WAIST trainers are so 2019 — if you really want to trim that fat in your midsection and get that cinched-waist look, targeted exercises are the way to go.
Personal trainer Demario Johns is gung ho about the bicycle crunch — that exercise you can literally do on your back, if you're uber lazy and hate getting up to do any kind of workout.
“I won't say that this exercise is perfect for the person who just can't bother, but it's a low intensity, low commitment exercise that will work your abs and obliques at the same time, increasing your heart rate, burning a few calories and reducing your waist circumference,” he assured.
Utilising the same form as a person who's riding a bicycle, this exercise is done by lying flat on your back on an exercise mat, and with your hands behind your head, lifting your shoulder blades off the mat and raising your knees and extending your legs like you're pedalling a bicycle.
“It's perfect for the person who has no equipment, who needs to get fit without exerting too much effort, or who feels like they're being pressured too much,” Johns shared.
1. Lie flat on your back on the ground with your legs straight.
2. Lift your head and shoulders slightly, and place both your hands on the back of your head, without interlocking your fingers.
3. Raise your head area while tucking in your pelvic area and lowering your ribcage. Your chin should remain tucked in, while you raise your knees toward your chest.
4. Curl the right side of your upper body off the floor and move your right elbow towards your left knee. Pause between movements, until you feel the burn in your abs and obliques. The left side of your upper body should remain flat, with your right leg straight.
5. Rotate the left side of your upper body and move your left elbow towards your right knee while bringing the right side of your upper body and left leg back toward the floor. Your motion should be like you're doing high pedals on a bicycle.
6. Alternate back and forth for 10-15 repetitions.
“Bicycle crunches target a few key muscle groups in your body — your upper abs, rectus abdominis (abs muscle) and obliques,” Johns said. “It's the obliques that will help with giving you that svelte look that women who wear waist trainers want, and this type of exercise is great for targeting that area.”
He said the good thing about the bicycle crunch is that it works on core muscles, and even by not seemingly doing much, you can increase core strength.
You can also vary things up at bit so you don't get bored, by holding a medicine ball or a pair of dumbbells above your body during the workout, once you get comfortable with it.
“Note though, that if your goal is to lose weight, or belly fat in particular, you will need to change your diet as well, as though the bicycle crunch is one of the most effective exercises for strengthening your ab muscles, it won't burn off fat,” Johns said.
“So if you're lazy, don't look at this exercise as the panacea that will make you lose weight in no time — that's misrepresentation. What you can do instead is use the exercise as part of your routine — and this should include a proper diet and cardio-type activities. And once you've lost the weight, it's indeed perfect for toning your midsection.”
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