Chiseling Fat Away From Your Midsection

by Wendy on October 17, 2014

You would think that in order to reduce fat in your midsection, you would start with endurance exercises, and focusing on some weight training just on your abdominals right?

Well that is partly true, but in order to get the best workout for your abs, it’s important to focus on strengthening your core, which encompasses your abdominals, obiliques, hip flexors, and lower back. Core exercises should be an essential part of any workout routine.

As its name implies, the core is truly the center of the body. In fact, every muscle group relies on the core muscles. All exertion, even when focused on the arms or legs, begins in your midsection. The core muscles contract first, sending energy throughout your body. A strong, fit core also has side benefits such as improving posture.

So if your core body exercises have been limited to crunches and sit-ups, you are barely scratching the surface of the core fitness exercises.

The following two planking exercises can be performed by anyone from beginners, to the more advanced maneuvers:

Plank Exercises

The plank is one of the top core exercises, and can be beneficial to beginners or hard “core” (see what I did there?) fitness freaks. It strengthens the abdominal muscles most noticeably, but also strengthens the lower back and hip flexors.

  • Lie on your stomach, supporting your bodyweight with your forearms and the tips of your toes as you lift your body into a straight line.
  • Keep your ab muscles tight and suspend your body a few inches off of the mat.
  • Hold this position for at least 15 seconds (beginner), or longer depending on your skill level.

Side Plank

The side plank is a great core exercise that concentrates heavily on the oblique muscles.

  • Lie on your right side.
  • Bend your right arm at the elbow and stack your left leg atop your right leg.
  • Using your right forearm and right foot as support, raise your body in a straight line. As with the normal plank, your body will be suspended a few inches from the ground. The ab muscles should be tight, and your back should be straight.
  • Hold your body in this position for 10 seconds (beginner). Switch and repeat the same movement on the left side.

These next exercises are for those who can easily perform the planking, and are a little more advanced:

Side Plank with Hip Drops

  • This exercise works like the side plank, except you move your hips toward the floor, then raise them. This is effectively a side push up, and you’ll use the same form as the side plank.
  • Make sure to contract your abs on the way down and hold your shoulder steady.
  • Complete 1-4 sets of 10-15 reps on both the left and right sides.

Leg Pull-in

  • Lie on your back and lift your upper legs to 90 degrees with your knees bent.
  • Straighten your legs out until they are parallel with the floor. Then pull knees back into bent position.
  • For more resistance, a light dumbbell may be placed between the ankles.

 

There are a variety of exercises that aren’t listed, such as the Captain’s Chair, and sit-ups using a medicine ball. However, this will give you a good start to strengthening your core, and improving your ability to do other workouts much more easily than before with a weaker core.

Wendy

Wendy

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
My name is Wendy and I'm one of the main contributors to our blog. I'm a retired elementary school teacher who's found a new passion for all things relating to health and wellness. If you feel like your body is not in the place it should be, join the club! We're here to help get you where you want to be in a long term way, and avoiding any extreme diets in the process. We believe in natural sustainable methods to reach a state of homeostasis. We want to get our body, spirit, and soul into prime shape and really start loving ourselves! Wendy's favorite product is Raspberry Ketone 1234
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