A Guest Post
We each workout for a variety of reasons, but a belt that doesn't require handmade holes is one of those goals that we all share; rock-hard abs on a flat tummy simply takes the cake where exercise results are concerned! Luckily, there are a few exercises that target the stomach in particular, helping you to burn off excess fat, tighten things up, and build pure, unadulterated abdominal muscles.
Ready to get started? Throw on a tracksuit and grab a bottle of water - here are four effective exercises for a tiny beltline:
1. Reverse Crunch
Achieving a reduced beltline means targeting your very core, and the reverse crunch does a great job of this. Working your abs from the bottom upwards, this exercise will have you lifting your hips in a slow, subtle way that still manages to translate into very real results for your waistline.
To perform a reverse crunch, lie down on the floor and place your hands behind your head. Once you're settled, bring your knees towards your chest until they're bent at about a 90 degree angle, keeping your feet firmly together as you lift.
Now, contract your abs and slowly lift your hips from the floor, pushing your legs upwards as you do. Continue this up and down motion with the hips for 15 reps, performing 3 sets before moving on to your next move.
Perhaps the most recommended exercise for tightening and toning the belly is the bicycle, an exercise that will have you pedaling an imaginary bike on the road to a reduced beltline. To perform the bicycle, lie flat on your back and interlace your fingers behind your head. Once you're in position, pull your left knee to your chest, then straighten it as you repeat the move with your right knee.
As you continue this motion, you'll find yourself moving your legs fluidly in a pedaling motion, and the work this puts your stomach through will be obvious, specifically in your sides. Assuming that you're eating a low-fat diet that doesn't contribute to an unwieldy waist size, you'll start to see results within only a week of performing this exercise daily, allowing you to say goodbye to love handles and hello to your long-hidden abs!
3. Long Arm Crunch
A variation on the classic sit-up exercise that we're all familiar with, the long arm crunch adds a touch of extra work to your belly's workload by keeping your arms behind you, forcing your abs to take on 100 percent of the effort needed to lift your body.
To perform the long arm crunch, you'll be on your back again, this time with your arms lying straight out behind your head. With your hands clasped and your body straight, focus on contracting your abs themselves as you begin to peel your upper back from the floor, keeping your arms straight behind you as you go.
Once you make it into a sitting position, lower yourself slowly, feeling that burn, and then repeat as many times as you feel comfortable, watching out for any neck or back pain that suggests the need for a break.
4. Cardio For Fat Burning
While all of the previous exercises target the belly and work from the inside out, carrying around a spare tire on your midsection is going to render all of them futile; with that in mind, forgive me as I take a moment to preach the value of good, vigorous cardio exercise.
Sure, few of us are fans of sweating profusely and working like mad, but adding even two or three 20 minute sessions of solid aerobic activity to your weekly exercise regimen is one of the best things that you can do when a tiny beltline is your goal. You can walk, jog, run, bicycle, or indulge in any one of the endless aerobic machines at your local gym. So long as you're moving, you're metabolizing, and that's all it takes to keep your body's fat content down - well, that and learning how to indulge in treats that won't make you fat!
Strong, bulging abs are a beautiful thing to behold, and that's really the only reason you need to work continuously to clear away the excess fat that threatens to cover them up, shrinking your waistline all the while.
Author Byline: Anna Fox is a health and fitness blogger. She is passionate about healthy food and active lifestyle.