Ever wondered which is the best exercise to get rid of stomach fat?
You may not want to hear this...but there is no one specific exercise that will help you get rid of abdominal fat.
You see, localised fat reduction is not possible. In fact, infomercials promising localised fat reduction frustrate fitness professionals no end as we know that what's being promised is just impossible!
What happens during say, an abdominal crunch, is that your muscles need to use energy to work. But there is no direct line from the abdominal muscles to the abdominal fat cells surrounding them. When fat is used from any particular area, it is first sent to the liver to be routed towards the muscles for usage. But that fat could have been sent from anywhere in the body.
So doing abdominal crunches does not mean you are specifically burning stomach fat! If your abdominal fat is very resistant then it will be stubborn and will probably be the last area of body fat to be used. So you will likely notice greater changes to your arms and other areas and start to wonder when the fat around your stomach will start co-operating!
Be patient, it is just going to take a little longer!
Doing specific body part exercises may strengthen that muscle but unfortunately, you cannot "spot reduce" fat from any one area.
So as far as one best exercise to tone your stomach...there is no such thing.
We all have perfect tone already...its just that some of us hide our 'six-pack' under more of a duvet or a pillow, rather than a sheet. So the real key is reducing the excess body fat.
If you want a flatter leaner stomach the best plan is to follow a balanced program combining three specific and different types of exercise:
Firstly, ensure you include resistance training exercises that will super charge your metabolism by way of lean toned muscle so you burn more fat all the time.
Just remember that not all strength exercises are equal. Stick to compound movements which work a great number of major muscle groups at once giving you more bang for your buck. Great examples include squats, lunges, press ups, rowing actions and dips. All of these can be done at home with little or no equipment.
If you have a balanced programme (like these) with truly effective exercises that you can easily fit into your routine each week, you will see results fast.
Cardiovascular training is important to burn calories but most of all to boost your fitness. Fit people burn faster as their body becomes more efficient at utilising fat stores.
Make sure you add short bursts of intensity to your workouts in an on/off fashion (e.g. jog/sprint or power walk/run alternately) to boost your fitness which will create great results.
Long steady cardio has been shown to be quite ineffective for dropping body fat, so short and sweet can be best. The fact that it saves you time often means you fit it in more regularly which helps even more! If time is an issue for you simply snack on exercise and fit it in without taking exta time.
Alongside the strength training and cardio, ensure that you include restorative movement such as walking or stretching and strengthening style classes which help re-balance stress hormones (which lead to tummy fat storage.)
Deep diaphragmatic breathing is the most effective way to induce your relaxation response and get your body out of the fight or flight mode which signals the body to hold only extra fat. Practise breathing deeply from the belly as often as you can throughout the day.
Alongside the right types of exercise, the saying goes that "you can't exercise your way out of a bad diet."
Balanced nutrition really is the foundation for optimal wellness. Rather than trying out yet another diet, instead let go of the guilt and discover a healthy balanced way of eating by simply eating REAL FOOD.
When you focus first on getting good stuff in the other 'stuff' starts to take care of itself. focus on eating lots of vegetables, fruit, quality meat/eggs/fish, legumes, wholegrains etc.
Rather than taking on a deprivation mentality and eliminating foods (which heightens cravings and tends to make you miserable), find smart real food alternatives for your old favourites. Remember that your taste buds will adjust over time so as you reduce things such as processed sugar from your diet, you will develop a love for new and different flavours.
Above everything, the key to any successful long term habit is having a big enough reason for the change. This starts with you and your thoughts and self-belief (which can be built).
If you are reading this and would like some help with your exercise or nutrition in order to reach YOUR goals. Please get in touch or join our Get Fit Feel Fabulous programme which is your complete guide to feeling fantastic. It addresses every part of habit change right from the phsychology through to the pactical steps to take. It will help you burn fat off your stomach and your entire body leaving you healthier and happier, more vibrant and confident!
Find out more here.