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The 15-minute belly blasting workout

Last updated on: December 02, 2014 13:39 IST

Get sexy abs with this six-move routine by fitness trainer Jason Johal of Centre of Obesity and Digestive Surgery

Just 15 minutes a day to keep the belly fat away!

Photograph: Alison07MAY08015e/Wikimedia Commons

Are you too busy to go the gym or simply do not have time to exercise? Then my 15-minute stomach busting workout is just for you.

(6 exercises x 30 seconds + 2 minutes rest) x 3 sets = 15 minutes

All you need is a timer, dedication, consistency and a balanced diet and you will get the results. Most of us who want to lose weight will want to target the stomach and oblique's first. So say goodbye to sit-ups and hello to circuit training.

Circuit training is where a series of exercises are performed for a specific amount of time before switching to the next exercise.

Once all exercises have been completed, you have completed the circuit. The benefits of circuit training are:

  • Circuit training is ideal to perform high intensity fat burning workouts
  • Circuit training is an excellent way to help to lose weight
  • Excellent basic workout to condition and strengthen the body
  • Easy to work every muscle in your body
  • Can be adapted for any size workout area
  • You can do circuit training at home

Below is my stomach busting circuit made up of 6 exercises. All 6 work the core muscles with the abdominals being the primary muscles used.

Jumping squats

  • Set your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward. Pull in your lower abs, and keep your eyes forward.
  • Slowly bend at the knees (knees should bend outwards) and drop your hips to lower your body. Keep your heels flat on the floor.
  • Once you are at a right angle or slightly below, pause for a moment and strongly push back up from the heels, land back in the squat position and repeat.

Plank

  • Get into push-up position on the floor and widen legs to shoulder-width apart (it can be performed with legs together also)
  • Bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders.
  • Your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position for as long as you can. Legs and abs should be tensed throughout.
  • Breathe: do not hold your breath, keep breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth to help you.

Side plank

  • Lie on your left side with your knees straight.
  • Prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm. Position your elbow under your shoulder.
  • Brace your core by contracting your abs forcefully as if you were about to be punched in the gut.
  • Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders. Your head should stay in line with your body.
  • Hold this position for the prescribed amount of time while breathing deeply. That's one set.
  • Turn around so that you're lying on your right side and repeat.

Leg raises

  • Lie flat on your back with your legs together stretched out in front of you. Keep your hands flat down on the ground.
  • Raise your legs keeping them straight and your toes pointed. Your thighs should be perpendicular to your body.
  • Once your toes are facing the ceiling, slowly lower your legs to about an inch off the floor. Don't just let gravity work for you -- make sure you're in control.
  • If the exercise feels too easy, try to lower more slowly.
  • Slowly raise your legs back up to the ceiling.

Hint: If too difficult, begin with just raising your legs of the ground and hold for as long as possible

Butterfly/Flutter kicks

Photograph: Splish Splash/Wikimedia Commons

  • Lie on your back with your legs together and extended out straight.
  • You can do one of two things with your arms. You can place them out to the sides of your body with your palms down, or you can put your hands under your butt.
  • Contract your abs and keep them tight throughout the exercise.
  • Lift your legs off the ground about 6 inches.
  • Lift your head and shoulders slightly off the ground. This will bring your upper abs into the exercise.
  • Now start flutter kicking. Raise one leg up a few inches and bring it back to the starting position.
  • While it is on its way down raise the other leg up.
  • Hint: keep legs straight, abs contracted and breathe.

Burpees

  • Squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you, just outside of your feet.
  • Jump both feet back so that you're now in plank position.
  • Drop to a push-up -- your chest should touch the floor. You can also drop to your knees here, which makes the impending push-up easier.
  • Push up to return to plank position (this can be a strict push-up, a push-up from the knees).
  • Jump the feet back in toward the hands.
  • Explosively jump into the air, reaching your arms straight overhead...
  • Repeat
  • Hint: You can skip the push up if you are a beginner and instead focus on technique.

Set 1

  • Jumping squats
  • Plank
  • Side plank
  • Leg raises
  • Butterfly/flutter kicks
  • Burpees
  • Reverse the order for set 2 and then repeat the order for set 1. Do each exercise for 30 seconds and then switch with no rest until all 6 are completed. Two-minute rest between each set.

    Golden rule: It's not how many you do, it's how you do it… even with circuit training.

    There we have it... a one stop shop that not only burns the belly fat away but also works your entire core. Don't be shy, give it a try.

    Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

    Jason Johal