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Stomach Exercises to Work Off Those Love Handles

A major complaint of people who want to look more fit is belly fat. Specifically, a large number of people have trouble with “love handles.” Far from lovely or lovable, these are deposits of fat that take up residence on the sides of one’s lower torso, around the external oblique muscles. Traditional crunches and sit-ups will not do much for this sort of chub, as they mainly work the abdominal muscles and not the obliques. The good news, however, is that there are a few stomach exercises which specifically target the obliques, helping trim love handles. As with any new physical activity, consult a professional before beginning and be sure to properly warm up to avoid injury.

Side Bend

A simple exercise, side bends are also probably the most effective method for losing love handles. Start by standing upright. Position your feet shoulder width apart and bend your knees slightly. Lower your whole torso to one side, then back to the other. Lean only side to side, not backwards or forwards.

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Torso Twist

This stomach exercise is also effective at reducing love handles, and is good to do right after the side bends in your routine, as it is also done in a standing position. Again, with feet shoulder width apart, slowly twist the body to one side, then to the other. The key here is to twist from your torso, not from the hips. As much of the twisting work as possible should be done by your oblique muscles, not your hip flexors. Keep your torso upright with no bending.

 

Side Crunch

The next two stomach exercises require you to get off your feet and lie down, preferably on the floor or other flat surface. Use a mat or towel as a cushion if you have a particularly hard floor to work with. Lie down on one side. For simplicity, let us say you are on your right side to start. Bring your right arm across your waist so that your right hand comes to rest on your left side. Touch your ear with the fingertips of your left hand, so that your left elbows winds up pointing straight upward. Lift your shoulders up off the floor while simultaneously raising your left leg to height of about twelve inches (30 cm). Contract your obliques as you do this. Hold for a few seconds, then gently lie back down. Do this for an entire set, then switch to the right side.

 

Seated Knee Drop

First, position yourself on the floor so that you are resting on your hipbones (not sitting on your butt). You can put your hands on the floor behind you to keep yourself stable in this position. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Put your ankles together. Now lower your knees to the right. Your feet will roll on to their sides, but should remain on the floor. Continue this lowering move until your knees are about six inches above the floor. Hold for one second, then go back up and down to the left side. Move slowly and under control, using your stomach muscles rather than momentum to raise and lower your legs.

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Working The Transverse Abdominal

A group of muscles that often gets neglected in stomach exercise routines are the transverse abdominal, the core muscles that lie below the rectus abdominus. Most abdominal exercises target the rectus abdominus and the vertical abdominal, ignoring the transverse abdominal. Even crunches, the staple of most abdominal workouts, do nothing for the transverse abdominal. These muscles are actually the most important to target, however, as they connect to both the lower back muscles and the rectus abdominus and for a girdle for the entire abdomen. Any routine aimed at flattening the stomach should include the transverse abdominal as a focus. Using the following exercises, you can work out your transverse abdominal and really make progress on that flat tummy. As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.

Pelvic Tilts

This stomach exercise requires lying on your back on a flat surface, such as the floor or a bench. Use a mat or towel to cushion your spine. Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. Raise your pelvis (and only your pelvis) off the floor, hold momentarily, and then lower it back down. Repeat for an entire set. Maintaining a controlled movement is crucial to this exercise. This will allow you to use your abdominal muscles, rather than your body’s momentum, to do the work on the exercise. Also, be sure to keep your upper body on the floor throughout.

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Crunchless Crunch

This first exercise is fairly simple but can also be fairly difficult. Essentially, it involves trying to pull the belly button in towards the spine. This can be tricky, as it involves using muscles which you may not be used to activating. To start, either lie or on your stomach or kneel. You might want to try both ways and see which helps you feel the exercise better. Relax your body as much as possible, then try to use only the lower abdominal to move your belly button toward your spine. Hold for ten seconds. If holding for ten seconds feels easy, hold for a longer period. The goal is to hold the contraction until you either cannot feel it, or you feel other muscles working harder than the transverse abdominus. When you feel this, let the contraction out.

Scissor Kicks

This stomach exercise also requires lying on the floor. Position your hands under your butt, keeping your back pressed against the floor. Slowly raise one leg to a height of about ten inches, then slowly lower it back to the floor. As your lower one leg, raise the other. Repeat this motion for an entire set. Maintaining control throughout is important, not allowing momentum to get the better of you. Your upper body should remain on the floor through the entire move.

There are plenty of other exercises targeting the transverse abdominal, but these three ought to be enough to get you started. Stomach exercises like these are key to any tummy-flattening plan, and they are especially good for pregnant and post-par tum women.

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How To Target Your Stomach With Yoga

Yoga is a great part of any wellness routine, as it has the ability to both reduce stress and exercise the body. If you are trying to use yoga to target your midsection, well, that can be done. There are a number of yoga positions (called asanas) which exercise the stomach muscles. Bear in mind that some of these are more advanced than other. Assess your own skill and comfort level before trying certain asanas. If you are not sure you are able to do one asana, start with one that seems easier and work your way up once you have belt some strength and flexibility. As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.

 

Pavan-Muktasan

To perform this stomach-exercising asana, first lie flat on your back. Use a yoga mat of towel to cushion the spine. Bend both knees up to your chest so that your thigh touches the stomach. Hug your knees in place and lock your fingers. Now lift your head up so your nose meets your knees. Take a deep breath and hold it for thirty seconds before releasing and slowly lowering back to start. This exercise can also be done one leg at a time.

