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The Truth:
How To Burn Abdominal Fat!

The Truth: How To Burn Abdominal Fat!

You don't need to spend a dime to tighten and tone those abdominals, though. You only need to understand a few things about the human body!

"How do I get rid of this?" Men and women of every shape and size ask me this question all the time, pointing to their bellies with puzzled faces.

It's the million-dollar question, and many companies are making more money than that offering answers. But you don't need to spend a dime to tighten and tone those abdominals, though. You only need to understand a few things about the human body.

The Latest Gimmick

Many television ads are now pitching devices that supposedly stimulate muscles so that they contract over and over without exercise. I even saw an infomercial for an "ab belt" that claimed it does the work of 700 sit-ups in ten minutes! The ad shows people doing various abdominal exercises the wrong way, hating every second of it, versus smiling men and women going about their days with "Ab-whatevers" strapped around them. How enticing!

Several people in these ads claim to have lost inches around the waist as a result of using these products. Many inches. Men with six-pack abs give credit to the device. This is feeding the viewership's disillusionment about how to lose the belly. Strengthening the abs alone (and these machines couldn't possible do much of that) just won't do it.

Why is this? Because of the fat! If a heavy woman does hundreds of crunches a day, she may develop strong abs, and they might tighten up a bit, but she'll still have lots of fat covering them up, and she won't look any thinner.

About fifty percent of her body fat is located directly beneath the skin. Do you know where most of the rest of it is? Inside the muscles. Doing crunches will not get rid of this fat, and neither will the vibrating belt in the television ads.

Many television ads are now pitching devices that supposedly stimulate muscles so that they contract over and over without exercise
"Many television ads are now pitching devices that supposedly stimulate muscles so that they contract over and over without exercise."

Burn The Fat

The best way to slim down in the middle is to do plenty of cardiovascular exercise. Some good examples of this are:

  • walking
  • jogging
  • swimming
  • aerobics
  • bicycling

...and high-activity sports like racquetball, tennis and basketball. Anything that brings your heart rate to its training zone and keeps it there for at least twenty minutes conditions your heart and burns fat.

As you lose subcutaneous fat, your skin will become more taut. As the fat within your muscles decreases, you will appear more toned and less flabby. The number one thing you need to think about is the cardio. Five times a week!

Make Your Body A More Effective Fat Burner!

Toning along with cardiovascular work will speed up and improve the process, but don't think that you only need to work on your abs. This is another grave misconception. The truth is that when you work all the larger muscle groups, adding more mass to your muscles, you rev up your metabolism to heights it has never before reached.

Your muscles need extra calories to maintain themselves, so more of the food you eat will be feeding your muscles instead of your trouble spots. Your conditioned heart (from the cardiovascular stuff) is more effective at burning calories as well, so you have the golden combination there.

As the fat comes off your body, it will come off your belly. Your body fat is like one organ, located throughout your body, and you can't take it off of just one spot unless you have liposuction done.

Always work your abs at the end of your workout. There's a good reason for this. You are indirectly using them for all the other exercises you do.

The abs are important stabilizer muscles that keep your form in check. If you do abs first, you will tire them out, and your whole workout will be less than optimal. Work down from the largest to the smallest muscles.

The best way to slim down in the middle is to do plenty of cardiovascular exercise such as jogging, swimming, and bicycling.
"The best way to slim down in the middle is to do plenty of cardiovascular exercise such as jogging, swimming, and bicycling."

Abs 101

Crunches and Janda Sit-Ups primarily work the largest abdominal muscle, the rectus abdominis, which flexes the spine. This muscle compresses the abdomen to a point, but there are other muscles that you need to pay attention to, as well.

The internal and external obliques, which I like to call "nature's girdle", are located at the sides of the rectus abdominis. They are the muscles you use when you bend sideways at the spine or twist at the waist. They also contract to compress the abdomen, so you should work them just as hard as you work the rectus abdominis. Adding a twist to crunches works, as well as dumbbell side bends, but be careful not to use any jerky motions, especially if you've had back problems.

The transversus abdominis is located at your sides, below the obliques. Often called "lower abs", this is the muscle that women who are trying to lose the belly after pregnancy should concentrate on. Exercises that call for raising the legs instead of the upper body are very effective at strengthening the transversus.

Crunches and Janda Sit-Ups primarily work the largest abdominal muscle, the rectus abdominis, which flexes the spine.
"Crunches and Janda Sit-Ups primarily work the largest abdominal muscle, the rectus abdominis, which flexes the spine."

Ab Methods

Walking

Walking puts all of the abdominal muscles to work. Make sure you swing your arms and contract your midsection while you walk, and maintain a brisk pace. Once you get your body accustomed to a daily walk, you'll hate to go a day without it. Walk for at least thirty minutes each time to achieve the aerobic effect, and be sure to drink plenty of water.

Weight Training

Weight training not only helps the metabolism, but it also strengthens the bones. Women who work out with weights are much less likely to develop osteoporosis in later years than their counterparts. Adding muscle also does wonders for the energy level and self-esteem.

Contrary to a popular myth, lifting weights will not bulk you up with muscles that will eventually turn to more fat. They will give you a more feminine and symmetrical shape. If you enjoy weight training, do it.

