Over the years, we have watched the shirts get higher and the pants get lower. Unless our dryers are just getting more powerful, there seems to be an American obsession with the abdominal area. If Gwen Stefani and Beyonce are any indication, midriff exposure may be the new black. And we all know that dedication to fashion can take hard work. If you want to show off your killer abs, you have to have the killer abs to show. Weight training is a great way to get your belly in shape so you can model the latest crop top/ hip hugger combo. Here’s how!
Spot Reduction Demystified
It may seen logical that exercising one part of your body is the best way to trim fat from the area; hence, performing crunches will strengthen the abdomen. The truth is, that while crunches may provide for a more toned appearance, they won’t burn fat around your stomach. If your goal is weight loss, you need to burn more calories than you ingest, and burning calories includes a strong aerobic component. Circuit training is a great way to combine aerobics with strength training.
Circuit training includes a variety of exercises performed consecutively without rest in between. It helps to calories and raises the heart rate. Combined with a healthy diet, circuit training can help you burn fat all over your body, belly included.
Circuit Training Exercises
You can include almost any type of weight training exercise into your circuit, as long as you keep moving for a minimum of twenty minutes. Lifting free weights and using exercise machines are both acceptable circuit training activities, however, because you want to avoid taking breaks, you may not want to do multiple barbell exercises that require the addition or removal of weights or any machines that have to be set up.
Vary Muscle Groups
For best results, you should give your muscles 48 hours to heal between sessions. You might choose to do a full body workout every two days, or work your lower body on one day and your upper body the next.
- Barbell Crunches: Lie on an incline bench face up. Your knees should be on the bend of the bench and your feet should be below the foot pads. Use an overhand grip to hold a barbell with your arms extended upward and your hands a shoulder width apart. Exhale, curling your upper body in the direction of the ceiling keeping your arms vertical and your lower back on the bench. Inhale and lower yourself back to the starting position.
- Dumbbell Pullover: Lie down face up with your upper back across the bench and your feet pressed flat to the floor. Your body should be straight from your shoulders to your knees. Grip the dumbbell with both hands and extend arms past your head horizontally. Exhale while lifting the dumbbell over the upper chest, then inhale while you return the weight to its starting point.
- Low Pulley: Lie on the floor in front of a low pulley machine and attach the straps to both your ankles and the low pulley. Grab a support behind your head. Exhale and bring your knees to your chest using your hips and knees, and then your lower back. Inhale and return to starting position.
Are you doing circuit training to keep that six pack firm? Let us know how you do it, send us every sweaty detail.