Burn that belly fat

Sick and tired of those usual stomach crunches and people telling you to lose flab? Here are five exercises that will change the way your stomach looks and feels. So, get down to it and get started.

Anumeha Chaturvedi        Print Edition: December 16, 2007

Pavan-muktasan

Lie on your back. Bend both knees up to your chest until your thigh touches your stomach. Next, hug your knees and lock your fingers around it. Lift up your head until your nose touches your knees.

Take a deep breath and hold this position for 30 seconds. Sounds tough? Don’t worry, it’s very possible with a little bit of practice. Now, slowly release and lower yourself back to the starting position. You can also do this exercise one leg at a time.

Bhujangasan

Start by lying on your stomach. Place your palms on the ground below your shoulders. Raise your upper body off the ground by using your back muscles. Raise yourself until your head is upright.

You must not push upwards with your hands, as you want your back muscles to do the work. Hold yourself in this position for about 30 seconds before slowly lowering yourself back to the starting position. Though it’s the back muscles that are doing all the work in this one, what’s getting reduced is the belly fat.

Paad-Pashchimottanasan

This one’s really not as complicated as the name suggests. Start by lying on your back, having your arms overhead and legs straight. Extend all your limbs. You are now straight from head to toe. Next, place your palms flat, pointing up to the ceiling and put your hands together. Now, contract your stomach muscles so that you can sit up, while keeping your back straight and your hand still over your head. Then, bend forward and grab your toes, keeping your head in between your arms. Your face will touch your knees. Hold this position for about 30 seconds and then slowly release.

Bicycle manoeuvre

This one’s considered to be one of the most effective exercises for strengthening the rectus abdominus. Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground.

Put your hands behind your head. Bring your knees up to a 45-degree angle and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion. Touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. Continue for a minute before relaxing. Do this at least twice.

Sprinting

Whoever said only a thorough workout in a gym can get you that envious flat tummy should think again. Your abdominal muscles work at their maximum intensity when you sprint, say fitness experts.

So, sprint as fast as you can for about 20-25 yards every day. Then, walk back to the starting point. Repeat the exercise 10 times. What’s interesting about this exercise is that you wouldn’t feel any exertion in your stomach as your body is concentrated on the sprinting, and not focussing on the stomach.

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