by Seamus Phan
Many people are misinformed to believe that abdominal crunches alone will trim the topical fats around the waist. However, there is no effective topical fat removal. The body will need a calorie deficit in order to burn off the body fat, often through a well-advised training and diet program. There are many abdominal exercise gadgets which have been proven by biomechanics scientists to be no more useful than recommended exercises. What then, are some effective ways at home to get that svelte waistline back without fancy machines at the gym?
1) Train big muscle groups for thermogenesis.
To speed up the burning of overall body fats, the most effective resistance training is to train the two largest muscle groups in the body, the back (lats) and the thighs, with high intensity, high reps and sets, and adjust weights according to body shape. Some of the recommended exercises women can do at home include the bent-over row. First, bend over at the spine until your back is at right angles to legs. Bend your knees slightly, and always keep the back arched with buttocks raised. Hold your left hand on some firm support like a doorknob on a closed door or a sturdy chair backrest. Keeping the knees slightly bent and the back arched, begin by pulling the resistance (a weight) to your stomach in a smooth, deliberate motion, remembering to consciously pull your shoulders as far back as possible. Squeeze at the extreme end position to feel tension in your back. Then gently and slowly lower the weight to the original position, at the same time trying to relax and move the shoulders as far forward as possible to stretch the lats. For thighs, stand upright and keep the back perpendicular to the floor at all times. Taking a position in which your feet are at shoulder width, lower your torso towards the floor by squatting down, keeping the back arched and stopping at a position where your thighs are parallel to the floor. Inhale as you are going down. Next, stand upright by contracting the quadriceps, straighten the knees and feel the "squeeze" in your frontal thighs as your complete a rep. Exhale on your way up.
2) Full-range crunches.
Many ladies will only do the standard crunches, which train the upper abdominal muscles only. This means that the lower abdominal area, often a bane to many mature women, will remain intact, creating a bottom-heavy look. The trick therefore, is to make sure the full range of crunches are done to "attack" every part of the abdominal muscle, from the upper to the lower. Leg raises or bicycle maneuvers can also be done to strengthen the lower abdominal area. To increase difficulty and thereby working out the abdominal muscles much more, place a small rolled-up towel beneath your lower back when you are doing crunches. Complete the full-range crunches with hyperextensions to ensure that your lower back is not at risk after spending a considerable time working out your abdominals. This will also reduce instances of abdominal cramps after intense abdominal workouts.
3) Reduce oblique abdominal exercises.
This is our insider's secret tip for ladies! Many physical trainers will tell their lady trainees to work out their oblique abdominal muscles (the muscles at the 2 sides of the waist) like crazy. Over-developed obliques will only make your waistline thicker visually, and will be difficult to impossible to reduce later on. So reduce those broom or bar twists or oblique crunches drastically from now on if you intend to keep a svelte waist!
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Adapted from the book “This Body This Life”, by Dr Seamus Phan and Ching Jung Phan
Disclaimer: the information provided by the author is not intended as a substitute for professional help. The author is not responsible or liable in any way, and the information is merely for reference only.
Dr Seamus Phan is a bestselling book author, accredited journalist, professional speaker, motivator, lifestyle coach, business consultant, workshop facilitator, curriculum developer, and patent-pending biotech researcher. He is the bestselling co-author of "This Body This Life" (
) and "Dot ZEN" among hundreds of articles, ebooks, and previous bestsellers.