Thursday, August 14, 2008

These 2 Belly Exercises will Flatten Your Stomach

By: Mr. Basketball

No more crunches. No More Sit-ups. No more Ab Rockers, Ab Chair, or any other "miracle" ab gadget that you bought on a late night infomercial. I know the mere thought of never having to do any more of the typical "gym style abdominal exercises" makes you smile and rejoice because you and I both know that too many crunches always seem to hurt your neck and even your back.

However at the same time there are a handful of people around the world that will be reading this and shaking their head in disbelief. I understand that since the days of Arnold Schwarzenegger and beyond that the typical gym mentality was something like: "you do crunches if you want to work your abs", "sit-ups burn the most belly fat", "do ab exercises and run on the treadmill for an hour to get a flat stomach", etc. My question to you is if all of the different crunches, sit-ups, abs machines, or running for hours on the treadmill actually burns belly fat and helps flatten your stomach then why the heck do they come out with a new miracle abs exercise toy every two weeks? Why are you currently reading this article?

The answer is simple: THEY DON'T WORK! I know you are reading this because you are ready to do what it takes to get a flat stomach. So without further adu, below are my favorite abdominal exercises that by the looks of them are not abs exercises. There really is no painful curving of the spine like there is with situps and crunches. Also these next few stomach exercises you will notice they also work many other areas in your body all at the same time.

1. Renegade Row- I ABsolutely love this hidden gem. If you can imagine being in a pushup position but rather than spreading your weight to both arms, you will want to put the entire load on just one side. This frees up your opposite arm to execute the row aspect of the Renegade Row. I typically use a kettle bell for this move but you are welcome to use a dumbbell or any other weight object. So what you will do is now grasp the weight and pull it up, driving your elbow to the sky. Lower the weight and repeat about 6 times. Then you do the other side.

2. Super Plank- All the Pilates lovers out there already know about this magic move. Again you will want to get into the pushup position (in case you're wondering why I like the pushup position vs. laying on your back and doing crunches... the pushup position neutralizes and stabilizes your spine thus protecting your back and allowing all the supportive muscles to do their job) then you will want to drive your left knee towards your right elbow. Return to a full pushup position and then repeat a dozen times. You will want to do this on both sides to get the job done right. If you want a little extra burn you can drive your elbow towards your knee as you bring your knee towards your elbow.

3. Hip Driven Exercises- it is a proven fact that whenever you engage your legs, butt and hips into an exercise you will burn more calories. Add a moving weight to the mix and you are going to burn a lot of calories and engage a lot of muscles! There are so many different hip driven exercises that you can do that I won't even attempt to list them here. I personally choose to use a kettle bell because the transition between planes of movement is so much easier and smoother then with dumbbells.

What to take home out of this: I tried to be as clear-cut as I could so that I don't overload you with fancy fitness terms. I really would like to see you replace all of your sit-ups and crunches with the moves I listed above and then drop me an email once you see how flat your stomach is getting with these "new" abs exercises!

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