Do you want to get in shape and have the body you dream of? Is the only thing that is holding you back the fact that you can’t make it to the gym often enough? Perhaps you don’t have the money or space for the equipment to do an effective ab workout as you want.
Alas, there is good news. There are many exercises that you can do from home that can use your body weight to help you fight the battle of the bulge. An ab workout can target one of the most problematic areas in your body, and you can get rid of those dreaded love handles once and for all.
Why does fat seem to accumulate around the stomach area? There are many reasons why people gain belly weight, which includes stress, overeating, and a lack of exercise. You can change your eating habits, but you won’t get far with this stubborn fat without an effective workout.
Targeting the Stubborn Belly Fat
You need to lower your stress levels by doing meditation or being in nature. Additionally, it would help if you had specific exercises that target and sculpt this area, and it doesn’t require an expensive home gym to do it.
All you need is a yoga mat and some time to do the following exercises. Here are some of the best maneuvers for a great ab workout that you can do anywhere.
1. In and Out Plank
Lay down on the yoga mat and make sure that your forearms are on the ground. Your elbows must be below your shoulders. Your legs should be behind you, but you need to make sure that you slightly elevate your hips off the mat.
The weight of your body should be resting on the balls of your feet. Now, you want to engage your ribs so you should gently draw your core while keeping your spine in a neutral position. You may feel like you’re playing a game of Twister, but you want to keep your hips still and step your right foot out to the side slightly.
Now, do the same with your left foot. The goal is to have your hips a slight distance apart. Don’t let your hips move, but step your right foot forward, followed by your left. Now, return to the original starting position. Try to do at least 12 reps.
2. Dead Bug
Start on your back on the yoga mat, and you want to make sure that your arms are directly extended in front of your chest. Your palms must be facing your feet. Slightly bend your knees as you move your legs into what is called a tabletop position.
If done correctly, your knees should be over your hips while your shins will be in line with the floor. Now, exhale and bring your ribs to meet your hips. Take your right arm and bring it downwards towards the ground, trying to ensure it runs alongside your head. Now, take your left knee and hips and bring them towards the ground too.
Your arm and leg should be brought down at the same speed. Make sure that your spine remains neutral while you do these maneuvers. When you inhale, raise your left arm and right knee as you return to the starting position.
Doing both sides one time is a rep, and you want to do 12 on each side for 24 reps. Who knew a “dead bug” could move so much doing an ab workout?
Once again, you are in the starting position lying on the yoga mat flat on your back. Now, bend your knees slightly and keep your hips and knees together. Using your core, push your spine into the mat as you bring your body back into the tabletop position. This is where your knees should be over your hips while your toes are pointed, and your hands are resting on the knees.
Now, exhale and tuck your chin until it almost meets your chest area. Constrict your ribs towards the hips as you slowly elevate your head, shoulders, and upper back from the mat. The central part of your back needs to remain flat against the ground. Now, extend your arms to the side and keep your palms facing downwards. Keep your legs above your hips and slightly bend your knees.
It would help if you dropped your leg towards the matt during an exhale, attempting to get it as low as you can go. It will help if you keep your back flat on the yoga mat during this move. Now, when you inhale, slowly lift your left leg until you return to the original position.
When you exhale, your need to lower your leg while staying flat on your back, and when you inhale, you lift your leg and go to the starting position. You should feel the burn in the obliques and love handles area.
4. Bent-Leg Jackknife
For this part of your ab workout, you’re also going to be on your yoga mat on the floor. Extend your arms till they are over your head. Involve your stomach muscles by pulling your belly button in the direction of your spine and marginally lifting your legs in the air.
When you inhale, you want to slightly bend your knees and, utilizing your stomach muscles, pull them near your chest. Ensure that you keep your feet together while you lift your head, shoulder blades, and upper body off the mat.
While you exhale, gradually decrease your arms, and lengthen your legs to revert to the beginning position without moving your feet down on the ground.
5. Straight-Leg Pilates Hundreds
Begin with lying flat on your back. Curve your knees and place your feet solidly on the mat, make sure that your hips and knees are raised. Lightly press your back into the mat, and make sure that you bring your legs into a tabletop stance.
Keep the knees over your hips, and your toes pointing forward. Lay your hands lightly on your lap. When you exhale, push your chin down into your torso as you pull your ribs towards your hips. Now, raise your head, shoulder blades, and upper back from off the mat. However, the center of your back needs to remain on the ground.
Now, extend your knees as you want to make a 90-degree angle with your hips and arms by stretching them to your side. Be sure to keep those palms facing downward. Then, inhale and elevate your arms slightly, lower them back again, which is considered a pulse. You need to do five pulses and exhale and do it five more times.
Now, lower your head and shoulder while bending your knees, and you need to place your hands on your knees too. You should do 100 pulses together, which shouldn’t take more than a minute.
Eating Right to Support Your Ab Workout Efforts
Since you have some great exercises that will work your obliques and those pesky love handles, you need to incorporate the other part of the process. Healthy eating is essential for helping to decrease the amount of fat in your body.
Since working your muscles makes them bigger and stronger, you can appear larger before you do smaller. So, you must utilize your fat-burning ability to make the most of your ab workout.
The Keto diet, as well as the Mediterranean diet, are both great at burning fat quickly. If you don’t want to bulk up these areas, then incorporating a fast-burning diet like these will be beneficial. The key to building muscles and getting rid of fat is protein.
When you eat good fats like salmon, tuna, steak, chicken, and turkey, it helps keep your blood sugar levels in check and stimulate your metabolism. You also cannot underestimate the health power of fruits and vegetables.
You should make sure to avoid processed and sugary foods full of carbohydrates as eating those types of foods can undo all the work you do in exercise. Your ab workout can yield the results you want with some hard work and dedication and eating healthy foods as part of your overall health plan.
Lastly, if you don’t have your stress levels under control then all you do for your body can be for not. Stress increases hormones like cortisol in the body, which only makes your metabolism sluggish.
Stress can make you gain weight because you often eat to make yourself feel better. Things like chocolate and sugary sodas raise blood sugar levels and can give you a temporary calm feeling by releasing those “feel good” hormones. However, your sugar levels will soon plummet and the calm you felt will soon dissipate.
If stress is a significant problem in your life, then you can bring mental clarity by cutting out harmful foods as well as exercising. You may also utilize therapy to help reduce the angst you feel so that you can get your body to the target weight you desire. It’s a long process, but it’s well worth the journey.