We all want a toned, flat stomach. No surprise there. But since many women are still relying on crunches to get it, we want to make one thing clear: Crunching is not the most effective abs workout. “Crunches work only the muscles on the front and sides of your abdomen, but it’s important to target all the muscles of the core to get more defined abs—including lower back, hips, and upper thighs,” says Lou Schuler, co-author of The New Rules of Lifting for Abs.
Running or walking: As you exercise, calories are burned and your body fat percentage decreases. So, exercising not only helps you lose belly fat, it also sheds fat from other areas. Running and walking are two of the best fat-burning exercises. Plus, the only equipment you need is a good pair of shoes. Between the two, running burns more calories, but walking really isn’t too far behind.
Running and walking can be part of your interval training routine and do not forget to warm up and cool down if your take up running for weight loss.
Elliptical trainer: Some of us no longer have the strong joints we had as teenagers. Jogging is out of the question and walking doesn’t cut it. The good news is elliptical trainers provide an intense, low impact cardio workout. In fact, a 145-lb. person can burn about 300 calories in 30 minutes on an elliptical trainer. That’s about as many calories as running burns, but without the joint wear-and-tear.
The bicycle exercise: Burning body and belly fat with cardio exercises is half the battle. Next is strengthening abdominal muscles so you have something to show once the fat is shed. In a recent study, ab exercises were ranked from best to worst. The bicycle exercise ranked as #1 because it requires abdominal stabilization, body rotation, and more abdominal muscle activity.These are some bicycle exercises you can do before you hop on your bike:
-Lie on your back with hands behind your head
-Raise knees to your chest while lifting head and shoulders off the ground
-Bring the right elbow to your left knee and straighten the right leg
-Switch sides – bring the left elbow to your right knee and straighten the left leg
-Continue switching sides to simulate a pedaling motion
-Breathing should be relaxed and even
-Do 1-3 sets with 12-16 repetitions
Bicycling: Bicycling is another great low impact cardio exercise. Not to mention, it’s a great way to travel or see the countryside. Depending on the speed and intensity the average person can burn between 250 to 500 calories during a 30-minute bike ride.
Exercise ball crunch: This exercise needs a lot of stabilization which engages more muscles. You’ll need an exercise ball.