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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Abs Workout: Belly Fat Burning Moves

Clients and friends often ask me what is the best way to lose belly fat and tone abdominal muscles. Here are some of my favorite abs exercises. They will sculpt your abdominal muscles, help you burn more fat, and improve your posture:

Side Plank
Why it works: This abs exercise is more challenging than a traditional plank because you're supporting your entire body weight on two points of contact instead of four. As a result, you must work your core harder to stay stabilized.

How to do it: 
A. Lie on your left side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and legs stacked. Place your right hand on your right hip. 

B. Engage your abs, sending your belly button to your spine, as you lift your hips off the floor until you're balancing on your forearm and feet so that your body forms a diagonal line. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds. If you can't hold that long, stay up as long as you can and then repeat until you've held for 30 seconds total. Switch sides and repeat. 

Make it harder: Balance on your hand instead of your forearm.  


Walkout from Push-Up Position
Why it works: This abs exercise involves full-body movement, such as using the arms and legs, while incorporating resistance to strengthen your entire core.

How to do it: 
A. Start in push-up position with hands two inches wider than your shoulders.
B. Walk hands out as far as possible, then walk back. Do 10-12 reps.

Make it harder: Lift one leg before you walk your hands out and back (as shown).



Alligator Drag
Why it works: This abs exercise uses your entire core to keep your body stabilized and burns additional calories by adding movement (dragging yourself along the floor). It mixes cardio, stability, and strength training to get you fast results.

How to do it: 
A. Find a stretch of floor that allows you to go forward 10 to 20 yards, and grab anything that will slide over the surface with minimal friction. Dinner plates or plastic bags might work on a carpeted floor, while towels might work on wood or tile.

B. Start in push-up position with your feet on the slides, towels, or plates.

C. Walk yourself forward with your hands to the end of your runway (aim for at least 10 yards). Rest for 60 to 90 seconds (or as long as you need to recover) and repeat the alligator walk back to where you started. That's one set. Repeat 2-3 times more. 

Photos: Shape.com

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