One of the most common fitness goals that people come to see me with is.... 'I would like to lose my belly'. So what is the best way to help lose your belly? Below I have put down the best way to beat the abdominal bulge. As we have all been told you can't spot reduce fat on just one part of the body. So doing countless number of crunches is not going to get you that perfect flat toned stomach.
Research that was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning researched the effect of abdominal exercise on abdominal fat (September 2011). The study looked at the effect of specific abdominal exercise on body composition and abdominal muscular strength and endurance for 5 days a week for 6 weeks, as compared to a control group. All subjects followed the same diet during the study.
The results of the study showed that there was no significant effect of abdominal exercises on the body weight, body fat percentage, abdominal circumference and abdominal skin fold measurements in the abdominal exercise group. The only difference there was between the 2 groups was the ability of the abdominal group to perform significantly greater amount of sit-up repetitions.
What is the best way to reduce abdominal fat?
- Good Nutrition - We have all heard the saying you can't out train a bad diet...it is completely true!
- Resistance Training - Compound (large/number of muscles) Movements under load, which in turn will help to recruit maximal muscle fibres, which in turn will lead to a larger metabolic response as more muscles are working at once. For example you should consider - squats, lunges, deadlifts, pull ups, shoulder press etc
- High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - This is very popular at the moment and is one of the latest crazes in the fitness industry, it involves interspersing fast burst of effort with low intensity rest periods. this helps to boost your metabolism.
- Low Intensity Interval Training (LIIT) - This is exactly the same as HIIT the only different being the speed at which the exercises are carried out. your work and rest cycles are much longer than when doing a HIIT approach.
- High Intensity Steady State Exercise - This looks a performing your activity at a steady, challenging but manageable pace (usually between 60-70% of your maximal heart rate) for 20 minutes or more and aiming for a heart rate between 120-150 beats per minute.
- Low Intensity Steady State Exercise - This can include exercises such as walking or jogging, without putting to much stress on the body. This method is good as it can be used on an active rest day compared to just sitting down on the sofa.
I hope this information has helped you and you can now go away and include some if not all of these training methods in your own exercise programme. If however, you would like me to put together all the above in an effective fitness programme then please let me know. We will first sit down and have a talk about your exercise goals, do a full body screening looking at body fat percentage, waist to hip ratio, body alignment. We will then both agree on the best plan of action to help you work towards your fitness goal.
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