It’s a common saying that doing 100 sit-ups can make you have a flat belly.
This is not true.
I was having a discussion with a friend and during the process; he observes his belly is protruding which he laments “i needs to start doing sit-up again.”
A lot of people are in this situation, they have been feed with the thought that sit-up is good. It might seem working but sit-up is necessarily not an exercise for a flat belly.
The argument against is because the area you’re targeting is small and if you truly want to lose fat belly from it; you’ve to focus on your entire body. Depending on the way you’re doing it (sit-up), you’ll observe that your belly is getting bigger because you’re building the abdominal muscles, and not really burning those belly fat surrounding it.
How will you have a flat belly by exercising well?
Already, you have muscles in your belly. What you need is to reduce the fat surrounding it and the best way you can do that is by engaging in interval training.
That’s High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
To burn fat, your body temperature must be high to trigger metabolism. You must be feeling the heat: a burning sensation. Don’t panic or imagine it as being painful, it’s not. It’s all fun and you should always start with the easy way out and improve gradually.
HIIT is an exercising that revolves from high-intensity to a low-intensity and switches back to high and low again. An alternate from high to low, low to high and high to low again in a continuous process.
With HIIT, you’ll be putting your joint and muscles to work and these activities burn more calories.
The simple flat belly exercises that involve interval training
Running is a great exercise for a flat belly and it follows the idea of HIIT. Running from high intensity to low intensity with time interval ranges from 1, 2 or 3 minutes.
You run up hills or climb up a staircase relatively fast and at your ease. Thus, in the process of running, you will be making use of your upper and lower body.
Have you ever seen a good runner having a big belly?
I guess NO.
By running, you’ll generate the body heat that ignites metabolic reaction to burning fat which includes your belly.
Remember to apply safety first when using a staircase or an up-hill object.
2. Russian Twist
This exercise involves sitting down on a flat surface object such as sports mat, holding a light object with your two hands such as a ball while you twist to the right and to the left. The faster you can do it, the better. Your major focus for this exercise will be your belly and lower back.
How you can perform Russian twist
a. You start by lying down on the floor with your feet hanging on a firm object. If you can find a firm object to hang your feet, you can tell someone to hold them for you or firm them against a wall.
You form a V-shape sitting position with your knees and thighs bent.
You’ll carry an object (something light) and extend your arms forward perpendicular in front of you (eye view). This position should always mark your starting point.
b. With this starting position, twist to your right-hand side while you breathe out slowly and keep to that twisted position for a second or two.
c. Now, move back to the starting position while you breathe in and out.
d. From the starting position again, move over to your left-hand side and be in that position for a second or two as well.
This makes up your first attempt.
e. Now, you need to repeat as many times as possible or as recommended by your trainer.
Beginner: 9 reps.
Intermediate: 21 reps.
Expert: 50 reps.
3. Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise
As the name implies, this is performed by lying on the floor, bench or your bed with your back with eye viewing the roof. You won’t be supporting yourself with any apparatus or platform to raise your leg to your chest area.
How you can perform flat bench lying leg raise
a. You lay your back on a bench or bed, facing the ceiling while your arms will be resting by side.
If you can, put your hands under your buttocks. This is for better resistance and firmness. This will always be your starting position.
b. While in that starting position, slowly lift up your leg moving it towards you. Your leg should be straight with your knees till you achieve a 90-degree angle to the floor or bed.
You should breathe out slowly as you perform this position, hold your contraction for a second or two while in this position.
c. As you slowly lower and drop down your legs, breathe in the process and this will bring you back to the starting position.
This marks your first attempt.
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d. You’ll repeat many times as possible.
Beginner: 15 reps.
Intermediate: 45 reps.
Expert: 100 reps.
This type of exercise seems like performing press–up but with a slight twist. You will be in press-up position for a certain period with your weight on your elbows, toes, and forearms.
a. Firstly, be in a press-up position on the floor where your arms are bent at 90 degrees and directly below your shoulder.
b. Keep your back straight and be in that position as much as you can while you contract your belly region.
If you find it too cheap to perform, you can graduate to an advanced position where you raise 1 arm or 1 leg.
c. You will be in that position for 10 seconds. Take a rest for 10 or 15 seconds, do it again where you can gradually move towards 15 or 20 seconds and so forth.
Alternatively, you can perform side plank or you can do it pressing on a medicine ball while making your toes rest on it as well.
Beginner: 15 seconds
Intermediate: 50 seconds.
Expert: 3 minutes.
Burpee involves the combination of push-up and jumping into the air. Performing this exercise will focus on your shoulder, chest, calves, arms, and thigh.
a. You’ll stand upright with your arms by your sides. This will mark your starting point.
b. You’ll bend down till your palm touch the floor and simultaneously push your legs backward such that, you’ll seem to be in a push-up position.
c. From this push-up position, you will lift up yourself like you are doing a push-up when lifting body weight.
d. In this process, you’ll be preparing to carry yourself up, jump up into the air with your feet align to your hips. While jumping in the air, you will raise your hands over your head and upon coming down, you will take a standing position.
This will mark your first attempt.
e. You’ll repeat this exercise as many times as possible.
For an intermediate and advanced stage, increase the intensity by performing the exercise faster.
Beginner: 5 reps.
Intermediate: 11 reps.
Expert: 40 reps.
HIIT is a combination of 2 or more exercises that share the same characteristics and for a flatter belly, it’s no exception.
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
Thus, you can create HIIT workout from these two exercises.
Russian twist 15 reps, no rest;
Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise 15 reps, rest for a minute.
This makes 1 round.
For beginner, perform 3 rounds,
For intermediate and advanced, perform 6 rounds and 10 rounds respectively.
Performing both exercises will prove more effective and fun than doing it single. The combination is an exception to an exercise that lacks similar characteristics in performance for example burpee.
In conclusion, these exercises can easily be performed at home. You don’t have an excuse for not doing them. All you need are sports mat, a ball or light object for a swing around and your determination not to give up.
With interval training (HIIT) and eating the right kind of foods for weight loss, you’ll be boosting your metabolism and building your way towards the flat belly.
Image credit: bodybuilding, youtube
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