Tone Your Tummy For Summer

16th April 2010

Personal trainer and coach Davinia Gill shares her expert advice and a variety of abdominal exercises, to shape and tone your midriff for the bikini weather.

If your stomach is feeling a bit wobbly, your first thought is probably to work it as hard as you can to tighten everything up. And this would be a good start, but while strength training for your stomach will tone the area, you need to burn off those extra calories with some cardiovascular exercise, to get rid of the layer of fat that is sitting on top.

The best way to burn fat quickly is to choose exercise you like and then simply go for it. Running, power walking, cycling, jogging, swimming, rowing, dancing, aerobics, boxercise, spinning and circuits are all very effective. Aim to exercise at a moderate intensity for around 30 – 45 minutes, three times a week. Also, aim to do maybe one session of interval training too – where you alternate between a comfortable speed and a speed that really pushes you. This is a great way to increase the overall calorie burning of your workout.

Varying your weekly activities is more effective than doing the same activity all the time. If you jog on a Monday, then swim on a Thursday and do an aerobics or boxercise session on a Saturday, you will be challenging the body in different ways each time you exercise, which requires extra energy and extra calories to be used up from fat stores.

Be wary of your food intake. Write down what you are eating and drinking every day, so you become consciously aware of what you are eating. This will help you to see where you’re going wrong. Follow a sensible healthy eating regime. This means plenty of water, vegetables, salads and fruits (live water content foods). Don’t mix carbohydrates and proteins together at the same meal, as this slows your digestion process. Avoid processed foods and sugary foods and drinks.

Eat in excess and you will naturally store calories and add pounds – but cut back too drastically and your metabolism will slow down, meaning the body will be reluctant to give up its store of fat. Keeping your calorie intake consistent will ensure that your weight will fluctuate less and your tummy will never expand.

Abdominal training will, of course, help increase muscle mass, and the more of that you have, the more calories and fat you will burn! Make sure that you incorporate some stomach exercises into your routines to work the upper, lower and side obliques. This will help to tone up those ‘love handles’ and make you feel – and look – fabulous in your bikini this summer.

For more advice and help on a fitness programme and exercises to shape you up this summer, contact a personal trainer to help you get the body and tummy that you want…

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