I was having a cool discussion with a friend and he slipped and says “my tummy seems to be growing bigger” patting it lightly, “I need to start sit-ups”, and I replied giggling, “no, sit-up is not the answer for your growing fat belly” and guess what, another discussion followed.
A lot of people think this way perhaps you.
You believe sit-up is a great exercise for losing fat off your belly, make it flat and even achieve six-packs out of it, but you’re wrong.
A fitness trainer even confidently challenge it as the worst form of exercise you can do to lose belly fat.
The reason is, performing sit-up involves straining your neck and any form of exercise that causes body pain and injury doesn’t worth the effort of doing because you’ll give up in the long term and I don’t want that.
In addition, where do you feel most of the energy and focus for performing sit-up end up to?
Yes, your hip region.
And this expands your waist, instead of the abdominal-stomach core, so something is wrong here.
Imagine stretching your big fat belly and closing it, what happens?
It’ll definitely be protruding your belly forward, running your fat tissues up and down and it doesn’t have any effects on your fat belly being flatten.
Sit-up can only work for building abdominal-stomach core muscles, that’s if you practice it the right way but not for losing belly fat.
So, you must’ve lost or reduced your belly fat first before you start thinking of sit-up to build abdominal-core muscles.
That’s my first point.
My second point was, losing belly fat with sit-up makes you target only a specific part of your body.
I understand you aren’t fat, it only concentrated on your belly which is the beginning of your fat journey if you’re careless about the spread and can be genetically prone to have whole body fat.
But glad you’re sensitive and knowledgeable to start curbing the excesses now but targeting only the belly region is absolutely wrong.
A lot of scientific research has confirmed this theory and through my experiences working and helping clients lose belly fat, sit-ups were never part of the exercise regimen.
So, don’t waste your time and energy doing sit-ups because it might even cause back pain.
How Will You Lose Belly Fat?
This is simple.
Instead of doing exercises that only focus on the belly region, your focus will be on your entire body.
Already, you’ve lean muscles on your belly but they’re being covered by your unhealthy fat.
What you have to do is to lose and reduce the fat surrounding them with High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
While doing it, you’ll feel the heat, a burning sensation that yes, this is working.
Don’t panic or imagine it as being painful, it’s not.
It’s all fun and you can always start with what you feel is easy and improve gradually.
You must improve, that’s a sign of progress.
What is HIIT?
HIIT is an acronym for High intensity and interval training.
It’s a program that revolves around performing exercises from high-intensity to low-intensity and switch back to high and low again and again.
While performing exercises using HIIT, you’ll be putting your joints and muscles to work and these burn more calories and fat.
As you lose fat, your belly fat will have its own share.
The 5 Simple Flat Belly Exercises You Can Perform with Interval Training
Running like you’ve experience involves the process of stretching your legs forward and lifting it up simultaneously almost to your midsection, and if you observe, it has more focus on energy around your belly region.
How fast you can run determine the speed and your performance.
Running is a great form of flat belly exercise you can perform with the idea of the high intensity and interval training.
You can run for 30 seconds on a high-speed intensity and slow down with low intensity.
You can choose interval ranges as simple as 5 secs, 10 secs or 15 secs, it depends on your ability.
What matters most is, you must progress and don’t be lazy.
But don’t overstep your natural limit, if you feel you can’t go further, maintain your lane.
Remember, you’re unique.
If your home is not far from a hill, you can make use of it running upward.
This makes sense as you feel the intensity more.
You can make use of your home or office staircase or any option available, is all good.
Have you ever seen a good runner, someone who runs frequently having a big belly?
I guess NO.
So, running will make you generate the heat that will kick off the metabolic reaction for burning fat which includes your belly.
Remember to apply safety caution first when using a staircase or hill.
Make a quick survey of the hill and staircase and ensure nothing will cause danger.
Burpee is a combination of squat, push up and high jump.
You start by going for a squat, followed by push-up and you jump high into the air.
Performing this exercise will focus on your shoulder, chest, calves, arms, and thigh.
NOTE: this is best performed outdoors, on a grassy surface or use a sports mat.
But if you feel the height of your home in high enough for a long jump, you can do it and make sure there are no dangerous objects on site.
Step by Step direction
1. Stand upright with your arms by your sides.
This is the starting point.
2. Bend down till your palm touch the floor which you might need to push your knee forward.
Push your legs backward such that, it seems you’re in a push-up position.
3. In the push-up position, lift up yourself with your palms and in this process, you jump into the air with your feet align with your hips.
