While many women are toned slim throughout their body, the one part that mars their look is a bulging tummy. Excess belly fat is something which many women suffer from. Clinically, it is known as visceral fat and not only does it rob you off your best looks but also increases the risks for various cardiovascular diseases, cancers and diabetes. However, with a little care and lifestyle changes, one can reduce their belly fat. Doctors recommend a daily combination of healthy diet, aerobic workout and Ab strengthening exercises for women that are specifically targeted to shed the tummy fat.
Causes of Belly Fat
The leading causes of belly fat are thought to be a poor diet and lack of enough physical activities. Then, of course, there are many other contributing factors such hormonal fluctuations, stress, age and hereditary issues which can cause one tummy to collect layers of adipose tissues. Studies have shown that women are more sensitive to an enzyme triggered by vitamin A which releases hormones to promote fat storages. It has also been revealed that many women simply inherit a tendency to accumulate belly fat.
Some studies have also linked belly fat accumulation to aging as with age the hormone DHEA declines and lead to fat accumulation in the abdomen. Also, with age metabolism slows down and this may yet be another reason for excess belly fat. A study by the Yale University researchers showed that stressed women otherwise healthy are more likely to accumulate fat in their tummy as they are more vulnerable to the stress hormone called cortisol.
Then again, menopause can trigger fat accumulation in the tummy. This is because of the decrease in the synthesis of the sex hormones which causes belly fat as the fat storage location shifts to the tummy from being stored in the legs, hips, and arms.
Best Ab Exercises to Follow
Here is a list of some of the most recommended and proven ab exercises that will help you get rid of the stubborn belly fat in a shorter time –
To do this exercise you have to ensure that you have just the correct weight. If it is too heavy for you, performing this exercise can cause injury to your neck or your back. Just be sure that you can easily lift the weight with one arm as you do your side plank. Now, to begin this super ab workout, lie down on the side with your bottom arm placed on the ground and the rest of the body in a single line. Keep one foot on the top of your other foot. Alternately, you can keep your ankles crossed. This is to ensure both the feet are stable and are in contact with the floor. This will give you the additional support. Now, ready your core as you place the weight in hand on the floor using your arm on the top. Lift off your body from the floor, shifting the weight up to the shoulder and allowing the kettlebell fall behind the hand. Shoot out the arm and then, extend it back to your shoulder, lowering the body and bringing back the weight to the floor. To get the best results from this workout, you need to lift the weight when your body is off the floor. You can do this side plank in repetitions of 10 to 15 for each side.
Dumbbell Pushup Row
Yet another effective workout to rid you off the fat layer deposits in your abdomen. To do this exercise, place on the ground a pair of dumbbells such that they are apart of a shoulder’s width. Now, grabbing the handles bring yourself to a pushup position, lower yourself on the ground and then push up backwards. Once you return to the original position pull up the dumbbell in your right hand closer to the side of your chest. Hold it in this position for a few breaths and go back to the starting position. Repeat the same steps for the left side of your body. Only make sure you do not allow your torso to rotate in the process when you row the dumbbell. This completes one repetition.
Simply lay down flat on the ground on your back and bend your knees with the feet firmly grounded and hands behind the head. Let the muscles of your abdomen stabilize the spine. Position your body in such a manner that the shoulder blades are placed down and to the back. Now, gradually start lifting both the feet off the ground until your thighs are aligned at a 90 degrees angle with the hips, and your knees are bent at a right angle too. The toes should be pointing away from the body. Curl up one knee to meet with the opposite elbow and while doing so, rotate the torso and swap the legs. Make sure that your press your lower back into the mat or the floor.
Dumbbell Curl to Squat
For this abs challenging exercise, you will first need to get yourself a pair of dumbbells. Begin by hanging the dumbbells at an arm’s length adjacent to your sides with the palms facing forward. Keeping your upper arms stationary, bend the elbows and bring the dumbbells closer to your shoulders as best as you can. Now, immediately push back the hops and lower the body into a squatting position until the thighs are placed parallel to the ground. Now, stand up and press the dumbbells above the head. This makes one repetition. You can increase the number of reps. As you go ahead to make your abs workouts routine further challenging to shed the fat faster off your tummy.
This again is a much recommended Ab workout for women to shed off the belly fat. Start in a high plank position with your back flat on the ground with the shoulders, arms and wrists in line with each other. Engage your glutes and core muscles in the process. Now, lift up your left arm and shoot out a forward punch extending your arm as straight as possible. The motion, however, needs to be slow and gradual with the core engaged throughout the workout to help you in maintaining the balance. Bring down the left arm to the starting position and keep the weapons and wrist in line with one another. Lift up your right arm this time and extend it straight out as far as you possibly can to punch forward, the same way you did with your left arm. Keep repeating these punching steps between right and left arm, alternating the arms every 30 to 60 seconds. Do this in sets of 2 or more and take a short rest after every set if you need.
Besides these super-challenging ab workouts, it is also important that you maintain a healthy lifestyle for a smoother journey to your successful reduction of tummy fat. Try to distress as best as you can by prioritizing rest and investing in recovery workouts. Alternate your tummy workouts with light exercises throughout the week if you have just begun your ab workouts. Then, of course, you can increase your workout schedule as you go ahead. Leisure walking is one good exercise regime to engage in followed by restorative yoga. This apart, you can also indulge in massages, spa, hot baths, meditation and the likes for a de-stressed body and mind. While dieting is a good thing to include, going too low in calories, carbohydrates or fats can rather rob you of your essential nutrition and do more harm than good. Extreme dieting can be stressful and frustrating. You can alternate between the diets with an expert’s help and try to find the balance in nutrition. Steer clear of saturated fats and consume equivalent amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.