After having a baby, a lot of women struggle with toning up their mid-section and shedding unwanted fat in their belly. There is a common misconception that sit ups or other abdominal exercises alone will help tone the core.
To the contrary, says Clark Shao, YouTube star and certified personal trainer and fitness nutritionist.
Shao says to lose the most amount of unwanted fat, women should work out the largest muscle groups on the body – the butt and legs rather than doing sit-ups or crunches. While it is true that crunches will help to create lean muscle, it usually will be buried under the fat.
“As you develop your butt and legs these large muscles will need lots of energy to sustain themselves and will seek body fat as fuel,” Shao tells Bellyitch. “You will notice all those trouble areas shrinking (lower belly, love handles, butt, thighs and even the jiggly part on the backs of your arms!) because this is where all the excess fat is stored on the female body.”
Shao recommends trying a quick fitness routine first thing in the morning before you eat breakfast. It will energize you and is give your metabolism a boost that will keep you burning fat all day long. Here are the exercises and reps:
- 20 Body Weight Squats
- 20 Plie Squats (wider stance and toes pointed outward)
- 20 Alternating Jumping Lunges (10 each side)
- 20 Single Leg Calf Raises (10 each side)
- 20 Mountain Climbers
1) Body Weight Squats:
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. You can place your hands behind your head. Begin the movement by flexing your knees and hips, sitting back with your hips. Continue down to full depth and quickly reverse the motion until you return to the starting position. As you squat, keep your head and chest up and push your knees out.
2) Plie Squats:
Move your legs so that they are wider than shoulder width apart from each other with your knees slightly bent. Your toes should be facing out. Slowly bend your knees and lower your legs until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Press mainly with the heel of the foot to bring the body back to the starting position while exhaling.
3) Alternating Jumping Lunges:
Assume a lunge stance position with one foot forward withthe knee bent, and the rear knee nearly touching the ground. Ensure that the front knee is over the midline of the foot. Extending through both legs, jump as high as possible, swinging your arms to gain lift. As you jump as high as you can, switch the position of your legs, moving your front leg to the back and the rear leg to the front. As you land, absorb the impact through the legs by adopting the lunge position, and repeat.
4) Single Calf Raises:
Stand on a flat surface or get a block, the ball of your foot should be resting on the edge of the block if you have one. Raise the other foot slightly off the floor or hook that foot around the opposite calf. Slowly raise your heel as high as it will go, pause and squeeze, then slowly bring it back down to touch the floor.
5) Mountain Climbers:
Begin in a push-up position, with your weight supported by your hands and toes. Flexing the knee and hip, bring one leg until the knee is approximately under the hip. This will be your starting position. Explosively reverse the positions of your legs, extending the bent leg until the leg is straight and supported by the toe, and bringing the other foot up with the hip and knee flexed. Repeat.
When you have completed all 5 exercises, this is one round. Push yourself to see how many rounds of all 5 exercises you can do. If you do this 3-4 times a week, you’ll notice a difference in your energy, mood and body – particularly your belly – after just a few short weeks. No matter where you start off, you’ll notice you’ll be able to do more as each week passes.