Our bodies are genetically conditioned on how we lose or gain weight. Interestingly enough, the first place where we gain weight is the last place where we lose it. We cannot reduce only the part we do not like. Once we lose fat from our body, we lose inches everywhere even where we do not want to lose.
The problem with tummy muscles is that we do not generally exercise this muscle in daily life. It is not greatly challenged from climbing stairs, bending, stretching or walking. We, therefore, have to make a special effort to encourage it to come back into line. The movements have to be small and controlled and depend on the effort put in by the exerciser to get really good results. Secondly during pregnancy, as the baby grows inside the muscle (transverse) is pushed forward. A huge amount of stretching is going on and tends to leave the muscle loose and hanging forward after the birth. It is essentially the lack of strength left in this muscle which allows the tummy to sit in that rather round forward position Mothers would recognise from after birth.
In all cases it is the lack of exercise for this muscle which causes it to become loose and give the ‘pot bellied’ appearance.
Myth No. 1: By doing some midsection exercises one can reduce ‘love handles’. Fact: You cannot reduce fat from a certain targeted area of your body just by using exercise alone. And the abdominal area is no exception. So if you want to get a flat stomach and to reveal your abs, losing the fat covering them is the way to go. And the only way to do this is to lose fat proportionately from your entire body by burning more calories than you consume.
Myth No. 2: You have to do tons of crunches.
Fact: Overuse of crunches will only shorten your abs, pull your head forward and gives you a bad posture. To reduce fat in your bodies, you need to do cardio exercise and eat nutritious foods in reasonable amounts. In simple language ‘burn more calories than you consume.’ The cardio helps to burn that stored fat and the lower calorie diet forces the body to use the accumulated fat for energy.
In addition, the crunches and a total body workout (with weight training) helps the body to increase muscle mass. Muscles burn fat; fat does not burn itself so, the more muscle we have, the more fat our body uses for energy, so we lose weigh faster. If you only do crunches, you will develop your abdominal muscles and strengthen them. This will reflect in better posture and less back problems, but you will not be able to see your abdominal muscles because they will be covered with fat.
Myth No. 3: Exercise is more important that nutrition.
Fact: Diet is one of the key factor when trying to get a flat tummy. Plan your nutrition in advance, to avoid dietary downfalls. Focus on protein, green vegetables, fiber-rich fruits, and zero calorie drinks such as Green Tea and water. Avoid all sugar.
Myth No. 4: You must do train your tummy every day
Fact:You don’t need to do direct tummy training every day. Instead, train them twice per week and use non-conventional exercises such as Mountain Climbers and Stability Ball Jackknives to reduce the stress on your low back. Avoid the overuse of crunches and sit-ups in your training program. Instead, beginners, should focus on abdominal endurance with planks and side planks, and work up to more advanced exercises, but still avoid doing hundreds of crunches lying on your back.
Concentrate on increasing daily incidental activity. Reduce the use of labour saving devices like remote controls etc. Rearrange the house or office environment so that it is physically inefficient making movement mandatory. Try standing or, even better, pacing when chatting on the phone.