Friday, January 21
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6 Jan 2021

If you are used to daydreaming about having dashboard abs, you probably spend more time on the couch than on your feet. And your dream remains a dream. The truth is, acquiring a flat stomach is always within reach, if you have the will to do so.

Fitness experts say, successfully flattening your stomach is a matter of burning body fat and building muscle. And the best way to burn body fat is through cardio exercises such as running, walking, elliptical training, and bicycling. With these exercises, burning stomach fat, shedding love handles, and building a six pack is completely do-able. So, give yourself an ultimatum to get rid of that belly – flat abs are in style and it’s time to get yours! Get started.

Running or walking
Most wonder how moving your legs (as in running/jogging) can shrink those love handles? The truth is, there are many ways to target belly fat. And Running/jogging/walking is one sure way to reducing inches around your waist, if you do it consistently.
As you run/walk, 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.

Elliptical trainer
Some of us no longer have the strong joints we had as teenagers. So, jogging may be out of the question. The good news is elliptical trainers provide an intense, low impact cardio workout. In fact, a 60kg 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.


  • Bicycling
    Bicycling is another great low impact cardio exercise. Not to mention, it’s also 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.

    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. And, bicycle exercise ranked as ‘number 1’ because it requires abdominal stabilisation, 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

    Captain’s chair leg raise
    For this exercise, you require a captain’s chair which is found in most gyms. The chair has a padded back and armrests with grips. Your legs hang free.

  • Stand on the chair and grab the hand bars
  • Keep your back flat against the pad while raising knees to your chest
  • Then lower legs back down
  • For added intensity, keep legs straight when you raise them
  • Do 1-3 sets with 12-16 repetitions

    Exercise ball crunch
    This exercise needs a lot of stabilisation which engages more muscles. You’ll need an exercise ball.

  • Lie on the ball so your lower back is supported and feet are firmly planted on the ground
  • Place hands across chest or behind the head
  • Contract abs and lift your torso up and forward
  • Lower back down
  • Keep the ball stable during each crunch
  • Exhale when you crunch; inhale when you lower back down
  • Do 1-3 sets with 12-16 repetitions


Vertical leg crunch

The vertical leg crunch is similar to a regular crunch. But it requires you to keep your legs straight, which makes the abs work harder and increases the workout’s intensity.

  • Lie down with hands behind your head
  • Put your legs straight up with knees crossed
  • Flex abs to lift head and shoulders off the floor
  • Lay back down
  • Keep legs extended in the air the whole time
  • Exhale when you flex; inhale when you lay back down
  • Do 1-3 sets with 12-16 repetitions


Reverse crunch
The reverse crunch was also ranked above regular crunches as the 5th best exercise for strengthening core muscles.


  • Lie flat on the floor with arms at your sides
  • Cross your feet and lift them off the floor so your knees create a 90-degree angle
  • Contract ab muscles and lift head and shoulders off the ground
  • Exhale when you contract; inhale when you lower back down
  • Do 1-3 sets with 12-16 repetitions


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