Two weeks to a flatter tummy
Fitness expert Brinda Sapat gives you a routine that will whip your tummy into better shape within a fortnight. Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh
While it is too late to get a chiselled six-pack for the party season, within two weeks you can manage to trim down that tummy and feel the difference.
For good-looking results, follow the programme with military precision!
The tummy bulge is nothing but excess fat, and fat is burnt with cardiovascular exercise like walking, running, cycling, swimming or aerobics. Take your pick and do it six days a week for a minimum of 30 minutes at a brisk, nonstop pace.
The abdominal muscles that lie beneath the flab need to be toned for a trimmer appearance. Get onto a mat and perform the following exercises five days a week; do two sets of all exercises.
Level 1: Hold yourself in the push-up position for 30-60 seconds, maintaining a flat back. If this is easy enough, move to level 2.
Level 2: After a 30 or 60 second hold, raise your hips into an inverted V, and lower for 8-12 reps.
Brinda Sapat is Group Exercise Instructor at Gold's Gym, Napean Sea Road, Mumbai. Certified with Training Zone & Progressive Fitness (USA), she has been a fitness instructor for over a decade.
Image: Plank, Level 1 and 2
Back hyperextensions with leg raises
Lie on your tummy. Place your hands under your chin. Raise the upper body till your chest clears the floor and simultaneously lift one leg up. Lower the leg and upper body. Lift up again, switching legs this time. Keep alternating your legs. Make sure your nose stays pointed down towards the floor.
Do a total of 16 reps.
Though this one is for the back, it is important to do it so that your entire midesection gets toned and also keeps the spine in a healthy neutral alignment.
Image: Back hyperextensions with leg raises
Lie on your back. Link your fingers behind your head, with your elbows out to the side. (The hands need to cradle and take the weight of the head through the exercise. Your head should be comfortable without putting a strain in the neck.
Bend your knees and get your feet off the floor, crossing them at the ankles. This is your start position. Now squeeze your tummy muscles and lift your upper body till your shoulder blades come off the floor (do not pull your elbows forward), while you simultaneously lift your hips off the floor, bringing your knees towards your shoulders. Lower both the upper and lower body to start position.
Do 16 reps.
Lie on your back. Link your fingers behind your head, with your elbows out to the side. (The hands need to cradle and take the weight of the head through the exercise. Your head should be comfortable without putting a strain in the neck).
Bend your knees and get your feet off the floor, crossing them at the ankles. This is your start position. Now squeeze your tummy muscles and lift your upper body till your shoulder blades come off the floor (do not pull your elbows forward); raise your upper body and twist your right shoulder to the left knee. You do not need to lift the hips off the floor. Do 16 reps and change sides.
Image: Oblique crunches
Lie on your side with one leg in front of the other and push yourself up onto your elbow. Extend the other arm straight in line with the shoulder. Maintain a straight line, without dropping your hip.
Hold yourself up in this position for 20-30 seconds, then switch sides.
Image: T Stand
Recline on the floor with legs extended straight out in front of you. Your fingers should point toward your body. Push yourself up, lifting your hip till it is in line with the body.
Hold for 30-60 seconds.
These exercises will also help to improve your back strength and posture, making you appear taller and leaner.
Do an abdominal, oblique and back stretch afterwards.
Workout in place, you need to eat slimming tummy foods.
- Cut out the junk. No butter, ghee, excessive oils, fried foods, white sugar, desserts and processed foods.
- Eat a good breakfast with a large portion of cereals. This aids in digestion and prevents bloating.
- Have a light and fresh lunch that keeps your energy levels up. Think veggies and multigrain carbs.
- Dinner is the key -- keep it light, light, light! Grilled fish or chicken or a bowl of lentils with a soup and salad are fat-busting dinners.
- Remember to snack through the day on healthy foods like fruits and nuts. This keeps your metabolism up, and prevents bloating.
Please check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
Image: Reverse plank