Those folks who over-indulged a little in the winter months may be working overtime now that it is April and starting to think about fitting into their bikinis or swimsuits once again.
The good news is that there are plenty of good stomach exercises to help you get rid of your belly fat and flatten your stomach fast. Some are more effective than others, including a few which are especially good for removing extra belly fat. However, before you rush headlong into any stomach exercise routine be sure to consult a professional first and always warm up properly to avoid injury.
For this stomach exercise, you will need to lie on your back on a flat surface, such as the floor. Use a mat or towel to cushion your spine. Put your arms at your sides with palms facing up to the ceiling. Put your legs straight up in the air so that the soles of your feet are facing the ceiling and your legs make about a ninety degree angle with your torso.
Keep your knees unbent and as straight as possible. Now, contract your ab muscles so that it feels like your belly button is being pulled toward your spine, while at the same time gently lifting your hips off the floor. Raise your hips to height of a few inches, keeping your legs extended straight upward. Hold this position, then slowly lower your hips back to the floor. Repeat for an entire set.
Seated Torso Twist
Stay on the floor for this stomach exercise, getting into a seated position. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Position your feet about hip width apart. Extend your arms straight out in front of you, interlocking your fingers. Contract your abdominals and lean back about forty-five degrees.
Holding the contraction, rotate your torso as far to one side as you are comfortably able. Use your abdominals to control this motion so that your upper body moves at once, do not lead with your arms. Remember to keep your arms in from of you with fingers locked– pretend you are aiming an imaginary gun.
Once you have rotated as far as you feel comfortable, rotate back to center, then to the other side. Repeat these steps for an entire set. Take care to go slow and keep a controlled movement. Do not allow your momentum to twist you.
Tone Your Torso
Begin this stomach exercise on all fours, knees and hands on the floor. Keep your stomach pulled in and extend your left arm out in front of you (football fans, imagine a referee signaling first down). Keep this arm outstretched as you extend your right leg out behind you. Switch arms and legs, and repeat for an entire set. Take particular care not to let your pelvis sway out of position.
You will need to lie on your back for this exercise. Use a mat or towel to cushion your spine. Bend your knees so your feet are flat on the floor, and position your arms at your sides. Squeeze your buttocks as you lift your pelvis off the floor.
Keep the rest of your body in line. Raise your pelvis to about forty-five degrees, so your upper body from your head to your knees makes a straight, flat ramp. Hold this for three to five seconds before slowly lowering your pelvis back to the floor. Repeat for an entire set.
This stomach exercise is fairly simple in theory but can be fairly difficult to perform. Essentially, it involves trying to pull the belly button in towards the spine. This can be tricky, as it involves using muscles which you may not be used to activating.
To start, either lie or on your stomach or kneel. You might want to try both ways and see which helps you feel the exercise better. Relax your body as much as possible, then try to use only the lower abdominals to move your belly button toward your spine.
Hold for ten seconds. If this feels easy, hold for a longer period. The goal is to hold the contraction until you either cannot feel it, or you feel other muscles working harder than the transverse abdominus. When you feel this, let the contraction out.
This stomach exercise also requires lying on the floor. Position your hands under your butt, keeping your back pressed against the floor. Slowly raise one leg to a height of about ten inches, then slowly lower it back to the floor. As your lower one leg, raise the other. Repeat this motion for an entire set. Maintaining control throughout is important, not allowing momentum to get the better of you. Your upper body should remain on the floor through the entire move.
These are just a few of all the best stomach exercises you can use. If you are looking to build strength in your midsection, look for any exercise that works your core, especially the transverse abdominal muscles.
Long Arm Crunch
For this stomach exercise, remain on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Lie back and extend your arms straight back on the floor as though you are reaching above your head. Contract your abs and slowly lift your arms, head and shoulders off the floor to about a thirty degree angle. Hold it, then slowly lower your shoulders back to the floor. Repeat for an entire set. Be careful not to lead with your arms, keeping them straight and alongside your head.
Vertical Leg Crunch
This is a variation on the traditional crunch that focuses more specifically on reducing stomach fat. To begin this stomach exercise, first lie on your back on a flat surface, such as the floor. Use a mat or towel to cushion your spine. Put your hands behind your head, with elbows out far enough that they are out of sight. Now lift your legs straight up into the air, crossing your ankles and bending your knees slightly. Contract your abdominals and lift your shoulders, head and upper back up to about a thirty degree angle. Be aware of not lifting with your hands or leading with your head.