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Bhujangasan

For this stomach exercise, remain on the floor, but roll over on to your stomach. Position your hand under your shoulders. Now, using your back muscles, raise your upper torso off the ground to that your head is upright. Be careful not to push with your hands. You want the muscles in your back to be doing the work. Hold this posture for thirty seconds, then lower yourself back to start. Even though you are using your back muscles to lift your upper body, performing the asana will assist in reducing belly fat and flattening your tummy.

 

The Bow

This stomach exercise is pretty similar to the previous asana, but more involved. It starts from the same position lying on your stomach, but in this exercise you curl your legs upward in addition to lifting your upper torso. Bend your knees so that the soles of your feet come up toward your head. Grab your ankles and pull with your hands and push with your legs until only your stomach is on the floor. Your body should feel sort of like it is making a circle. Your knees should remain together throughout the exercise. Hold this position for thirty seconds before releasing and returning to starting position.

Paad-Pashchimottanasan

Now that you have read the name of this asana, try not to be intimidated– it is less complicated in practice than in pronunciation. It does, however, require a fair amount of flexibility, so you may want to start with something easier and build up to this one. Start by lying on your back with your legs straight and arms overhead. Your body should be straight from head to toe with all limbs extended. Point your palms up to the ceiling and put your hands together. Contract your stomach muscles to sit up, keeping your back straight and hands overhead. Bend forward and grab your toes with your hands, putting your head between your arms so it touches your knees. Hold the position for two minutes before releasing.

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Free Exercises To Flatten Stomach

They are everywhere; magazines where on the front cover have beautiful models showing off their flat stomach and a caption that may say something similar to “Want flat abs, we’ll show you how!” These magazine articles are great for some people who want to spend the money to buy the magazine in order to find out how to flatten their stomach. Then there are endless websites that if you sign up and pay the fee, you will be given exercise routines meant to flatten you stomach. Again, this may be a good source for some people who have this goal, but where can you go to find free exercise to flatten stomachs?

 

The internet is probably one of the best sources for finding free information. There are hundreds of sites a person will find just by using the search words “free stomach exercises” or similar phrases. These sites will give step-by-step instructions on how to perform a variety of exercises to flatten stomachs. When a person finds several exercises he or she likes, it is simple to print them out and have the paper available when performing the exercise.

 

Another good source to find free exercises to flatten stomachs is at a library. The library may actually have more information then the internet; it is just not as convenient. A person who takes the time to visit the library can find books on how to flatten their stomach read magazine articles and borrow videos that talk about exercises to flatten stomachs.

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One source for finding free exercise to flatten stomachs is the television. If a person can set aside a specific time during the day for exercise, there are many television programs on throughout the day that are exercise related, even channels dedicated just to exercise and health. Many of these shows will focus on flattening stomachs, since this is a primary goal of most people that exercise. This method for finding free exercises to flatten stomachs may be the least convenient and may not be feasible to everyone, but for some people that can find the right program and make it work with their schedule or the ability to record for use at a later time, it may be a good option.

 

For people that truly need to loose weight around their stomachs for health reasons, doctors are probably the best source for free exercises to flatten stomachs. They will have available many brochures and other material that will help the person in their goal to look and feel better. In addition, a doctor would be a good source for finding out other places to obtain this information.

 

There are hundreds of sources for finding exercises to flatten stomachs. Some of these sources require a purchase or even an investment. There are also many sources available that offer free exercises to flatten stomach muscles. Just because a person paid for the information does not necessarily make it better. Remember, the best exercise is the exercise that works for the individual, regardless of the source.

 

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The Best Stomach Exercises

It is only natural, most people want to look their best, and exercising their stomach muscles is usually a huge part of most fitness programs. If so much time and energy is going to be focused on this muscle group, it is a good idea to know what the best stomach exercises are. There are many resources available for finding the best stomach exercises, and plenty of people to say what they consider the best, so how can a person decide for themselves which truly are the best exercises for working their stomach muscles?

First of all it is important to note that the best stomach exercises are those that a person is willing to do. No matter how effective the exercise is, if a person isn’t going to do them consistently the exercise will not benefit that particular individual. It is also important to note that the best stomach exercises do not necessarily require equipment to perform them, although some machines and equipment may work quite well for some people.

When a person decides on a fitness program that includes stomach exercises, it is best to include stomach exercises that work the different parts of the stomach. If a person simply concentrates on one area of their stomach, there workout will not be as effective. The best stomach exercises, combine working the oblique, which are the side muscles, the lower abdominals, the mid section and also the upper section.

Some of the most popular stomach exercises are crunches. These are a very effective exercise and very convenient since they can be performed anywhere without any equipment. The next stomach exercise that is also very popular and goes along with the basic crunch is the side crunch, which works out the oblique.

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Some people consider the best stomach exercises to be included in a Pilate’s workout. The reason for this is because in Pilates, the whole focus is on the core of the body which is the abdominal, or stomach muscles. Every movement in a Pilate’s workout will work the stomach muscles either directly or indirectly. These exercises can be found on the internet, either the exercise itself or video’s that can be purchased.

Another good exercise that some fitness experts considers to be one of the best stomach exercises involves laying flat on your stomach, leg straight and then raising your body up using your arms as your hands are clasped together and keeping your body straight as if doing a pushup. Hold this position as long as you can stand. This is an excellent movement to strengthen the whole stomach.

Remember again though that just because one person may consider a specific exercise to be the best stomach exercise that does not necessarily mean it is the best for everyone. Each person’s body is different and will respond differently to certain movements. Any one serious about working on the abdominal muscles will find it most helpful to try several different stomach exercises and then determine which one they can both feel and see results with. If one exercise is simply too hard to do correctly, or does not feel like it has done anything for the muscle group worked, that exercise is clearly not the best and the person should find what works best for them.

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