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Best Exercises to Tighten that Belly
It’s summer time and the warm weather is bringing out the bikinis and swimsuits. If you’re like most people, you are hoping to find some exercises the drop a few pounds and tighten up that belly. We have good news for you! You don’t need to buy new weights or expensive equipment, there are plenty of exercises you can do in the privacy of your own home.
To get a tighter belly, what you are actually doing is strengthening your abdominal muscles while dumping some of the fat that’s sitting on top of them. It’s actually the fat that’s jiggles like a bowl of Jell-O and unless you get rid of that excess fat, no one will know you have super toned and tight ab muscles underneath.
Stronger abs not only make your middle look good but they support your back muscles, meaning you will have less back pain and reduce fatigue. Also, getting rid of excessive abdominal fat is important for reducing your risk of certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, even cancer.
So the perfect abdominal exercises will both rid your stomach of excess fat while tightening and strengthening the muscles that are underneath. Take a look at the top 5 tummy exercises that will do both of these things in record time.
1. Side leg kicks
This exercise will tone up the oblique muscles, the ones on the side of your tummy that give you those famous love handles. Lie down on the right side with your legs straight and stacked together, one on top of the other. Prop up the upper body with your right elbow and place the upper arm (the left arm) on the floor in front of you to help you with your balance. Keep your toes flexed while you raise your left leg up a few inches, and then slowly, swing it to the front as far as you can. Hold it there for a count of 3, and then swing it behind you as far as you can and, again, hold it for a count of 3. Return to the starting position and repeat 6 times, then change sides.
SEE ALSO: The Top 5 Dangers of a Pot Belly
2. Rolling crunches
Forget those old fashioned sit ups you did in high school gym class! This one won’t strain your back and is much more effective. Lie flat on the floor and keep your lower back pressed against the floor. Put your hands behind your head, as if you were going to do the traditional sit up, but instead, roll your shoulders up and forward while you lift your legs, bending them and, at the same time, rocking them inwards, towards your chest. If you can lift your head up very far (or not at all, to start) that’s ok. Start doing these and the strength will build up over time. Start with 10 of these and work up to 30.
3. Lunge twist
This exercise combines the forward lunge with the motion of the torso twist which will really whittle your waist. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees slightly bent. Do a type of lunge forward with your left leg while gently rotating your upper body to the left. Move back to the starting position. Repeat with your right leg. Do 10 reps on each side.
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4. Alternate hop
Stand the same as you did for the lunge twist but put your hands on your hips. Step forward with your left leg while you raise your right leg up to a 90 degree angle. It’s almost as if you were getting ready to take a giant step with your right leg. Then jump straight up with your left foot, landing with both your feet together. Do 8 to 10 reps for each leg.
5. Squat jump
Again, stand like you did for the lunge twist but then squat down as if you were about to sit in a chair. Jump straight up and raise both your arms in the air over your head. Land back down into the squat position. Repeat 12 times.
Doing these exercises daily will help you burn off belly fat and tone those stomach muscles. As with any exercise program, start slowly, especially if you haven’t done exercise for some time.