There are many exercises we can employ to help us burn fat, but as we discussed in this previous post we need to build muscle if we really want to burn those fat cells off! Many people think they need to work their abdominals to get their six-pack abs but the forget the curtain of fat that is sitting in front of their stomach muscles. We need to strengthen our whole body, not just our abdominals and in the process of getting stronger we will be reducing that padding that is hiding our six-pack abs. As a Martial Artist you need to make sure you are also strengthening the muscles supporting your abdominals, this will give you more power and help you to better “take a hit”.
Here are a couple exercises to get us started as we work into a stronger body.
This exercise like so many is all about having the proper form. Bicycle crunches were deemed the best ab exercise by the San Diego State University. This exercise will work all the muscles in your abdomen including those supporting your six-pack.
- Start by lying on your back on the floor or mat
- Lie on your back with knees bent and calves parallel to the floor
- Cup your ears loosely with your hands
- Move your legs in a bicycle motion (elbows to opposite knees)
- Keep your heels four inches off the floor
- Every knee touch equals one repetition
Don’t try to do these really fast, keep a steady pace, remember you will only be cheating yourself. Remember to alternate sides so you get a balanced workout.
It is important that you do not pull your head forward as this can cause injury or stress to your neck. Notice in the image that the hands are not interlocked, they are touching the side of the head to prevent you from accidentally pulling on your neck. You’ll feel this one working right away.
This next one always makes me smile because it reminds me of a toddler throwing a tantrum! When I was first introduced to this exercise I have to admit to mocking the value of this exercise, then I tried it…I’ve been a believe ever since!
This exercise gets its name from the initial position because you lie on the ground like Superman flying in the air, minus the cape (hopefully). Now you are ready to start…
- Lying face down on a mat with your arms stretched above your head (like superman)
- Raise your right arm and left leg about 5-6 inches off the ground (or as far as you comfortably can).
- Hold for 3-15 seconds and relax.
- Repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
Notice that you keep your head down during this exercise. Do not raise your head and look up, this will potentially injure or strain your neck.
If you find this to difficult you can modify this exercise by doing it on all fours (knees and hands). From this position raise your opposite arm and leg out as straight as possible. You should form a straight line from foot to hand. Eventually you will get strong enough and can switch to the lying position. As the exercise becomes easier, increase the amount of time you hold the position until you reach 60 seconds.
This one is great for your abs and your lower back. While this is easier on your lower back then some exercises, if you have back problems start slow and see how your body handles it.
Keep reading as I will be posting more exercises to help you build muscles and burn fat.
Some of these exercises to reduce abdominal fat may make you wish that you had never set out to learn how to burn stomach fat in the first place, but the results will make it all worth it in the end!
Please check with your doctor before beginning any health and fitness program.