Flatten Your Belly for Summer

Summer is approaching, it’s time to start focusing on our abdomens. The winter holiday’s always add a few extra pounds. It seems that the abdomen area is hardest to lose unwanted weight. Now is the time to start a responsible weight loss program to look great for the summer.

Let’s start from the beginning, there are four muscles in the abdomen:

Upper Rectus Abdominus- The large muscle along the front of your abdomen. This muscle ends at your navel and is the strongest muscle in the abdomen.

Lower Rectus Abdominus- The rectus abdominus is actually one large muscle but professionals tend to separate the upper and lower abdominus. No one exercise can work on both, you must do separate exercises to to effective. This muscle is very weak after childbearing.

Obliques- The obliques are located on the sides of the abdomen, from your ribcage to the hip bone. Strong obliques are necessary for a trim waist.

Transverse Abdominus- This is the most neglected muscle, there aren’t many exercises to focus on it. This muscle is below your rib cage and wraps around your pelvis. It’s the muscle that keeps your internal organs in place. Because it’s the most underused muscle, most people have a bulge in the abdomen. The bulge is the internal organs poking out.

Many people believe that doing numerous abdomen exercises can flatten their abdomen. This is not true. To lose the fat in your abdomen area, you need to burn off the energy that is stored there and limit the calories coming in. A good cardio and weight lifting program are the best way to burn fat. Monitoring your calorie intake will help in your weight loss.

Stress, alcohol intake, and smoking aids in excess fat around the midsection. They raise our cortisol level and causes increased fat around the belly, hips, and buttocks.

Constipation and gas also distends the abdomen. Drinking alot of water and eating high fiber foods can help with this.

You must do a heart pumping total body exercise to burn fat, weight training for muscle mass, and a variety of abdominal exercises to tighten the abs.

According to a study done at San Diego State University, the top three abdominal exercises are:

1. Bicycle Manuever- Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. Place your knees in a 45 degree angle and make a bicycle motion. Your left elbow touches the right knee and your right elbow touches the left knee.

2. Captains Chair- While in a chair, lift your knees toward your chest and return them back to the starting position.

3. Crunch On An Exercise Ball- Sit on the exercise ball and do your abdominal crunches on the ball with feet flat on the floor.

These exercises along with a low fat diet, cardiovascular exercises, and increased water intake will put you on your way to wearing a bikini with pride.

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