Belly fat makes your waistline look like a spare tire, and this has a detrimental effect on your self-confidence (not to mention your health) – but not to worry, with the right workout you can stop this middle spread and get your best body back within a few weeks. But to do this you have to attack those cardio machines with unwavering relentlessness, and we’ve gone through the best machines for you to try:
Healthy adults aged between 18 and 65 should get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day, and a well-directed indoor cycling class is one of the ways you can do this. Indoor cycling is a high-intensity workout that can help you burn 400-600 calories in just 45 minutes -and since it takes 3,500 calories to burn a pound of fat, just ten indoor cycling classes coupled with a healthy diet will help you shred a lot of body fat.
A steady, moderate ride speed is great for burning belly fat, but you need to add high-intensity intervals to keep from hitting a plateau. We have a few tips to help you strengthen your muscles while cycling:
a) Engage your abdominal muscles by holding them in as you cycle. This will contract the muscles and work them as you focus on your main activity.
b) Adjust your position while biking. You can lower your body downward, or sit up straight to engage the core muscles. The movement will ensure your abdominal muscles get more of a workout.
c) Stand up while cycling to engage your lower abs, and then return to the saddle. Do this in intervals as you cycle. It also strengthens your leg muscles.
There are specific exercises that you can do on a treadmill to flatten your stomach. The key is interval training, as it burns more fat in a short amount of time. Walk or jog lightly for 5 minutes to warm up your body, and gradually increase the speed for shorter runs. Basically, the shorter the period, the more intense the exercise should be. So a 60-second interval should be harder than a 5-minute interval.
Slow down your incline for a rest period, and take as long as your interval; so if your first high-intensity interval was 60 seconds long, then slow it down for another sixty seconds to rest, and then pick it up.
Mix up your training, so your body doesn’t become too comfortable. Remember if your body is not prepared for something, it burns more calories – otherwise, it builds muscle or burns carbs, neither of which contribute to a flat stomach.
A rowing machine works your abs by constantly engaging the core with every rowing stroke, and it’s also a full-body fat burning workout. The trick is to invest 60% into pushing with your legs, 20% to bracing your core, and 20% to pulling with your arms. When rowing, keep your back completely straight (this will engage your core) and avoid rowing with a rounded back.
For the best results, don’t rush your row. A perfect row should have a ratio of 1:2, meaning your recovery should take twice as long as your drive. When transitioning from drive to finish, you need to focus on engaging the core as this will help control your deceleration. Lean back slightly to finish your row while keeping your back straight – this will engage your core even more.
Combine your workouts with these flat ab tips for better results:
a) Improve your posture. If you slouch, your stomach will pooch; so for better results, while standing, align your shoulders over your ears, shoulders over hips, hips over knees, and knees over ankles. Draw your navel to your spine and balance your weight on the balls of your feet.
b) Practice whole-body workouts. If you want to build abdominal strength, it’s important that you train the whole body instead of isolating body parts. Go for exercises that focus on the core (like Pilates). Remember, if you’re using your abdominal muscles, that also means you’re using your arms, legs, back, and glutes.
c) Watch your diet and digestion. To get a flatter stomach, you will need to change your diet and increase energy output. It’s not enough to build ab strength and practice good posture; to remove that extra layer of fat, you will need to eat healthy food.
d) Set realistic goals. Genes do play a role in body shape, and some people are more likely to store fat around the belly. But this doesn’t mean you won’t be able to improve your appearance; it just means your fitness goals should be realistic. Not everybody can get washboard abs in a couple of months; so work with what you have and make a point of improving your exercises as you move forward.
Let us know which of the machines is your favorite in the comments below!
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