Optimize Fat Loss with a Body-Sculpting Abs Workout
Effective fat loss happens as a result of several biological factors, but the two most important-- and most controllable—keys to fat loss come from 1.) calorie management and 2.) heart rate intensity during fat burning exercises.
Since fat loss can’t typically be targeted to specific areas of the body, it’s more effective to envision weight loss as a direct result of cardio output. Fat loss from the belly, for example, isn’t brought about by relentless abs workout routines (though these routines can certainly tighten and tone the muscles of the abs underlying a layer of belly fat). Instead, working the abs has the indirect effect of raising the heart rate, and it’s this elevated heart rate that causes fat to melt away from any and all areas of the body, not just the abs.
That being said, intense strain and pressure placed on large muscle groups can raise the heart rate faster and keep it elevated longer than strain placed on smaller muscles. Working the large, powerful hip flexors, glutes, abs, and quadriceps muscles, for example, will bring the heart into the fat burning zone far faster than working the small muscles of the hands and wrists. Big muscle exercises involving broad, complex movements will optimize fat loss and help keep fat from coming back once it’s gone.
A High Intensity Fat Loss Workout
So what does this mean for an effective fat loss workout plan? It means those who wish to lose weight quickly and keep it off should focus their attention on cardio routines that engage the large muscles of the legs and core. In the video below, Shannon Denton provides an excellent abs workout that brings the heart quickly into the fat burning zone, or the zone in which the heart rate reaches 40 to 60 percent of its maximum speed.
This abs workout will take place in 30 second bursts, and should be repeated six times per session for maximum fat-burning results. To gain optimal benefits from this workout, those who are trying to lose weight should attach a set of Kbands resistance bands securely around their legs just above the knee. This will increase the pressure and difficulty of each of these movements, which in turn will contribute to an elevated heart rate.
Abs Workout: Mountain Climbers, 30 Seconds
The first exercise in this abs workout will be a modified version of standard mountain climbers. This exercise will place high pressure on the legs and core, but you should also focus on the position of the upper body, since a straight, controlled body line will bring higher pressure and greater fat loss benefits.
With the Kbands in place, you should find a space on the floor and distribute your weight between your palms and toes with the body positioned face down. They should then rapidly bring each knee up toward the chest in an alternating pattern. But instead of being drawn in toward the chest, the knees should be sent wide to the sides. This move should be sustained for a continuous 30 seconds without any breaks or pauses.
Abs Workout: Alternating Reaches and Leg Lifts, 30 Seconds
As soon as the first portion of the abs workout is complete, you should reverse your body plane so you are facing the ceiling instead of the floor. Weight should be centered on the palms and feet at this point. While lifting the abs toward the ceiling, you should raise your right foot into the air and reach for that foot with the left hand. Then after returning both hand and foot to the floor, they should repeat the exercise with the left foot and right hand. After every three alternating combinations of hand and foot, both hands and feet should be planted and the stomach raised to the ceiling alone. This move, like the one above, should be repeated continuously for 30 seconds.
Body position will contribute greatly to the success of both of these abs workout exercises. In both the modified mountain climbers and the reaching exercise, the spine should not slope or slump, but should be kept as straight and controlled as possible. The abs should stay tucked toward the spine, and the pressure of the exercise should be concentrated in the large muscle groups of the upper legs, abs, glutes, and arms.
If this exercise circuit is done properly with maximum fat loss benefits, the heart rate should be very high after two 30-second cycles, and it should stay high during all six repetitions of the workout from beginning to end.
Fat Loss: Additional Considerations
Ideally, these two floor exercises can be paired and mixed with other fat loss workouts in a complex circuit training series that will raise the heart rate and melt away fat by engaging every large muscle group in the body. Those who are looking for additional fat loss exercises that can be added to this set should feel free to explore the fat loss and weight reduction area of the Kbands Training website (Kbands Training.com).
To truly optimize fat loss, abs workouts and other exercises should be paired with close attention to eating habits. Every meal and snack throughout the day should be examined carefully and incorporated into a larger set of weight of goals and plans. These plans should include a reduction in overall daily calorie intake and a greater proportional intake of healthy calories like green vegetables, fruits, and whole grain carbohydrates. Those who are trying to lose weight should also steer clear of foods that can sabotage those goals, like high fat snacks, high fructose corn syrup, and fatty red meats.
Healthy eating also involves habits that can regulate metabolism, like breakfast every day and no skipped meals. And of course, any effective fat loss project will require patience, dedication, and commitment to a long term action plan.