While jumping in the air, raise your hands over your head and while coming down, you’ll find yourself right back at the standing position which marks the starting point.
This marks your first attempt and you can repeat this as many times as possible.
You can start with 5 repetitions, move up to 10 and 20.
But make sure you increase the intensity (speed) by performing the whole exercise sequence faster.
Remember, this should be based on your natural ability and strength.
3. Russian Twist
Russian twist involves sitting down on a flat object such as sports mat, holding a light object with your two hands like a ball while you twist to the right and to the left.
The faster (high intensity) you can do this, the better.
Be real and don’t cheat.
If you know, you’ve got the ability to perform better and faster, do it.
The major focus for this exercise is your belly and lower back.
Step by Step Process to Perform Russian Twist
1. Sit down on the floor, stretch your leg lightly forward to a wall or firmly grip them to a fixed object.
You can as well tell your partner or someone to hold them for you. Is all good.
This position will make you form a V-shape with your knees and thighs.
While set on a V-shape position, you’ll carry a light object and extend your arms forward perpendicular to the view of your eye.
This makes your starting position.
2. Twist to your right-hand side while you breathe out slowly and keep to this position for a second or two.
3. Move back to the starting position while you breathe in and out.
4. From that starting position again, twist to your left-hand side for a second or two as well.
This makes your first attempt which can be done in 5 seconds.
Repeat this as many times as possible and increase the rate of speed (applying high intensity and interval) at which you twist.
4. Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise
This exercise is performed by lying your back on the bed, floor, or bench with your eye viewing the ceiling or sky.
You’ll raise your leg up to your chest area without supporting yourself with any object or platform, it’s better that way but if you can’t, at least as a starter, you can hold a platform to support yourself.
The Step by Step Process
1. Lay your back on a bench or bed, your eye viewing the ceiling while the arms will be resting by your side.
If you can, put your hands under your buttocks for better resistance and firmness.
This marks your starting point.
2. From the starting point, slowly lift up your leg straight towards you till it forms a 90-degree angle parallel to the floor or bed.
You should breathe in and out slowly as you perform this position, hold your belly contraction for a second or two.
3. Slowly lower your legs and drop them down, while you breathe in and out in the process till you get back to the starting position.
This marks your first attempt and it takes about 5 seconds to perform.
4. Repeat this many time as possible and try to perform it faster depending on your ability.
You can start with 15 repetitions, then move up gradually to 45 reps, and 100 reps.
Remember, 4 sets mean you will be doing 15 repetition or 100 reps 4 times and always rest for a few minutes between each set.
You can have your workout drink during this time for more energy to start and continue again.
Planks is another type of flat belly exercise that seems like performing press–up but with a different twist this time.
You’ll be in press-up position for a certain period of time with your weight on your elbows, toes, and forearms.
The step by step direction
1. Position yourself in a press-up position, lay your arms, make it bent at 90 degrees and position them directly below your shoulder.
2. Make your back straight and be in that position for some period of time, for example, 10 or 15 seconds while you contract your belly region.
When you later find it too easy and cheap to perform, graduate to an advanced position where you raise 1 arm or 1 leg.
Planks should be done based on your strength as you graduate from 15 seconds to 50 seconds and 3 minutes.
High intensity and interval training (HIIT) exercise can be created from a combination of 2 or more exercises that share the same characteristics.
For example, the Russian twist and Flat bench lying leg raise share the same characteristics of:
• sitting down
• leg slightly bend
• V-shape sitting position
So, you can create HIIT workout from these two exercises.
You can perform Russian twist with 15 repetitions, don’t rest this time but quickly follow it up with Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise 15 repetition as well and rest for a minute.
This makes your first round.
As a beginner, you can perform 3 rounds and gradually move to 6 rounds and 10 rounds.
These are flat belly exercises you can easily perform at home. You don’t have an excuse for not doing them, either morning and night before sleep.
All you need are sports mat, a ball or any light object for swinging right to left and your determination not to give up till you get the result.
Add these to your daily exercise plan (morning and evening/night) and over 3 months, you should start getting not just any result, but drastic results.
Remember, eating weight loss meals along with these flat belly exercises is super important based on many scientific studies that, what you eat contribute 80% of the body transformation than the exercise itself.
In addition, don’t overstep your boundary while performing these exercises.
Rest for a few minutes between each set and when feel energize, continue and complete your morning and evening workout plan.
Good luck on your journey to a flat belly.
If you’ve questions or opinion, drop it as a comment.
Thanks for reading so far until this end.
Image credit: bodybuilding, youtube, muscleandfitness