Reducing Waist, Part 2
In the Jan/Feb issue we looked at how visceral fat—the type that accumulates in the abdominal area, surrounding your vital organs—has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
This type of fat responds well to exercise and healthy dietary changes. The other type of fat—what is sometimes called “flab”—is the subcutaneous, pinchable kind that must be sculpted out with more targeted exercises. Though not as much of a health concern as fat that accumulates around the viscera, many people find this type of fat unsightly. Here are a few more multi-move, abdominal-sculpting exercises to help you shape up and lose any “muffin top” that may be stubbornly hanging on, even if you are regularly active.
Core control rear lunge
This is a variation on the classic lunge that targets your arms, shoulders, legs, glutes and core.
- Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and stand with your feet together.
- Extend your right arm overhead with your palm facing forward. Hold your left arm straight out to the side at shoulder height.
- Step your left leg back into a low lunge, keeping your arm straight up and abs tight.
- Slowly rise up and lift your left knee in front of your body, bending your right elbow in until your knee and elbow are almost touching.
- Keep your balance and extend your left leg behind you without touching the floor as you press your right arm overhead. That's one rep.
- Do 15 reps on the first side, and then switch legs and repeat.
This exercise will increase your heart rate while strengthening your core, helping to take on both types of fat.
- Reps: 20, alternating sides for each
- On your hands and knees, brace your abs in tight.
- Keeping your back naturally arched, lift your knees a few inches off the ground. Avoid pushing your hips in the air.
- Quickly step your right hand forward on the floor, slightly in front of your right shoulder, as you bend your left knee up toward your chest.
- Lift your foot off the ground, keeping your abs tight and your hips below your shoulders.
- Step your foot back to the floor as you return your hand back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side. That's one rep.
- Continue alternating sides as quickly as you can for 20 reps total.
Turkish plank push
This enhanced plank will help sculpt your abs while also working your arms, shoulders and hips.
- Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and sit on your left hip, left leg extended out straight under you, foot flexed.
- Bend your right knee and place your foot flat on the floor just behind your left leg.
- Place your left hand directly below your shoulder and in line with your left hip to support your body.
- Bend your right elbow so that it's lightly touching your left thigh, palm facing forward.
- Press the weight straight up, extending your arm to the ceiling as you lift your hips off the floor. Your left leg should stay straight with the edge of your foot on the ground the entire time.
- Push up with your right leg. Your knee should stay bent, and your right heel should lift slightly.
- Slowly lower back down, bending your arm back to the starting position, and lightly tap your left hip to the floor without fully resting on it.
- Instead of using your supporting arm to lift, be sure to focus on lifting up with the bottom side of your torso to really engage your core muscles.
- Immediately repeat.
This exercise will tone your arms at the same time it works your abs.
- Holding a pair of dumbbells, lie faceup on the floor with your arms straight above you, palms facing in.
- Bend your hips and knees 90 degrees.
- Keep your elbows pointed forward and about shoulder-width apart as you lower the dumbbells just outside your ears.
- Brace your abs in tight and lower your legs slightly toward the floor,maintaining the 90-degree bend in your knees.
- Slowly extend your arms straight up over your shoulders as you lift your head and shoulders off the floor and bring your knees in closer to your chest.
- Be sure to keep your lower back pressed into the floor as you lower your legs in preparation for the crunch.
- If it's too difficult to crunch up during the extension, do the move with your head and shoulders resting on the ground.