Have you ever felt insecure about your mid-section? You’re definitely not alone. Whether you’ve felt uncomfortable without a shirt on in summer or less-than-average in those jeans through winter… we’ve all been there.
Did you know that there are two types of abdominal fat?
Subcutaneous fat is the type that you can pinch and prevents us from seeing any sign of ‘abs’. Although it is not necessarily bad for our health, it can make us feel insecure about our appearance. Visceral fat is hormonal and relates to the fat cells sitting around your heart, lungs, liver and other organs – this stuff is harmful! Sure, we need some of it for ‘cushioning’ around our organs, but if you have too much of it you are more likely to be at risk. Some of the biggest risk factors of visceral fat include increased blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin sensitivity and is linked to diabetes and heart disease.
When people slim down through exercise and diet, visceral fat disappears twice as fast as subcutaneous fat according to Dr. Klein, Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Science at Washington University School of Medicine. One of the easiest ways to measure this is to get a body scan – enquire through your GP or local fitness centre.
Spot-training your abdominal muscles will help grow and strengthen your core - the higher the intensity of this training the better chance of burning fat. Just remember, good nutrition is just as important for losing belly fat – eat fewer processed foods, watch your portions and increase your protein and fibre intake.
Having strength through your core will improve your stability and your range of motion as well as helping to maintain a good posture. The following workout will target your abdominal muscles that connect to the spine, pelvis and shoulders. Exercising these muscles provide the foundation for all arm and leg movements and will help to prevent injury from poor posture.
What I want you to do during the workout (especially the first time that you try this one out!) is to focus on the activation and movement of the muscles. Make sure to move from your waist rather than your hips – and don’t forget to breathe!
Equipment needed: none!
All you need is a carpeted floor or mat.
10 x Burpees
20 x Leg Raises
30 x Reverse Crunches
40 x Bicycle Crunches
50 x Mountain Climbers
Repeat 3 – 5 times.
Rest for 30 - 45 seconds between each set.
Complete this 2 – 3 times per week – try to include it as a ‘cool down’ after your cardio sessions. This workout should only take 15-20 minutes.