These exercises will bring your tummy back in shape.
For all you women, who are struggling to tighten your tummies, help is here! Read up and follow the instructions down to the T.
Here’s a little technical info to help you understand the game plan:
Your tummy has two layers. The top one being fat and the bottom one, muscle.
The game plan is to burn away the fat and tone up the muscles, leaving you with a slim and toned tummy.
Put aside 30 minutes every day dedicated to the burn.
Walk, cycle, swim, do aerobics or dance at moderate to high-intensity, non-stop.
Besides this, try to stay as physically active through the day as you can.
Resist fat accumulation
If you want the fat out, you certainly can't take it in!
Cut down your fat intake as much as possible.
Skip fried, oily, sweet and processed foods.
Keep it light!
Eat 5 to 6 small meals in the day instead of 2 to 3 heavy ones.
And very importantly make sure your dinner is light and early -- at least three hours before you hit the bed.
Tighten and tone
As you work on your fat burn, the abdominal muscles simultaneously require exercise to get into shape, which will give your tummy a pulled together look.
Do these exercises 4 to 5 days a week.
Get onto all 4s, and then walk your legs back till you are in a diagonal plane.
Bring the hips in line with your body.
Tighten your abdominal muscles and don't allow your back and hips to sag.
Hold this position for one minute. Rest and repeat.
2. Knee pull in, on a duster
Do this exercise on smooth flooring.
Get into the above plank position with your feet placed on a duster.
Now begin to slide the duster in with your feet by bending your knees, bringing them in towards your torso.
Then slowly slide your feet back out. Do two sets of 12 repetitions.
3. Oblique crunches
Lie face up on a mat. Bend both your knees at 90 degrees, feet in the air.
Place your hands behind your head.
Raise your upper body (get the shoulder blades off the floor) and twist to bring your right shoulder towards the left knee while simultaneously extending the right leg forwards at about 30 degrees.
Switch sides. Do two sets of a total of 16 repetitions per set. Count each side as one rep.
Photograph: Kind courtesy Shameem Akhtar
4. Tummy suction
Lie face up on a mat, with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
Suck your tummy in as if you were trying to press your belly button down towards your spine.
Feel your lower tummy muscles tightening. Keep breathing normally and hold this position for one minute. Rest and repeat.
Do remember that muscles always have opposing muscles that must be worked to maintain spinal balance and health.
The muscles opposing the tummy are the back muscles. So you must add some back exercises like back hyper-extensions, face down leg lifts and reverse planks.
Keep this up and watch your tummy mould into shape!
Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Helga Weber/Creative Commons