To slim down, eating less and moving more will help dieters achieve weight loss goals. As well as shifting the pounds, many will want to target a specific part of their body, such as the stomach. Combining toning exercises with cardio can tone the abs, Cecilia Harris, celebrity PT and co-founder of online fitness, nutrition and health platform, Results with Lucy, explained.
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Although a healthy diet is important when slimming down, exercising can help speed up results.
Far from doing a standard sit up, Cecilia explained the top stomach exercises to give good definition.
She said: “Many of us still rely on crunches to get toned, flat abs but what a lot of people don’t realise is that crunching on its own is not the most effective ab workout.
“This is because they work only some of the muscles in your core and it’s important to target all the muscles including lower back, hips, and upper thighs.”
What exercises can you do?
When trying to tone the midriff, slimmers should combine stomach exercises with cardio to slim down.
Cecilia said: “A few of my favourite ab deifying exercises would have to include a plank with a side crunch, mountain climbers, leg lifts and plank with knee to elbow.
“Also, alligator drags where you are basically in a high plank position and you use your hands to drag the rest of your body across the floor.
“You will need to put the balls of your feet on some gliders or a tea towel, so they easily slide across the floor.”
When toning up, fitness fanatics can ramp up the intensity by adding weights in a bid to see definition.
“One of the best ways to tone your abs is to overload the muscles by adding weight to a movement,” Cecilia said.
“If you’re holding a plank balance some weight on your back but be careful to keep the core strong and engaged so your lower back doesn’t take the brunt. Adding weight builds your muscles so you get that pop of ab definition.
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“Try weighted Russian twists, dumbbell sit ups, cable crunches and dumbbell crunches where you hold the dumbbell close to your chest as you crunch.”
Along with stomach toning exercising, dieters can increase their cardio to burn fat.
Doing high intensity interval training, or HIIT, exercises are quick and can get the heart rate up, Cecilia explained.
“Although lots of cardio won’t build abs, what it is good for is fat loss,” she said.
“It has been shown to be particularly effective at burning belly fat. If you feel like progress has slowed or you have reached a plateau you can add in some extra cardio or HIIT sessions with exercises like jumping squats, burpees and butt kicks to help reduce belly fat!”
However, it is still important dieters follow a healthy plan when trying to get into shape.
She added: “We all know abs are made in the kitchen so tweaking your diet will also work wonders on your abs. Upping your protein intake will promote weight loss and keep you feeling fuller for longer.”
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