Crunches are always associated with reducing belly fat. However, modern coaches and trainers disagree on whether it is necessary to include them in your exercise routine. Many believe that crunches strain your spine, but don’t give you defined abs and a strong core. They recommend that, if you focus on strengthening your core, trimming your belly fat will follow.
Core is not abdominal muscle
Core is not synonymous with abdominal muscle. The abdominal muscle is just a part of your core, which comprises inner abdominal muscles, scapula, glutes, hips and pelvic floor. So when you think of an exercise to reduce belly fat, you must also think of strengthening your core.
You might be thinking that you need to work out a lot of muscles. But, it’s the other way around. You only need up to 10 reps of each exercise per side if you’re a beginner.
The sample exercises below are perfect for a beginner or for someone who wants to get back in shape.
Tummy vacuum is a core-conditioning exercise. Start your routine with the tummy vacuum. The exercise helps to recondition your transverse abdominals so that they will function normally. If you have not been active, have had a baby or have been sitting at work for a long period of time, the tummy vacuum will reestablish your transverse abdominal function.
How to do a tummy vacuum:
- Choose the position you want for this exercise; you can stand, kneel, or lie down but make sure you maintain the proper posture. It is best to do the exercise on an empty stomach.
- Inhale through your nose, then exhale through your mouth.
- As you exhale, pull your belly button in toward your spine. Hold your position for a minimum of 15 seconds.
Time and reps:
15-second holds and increase gradually until you reach 60 seconds
The dead bug targets your hips and trunk. It means that both the front and back of the body help to strengthen the core. It can also help as a warm up exercise if your next set of exercises requires crawling.
How to do a dead bug:
- Lie on your back while your hips and knees are raised at right angles.
- Extend your arms above towards the ceiling.
- Exhale hard to pull your abs to your spine. It’s the starting position.
- Start the exercise by extending one leg, then bringing it just above the ground. Make sure that the only moving part of your body is the extended leg.
- Go back to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other leg. It’s one complete rep.
Time and reps:
8 reps per side (alternate sides per each rep)
Plank is one of the basic exercises in strengthening your core. It is a full body work out which helps in the improvement of your posture and flexibility. It does not need any equipment, but it has many variations. Supported side plank is one variation that focuses on your side and central abs. It also a workout for your thighs and arms.
How to do the basic plank:
- Face the floor in a press up position.
- Rest your forearms on the floor and put all your weight on it.
- Make sure that your shoulders and ankles form a straight line.
- Pull your abs into your spine.
Time and reps:
5-second holds and 8 reps
The X-Factor Diet
Complement your abdominal exercise with The X-Factor Diet. It is a diet that does not require you to take diet pills and supplements; its main function is to guide you to the right foods to eat.
Focus no. 1 – Removal of toxins in the body
The removal of toxins from your body has been overlooked in many diet plans available today. Most of those plans concentrate on losing weight but not the free radicals in your body. Free radicals aid in storing fat and must be removed from the system if you want effective and quick weight loss.
The X-Factor diet teaches you to choose the right foods that contain antioxidants to get rid of the toxins in the body. Food with high antioxidants also help in repairing your damaged cells.
Focus no. 2 – Blood sugar level stability
The X-Factor Diet also helps in stabilizing your sugar level, especially when it often fluctuates. If you eat junk foods and foods rich in sugar, you will have a hard time controlling your sugar level. The X-Factor Diet aids in shutting off the fluctuation.