4 Secrets to A Flat Stomach
By: Jesse Cannone
Do you want a flat stomach? I don't know a person who doesn't!
People spend millions, if not billions of dollars, each year in the quest for a flat stomach. Right now there are about 200 or more ab exercise devices out there. There's the ab do-it, the ab rock-it, the ab roller, the ab dolly, and so many more. You would think that with all of these amazing new products that most people would be walking around with that nice, lean mid-section they've always wanted. Unfortunately, that's not the case.
Most, if not all of these products, will do little or nothing to flatten your stomach. And that's because these exercise contraptions cannot eliminate the layer of fat that lies on top of your abs.
In order to be successful at thinning your waistline you must have a basic under standing of how the ab muscles function and how your body burns fat. The first thing that needs to be understood is the difference between fat and muscle. Fat is excess calories and is primarily stored in layers on top of muscle tissue. Muscle is made up of fibers that contract or shorten to produce movement. Fat cannot turn into muscle and muscle cannot turn into fat! However, you can lose muscle and you can gain fat. That's what happens to most people.
So if your goal is to thin your waist line and have a nice flat stomach, the first thing you need to do is decrease / eliminate the layers of fat that are on top of your abs. We all have a flat stomach; it's just some of oar’s are covered by excess fat.
The most effective way of flattening your stomach is a combination of strength training (with a extra focus on mid-section), cardiovascular exercise (short, hard workouts), and stable blood sugar (keeps you from adding additional fat and makes it easier for the body to use body fat for fuel).
1. You must do some form of progressive strength training
The primary function of the ab muscle is to flex your torso forward. However, there are also muscles that flex your torso to the side and muscles that rotate your torso. Often times you see people on their ab roller every day doing hundreds of crunches or sit-ups.
If you want to effectively strengthen your stomach you need to incorporate the following types of exercises:
• 1-2 forward flexion exercises (crunch, sit-up, etc.)
• 1-2 side flexion exercises (side bends, side crunches, etc.)
• 1-2 rotational exercises (trunk rotations, standing twists, etc.)
The abs, are muscles just like any other and should be worked at most 3 times per week. You also want to make sure you are training them progressively, working them harder each time.
2. Use short, hard cardio workouts to increase metabolism
Cardio workouts are important because they CAN, if done correctly, increase your metabolism for 4-24 hours or more! This means you are less likely to store any excess calories as body fat because they are more likely to be used by your elevated metabolism. Plus, you are more likely to burn off some excess body fat.
Below is a sample interval workout that can be done with just about any activity (walking, bicycling, swimming, stair climbing, etc.).
Warm up at easy pace 2-5 minutes à Perform 30 seconds of hard work (almost as hard as possible) à perform 1 minute of moderate work (recovery time-catch breath)à Repeat this process 6-10 times à Cool down at an easy pace for 2-5 minutes
3. Stable blood sugar is the key
And most importantly, you must stabilize your blood sugar! This is by far the most important factor when it comes to burning away that excess body fat and keeping it off! To effectively stabilize your blood sugar you must feed your body frequently; like every 2-3 hours. The key is to give your body only what it needs at that time. Your body burns calories 24 hours a day, so, why would you only feed it once or twice a day? Give your body the fuel it needs: vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, whole grains, and lean proteins (chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, etc.).
Many people are too hung up on how much fat is in food, or how healthy of a choice it is. Calories are calories and it doesn’t matter where they come from. If there’s extra… where’s it going? Yup, you guessed it… body fat!
This is not to say that what you eat is not important because it is, it just doesn’t have that much of an affect when it comes to fat loss. Try to make healthy choices whenever possible, but don’t feel like if you eat a cheeseburger it is guaranteed to be stored as fat.
4. Get the help of a professional
Unfortunately, most people don’t know enough about the human body, nutrition, or effective exercise to meet their health and fitness goals. Ask yourself this one question, “Am I happy with my current progress or condition?” If you’re not, you should consider getting the help of a qualified personal fitness professional. Don’t depend on the information you get from magazines or from your local gym/ health club. A qualified fitness professional can help you achieve your health and fitness goals, and in less time than you would imagine.
If you are serious about your health and fitness goals, and you are ready for that flat stomach, I recommend you start implementing the 4 strategies listed in this article. These 4 strategies can help you take control of your metabolism and burn off that excess body fat and having you looking and feeling great! If you would like to receive more information on how to lose those love handles please call me at 240-731-3724 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About The Author
Jesse Cannone is a certified personal fitness trainer, post-rehab specialist, nutritionist, and a national fitness presenter. He is also the author of Burn Fat FAST and A Bride’s Guide To Fast Fitness + Weight Loss in addition to many other popular fitness articles. He is known for his hard-hitting and to the point style and offers a great free email newsletter called Fitness Success News, which you can subscribe to at his website http://www.achieve-fitness.com
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/
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The Power of Stretching - Dave Snape
muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.
A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.
The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching.
it can't hurt, right?
So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.
Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic
Why are stretching and flexibility considered
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy
know there are plenty of other benefits.
Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from
Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically
Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over
Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.
Here is some good
instructional material on stretching:
If you enjoyed 'The Power of Stretching' article, consider
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