Yoga

Yoga is equally effective at strengthening the body, especially the abs and back. It improves the posture tremendously, to create a taller, leaner appearance. Pilates and many mat-based exercises are also great alternatives. The important thing is that you find an activity that you like to do. This will greatly improve the odds of you sticking to it.

Yoga is equally effective at strengthening the body, especially the abs and back.

The Mindset

"Yoga is equally effective at strengthening the body, especially the abs and back."

The most important thing you need to do is to program yourself mentally. Don't use a scale to measure your progress. If you work out with weights, you may gain a few pounds while losing inches around the waist. Instead, use that pair of jeans that you want to fit into again, or a pair that fits you now. You'll see a slight change every few weeks, and that should give you confidence.

Walk as tall as you can. Do back and leg stretches daily to improve your posture. When you're driving to work, sit up nice and straight and adjust the rear-view mirror so that you'll know when you're slouching. Don't let your shoulders fall forward when you're at your desk. You can look a size smaller just by doing these things.

Genes

I hate to say it. We've all seen people with "good genes" and wondered if they had any idea how lucky they are. They probably don't, but that's okay. Consider it a character-building experience. If you blame your ancestors for excess flesh in the middle, don't feel helpless. You just have to work a little harder than some others.

You can still sculpt out a slimmer silhouette with cardiovascular exercise, a healthy, balanced, low fat diet and whatever bonus activities you throw in. This may not be a novel approach, but it really works.

I'm not telling you that it's easy, but it really is pretty simple. In an age where people don't even have to go outside to grill a steak, it's tempting to spend a few dollars on a quick fix. Human anatomy hasn't changed much throughout history, however. If you adopt your grandparents' work ethic and apply it to your every day life, you will achieve your greatest results.

Originally published on Inch-Aweigh.com.

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About The Author

Maia Appleby is a certified personal trainer specializing in weight loss consultation who manages a fitness center in Florida.

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cheekoarshad

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cheekoarshad

This does make sense to me. Bravo

Apr 28, 2012 12:36pm | report
 
Ziggyscores

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Ziggyscores

Not for nothing, but to say the ab belts are gimmick is BS. it worked for me when nothing else seem to help. think about it it, its stimulation your abs.

May 5, 2012 1:01pm | report
 
Jordanmfitness

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Jordanmfitness

but the use of a belt for 10 minutes if no other factors have changed would not be stimulating enough heart rate or metabollic wise to improve overall health or spot fat burning, although it may prove to strengthen that part of the body it would not reduce the fat surrounding the muscle (abs). Proper nutrition and training would still be required and would be more benificial with greater results. i think they mean more of the premise that 10 minutes a day is all it takes is bs

Dec 18, 2013 5:03pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 189.82 lbs
  • bf: 11.0%
darock2214

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darock2214

Great article you have some good tips there,here is some facts that your readers may like to read if that is alright with you.Thank you...
The U.S. Department of Health actually has a Food Pyramid process that serves as guideline on how much a person ought to consume positive food groups. The food group that is located at the apex of the pyramid ought to be consumed the least while the food group at the base of the pyramid ought to be part of a person's every day food consumption. The Food Pyramid is divided in to the following sections that tell you which food you ought to eat more

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Jun 4, 2012 3:37am | report
 
juanmadrid

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juanmadrid

that work for me too!

Sep 10, 2012 9:49am | report
 
pirulo

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pirulo

Very interesting. I just measure my waist and it shows 38" I want to lower it to 34" or 32". I'm running 5 days a week with an avg of 4.3 miles. I started the gym last week to compliment my run. As said in this article I don't like to look at the scale, it keeps showing 188lbs, but I tried a 32 jean and walaah it fits without me hiding my belly. That motivates me on my daily run and on my mental preparation to achive my goal. Its good to have a trusty source of information, like this site.

Jan 14, 2013 7:06pm | report
 
matsuguy83

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matsuguy83

Keep in mind that it's not the "waist" where your pants sit. You measure around your abdomen across your belly button. Yes, your waist line will shrink where your pants sit but that's not the correct place to measure for weight loss.

May 6, 2013 6:34am | report
tojo49

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tojo49

Simple philosphy.In this culture of sitting down in front of a computer,tv or play station,the idea of getting up and doing sonething has been forgotten.
I work with people from other countries transportation for them is walking or riding a bike.

Mar 10, 2013 3:50am | report
 
brendonjohnston

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brendonjohnston

I have spare Tyre sitting comfortably around my waist, not so much of a car Tyre but more of a BMX bike Tyre. For the past 3 months I've been weight training in the mornings and boxing at night 5 days a week, prepping for summer and I'm killing it at every session, my diet wasn't the best as I was eating anything and everything, but I've been seriously eating cleaner for the past month and I still have this bloody Tyre. Don't get me wrong I've lost 7kg's in that time and looking leaner in the Chest, back, legs and Arms....I need to up my game!!!

Is there any other advice someone can offer me, I've seen this video on Youtube and will be added it to my workout, what do y'all think and is there anything else I could do???

5 MUST-DO AB/CORE EXERCISES: RIPPED FREAK ABS

Oct 16, 2014 7:29pm | report
 
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 203.93 lbs
  • bf: 11.0%
Showing 1 - 9 of 9 Comments

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