abdominal muscles and some of your leg strength. The goal is to lift your hips right off the ground with your feet on top of each other. If this is too difficult, bend one leg and support some of your body weight on that leg as you raise your hips.

Exhale as you lower yourself. Repeat for 10 times. Then shift hands and repeat on the other side.

 

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