Abdominal fat is maligned for its way of tampering with any outfit that doesn’t involve a muumuu, but really there’s something way worse about the stuff: When white fat expands in your abdomen, nestling deep among your organs, it sets you up for some serious health trouble.
Losing weight, unfortunately, isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. What helps one person shed pounds may backfire on another.
Because we’re all so different, from our food preferences to our body chemistry, the only successful way to reach and maintain a healthy weight is to find what works for you. We’ve read the studies, the books, the reports, and the theories. We’ve been talking to experts and trying to keep ourselves trim for years.
There probably are a million ways to gain 10 pounds, but here are 9 ways to lose them:
Lie on your back with the soles of your feet together as close to your body as possible, with knees bent out to sides. Place hands behind your head, elbows in line with ears. Keeping your back flat on floor and stomach muscles contracted, exhale and curl your chest up a few inches off the floor toward your legs. Lower to start. Repeat 10 times.
Start on your hands and knees. While you keep your back and ab muscles contracted, drop down to your forearms while extending legs out behind you so you are resting on the balls of your feet. Be sure to keep your back straight, hips up, and neck relaxed. Hold for 3 seconds, then return to start. Repeat 10 times.
Side to Side
Lie on your back, knees bent and feet flat on the floor, with your arms at your sides. Exhale and contract your abs as you slide your right hand toward your right foot. Your head and neck should remain aligned and your lower back pressed to the floor. Return to start, then switch sides. Repeat 15 times.
Lie on your back with your fingers resting behind your head. Keeping your abdominals tight, raise your left knee and touch it to your right elbow. Return to start, then raise your right knee and touch it to your left elbow. Alternate for 15 reps in a smooth, continuous motion, keeping abs engaged and hands relaxed so you don’t pull on your neck. Work up to 2 sets.
Reverse Crunch with Resistance Bands
Lie on your back with your knees bent, arms down by your sides, holding one end of a band in each hand, with the band wrapped around tops of knees. Raise your knees toward your chest until your hips leave the floor. Hold for 3 seconds; lower to start. Repeat for 2 sets of 10 reps.
Fingers to Toes
Lie on your back with your legs straight and extended toward the ceiling, with arms down by your sides. Exhale and contract your abs as you crunch up from your waist and extend your hands toward your toes. Keep your back flat on the floor. Work up to 2 sets of 15 reps.
Ball Leg Lift
On a ball lie face down and roll forward until your hands are on the floor and just the tops of your feet are flat on the ball. Keeping your back and right leg straight, slowly lift leg a couple of inches toward the ceiling. Hold for 3 seconds, then lower. Do 10 reps, then switch legs. Add 2 repetitions each week as long as you can maintain perfect form.
Brace yourself between the backrests of two sturdy chairs, keeping elbows slightly bent, shoulders down, neck relaxed, head and chest lifted. Keeping your abs tight, exhale and then very slowly bring your knees to your chest without swinging back and forth. If your form falters, try raising one knee at a time. Build up to 3 sets of 15 reps.
Lie on back with arms out to sides, legs and feet pointing up. Exhale and draw navel in toward spine as you lower legs to left side about 5 inches from the floor. Return to start and repeat on the right side. Keep switching sides for a total of 15 reps. Work up to 3 sets.
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