I have yet to meet a woman who didn’t want a flat, taut belly or wanted to flaunt washboard abs. Yet sadly, our gender is one of the prime reasons our goal is difficult to attain and moreover, maintain! Women do have a tendency to store much of our fat around the belly and hip region to protect and nurture precious uteruses and eggs within. Which brought me to penning this #Fit5 because I personally love these exercises and try to incorporate them into nearly every workout I do. They have a phenomenal way of strengthening one’s core and enhancing stability and of course, toning this rather stubborn ‘terrain’.
But before you start directing your entire attention and focus to the moves below, let me stop you right there and tell you that in order to burn belly flat you HAVE to do full-body workouts of high intensity cardio and weight lifting. Fat cannot be burnt off from an area by only doing exercises that target the region. If anyone tells you otherwise, I urge you to NOT believe them.
These exercises aren’t to be done in isolation and are to be an add-on to your regular gym routine. That being said, their biggest pro is that they can be done anywhere and everywhere and are perfect to do in hotel rooms when you’re travelling and/or don’t have access to a gym.
I suggest doing 3 rounds of these in a workout. If you’re struggling, decrease the reps initially and gradually work your way to the full number. These have worked wonders on me and taken off the ‘flab’ leaving mostly abs 😉 *
Don’t forget to warm up first and stretch afterwards
1)Ab bicycles – these are brilliant in working the upper and mid-level abs whilst also getting your heart rate up. Aim to do about 40 reps (20 each side) of these
2) Mountain climbers – A personal favorite because that heart rate you work up in (1), well Mountain Climbers ensure that it’s positively soaring! You should aim to complete a 100 of these but again work your way up starting from 40-50. Enjoy the blood pounding in your ears ☺
3) Weighted bent leg Jacknives – These burn! Sorry but you’ve got to do them and learn to love that burn. I promise you will eventually. Your aim is to do 30 but again start from 10-12 WITHOUT weights first and then work your way up to doing 30 of them with a 5-6 Kg weight
4) Weighted burpees – Burpees are a great full-body cardio blast and doing them with weights only enhances their flab burning ability. Aim to ultimately complete 15 reps with 5-8 Kg in each hand. I would again advise you to begin sans weights and ensure your form is correct. There are several videos available online to denote correct posture and form.
5) Weighted Russian twists – I haven’t the faintest idea why these are ‘Russian’ but that’s what they’re called and we’ll stick to that (read: I shall resist my urge to share my assessment with you). Prop yourself onto your sit-bones alone and maintain your balance there. 30 reps (15 on each side) with a 10 Kg medicine ball or weight ought to do the trick but again, leave out the weight first and work upwards. It’s difficult but totally worth it!
** Images : courtesy Kayla Itsines
Juggling many roles from physician to writer to pilates instructor to Marketing-PR executive, Dr. Daamini is constantly pushed and inspired to get creative on how to encompass a Retreat into her daily life.