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Reverse crunches can effectively strengthen your abs.
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The belly is a common problem area for many people, especially women who tend to store fat in this area as they age. Solely doing reverse crunches to slim down excess belly fat isn't effective, because spot reduction isn't possible. To lose belly fat, you must lose fat from your entire body through cardio and diet. Reverse crunches are a strength training exercise that can help you tone and tighten muscles to reveal a defined belly once fat is lost.
Cardio for the Belly
Cardiovascular exercise burns calories that contribute to weight loss. By incorporating one or two high-intensity interval training sessions in your routine, you can optimize your results. According to ACE, this type of training can effectively burn belly fat. High-intensity interval training is done by alternating between moderate and vigorous intensities for short periods. For instance, pedal on an elliptical machine at a moderate pace for two minutes, and then burst into a vigorous pace for one minute.
Put It In Reverse
According to a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, the reverse crunch is one of the most effective abdominal exercises. It strengthens and tones the abdominal muscles underneath the fat. Unlike basic crunches, which use the weight of your torso for resistance, reverse crunches use the weight of your lower body for resistance. During the exercise you lie face up on the floor with your knees bent directly above your hips. You then use your abs to raise your hips and roll your pelvis toward your ribcage with a controlled motion. Then slowly lower your hips to return to the beginning point.
Reverse crunches can be part of a full-body routine that builds strength and burn calories. Strength training can contribute to the body's calorie burn and help trim your tummy in the process because it maintains and builds muscle tissue. Muscle tissue uses up more calories than fat, even when you're at rest as it boosts your resting metabolism. Schedule two or three strength-training sessions on non-consecutive days each week, and target your large muscle groups for optimal muscle stimulation and caloric burn. Include exercises, such as bench presses, lunges, squats, dead lifts, pushups and bent-over rows.
Things to Consider
In addition to cardio and strength training to burn calories and increase muscle tissue, a sensible diet is essential to reduce your caloric intake. Mayoclinic.com recommends getting your nutrients from fruits, lean protein, reduced-fat dairy products, veggies and whole grains. They also suggest eating smaller portions and limiting saturated fat, which is present in butter, fatty meats and cheese. Before committing to a regular exercise routine and diet, consult your doctor, especially if you have a medical condition or injury.