Many people believe that they can get flat stomachs simply by doing abdominal exercises and nothing else. Unfortunately, that is not the case for most people, unless you have a freakishly fast metabolism! In fact, the best route to a toned tummy is through a combination of abdominal strengthening exercises like crunches and leg raises, a healthy diet, and cardiovascular exercise.
Do I really need to do cardio workouts to lose fat on my stomach?
While eating healthily and doing abdominal exercises are good starts, they will not get rid of your soft stomach if you don’t include cardio exercise in your routine as well. A healthy diet helps you to feel better, have more energy, and lose some weight by stimulating your metabolism and eliminating unhealthy foods from your diet, but without exercise, you probably won’t achieve the results you seek. Abdominal workouts help to build and tone the abdominal muscles, but that doesn’t really make much of a difference when they are covered in a thick layer of fat. Crunches alone do not burn enough calories to cause you to lose fat. So, you must include cardio as a way to lose fat all over your body, which will then reveal your toned abdominal muscles.
What cardio workouts are best for burning belly fat?
Contrary to popular belief, you cannot target a single area to lose fat in. When you lose fat, it disappears pretty evenly from your entire body. Granted, some people tend to have areas that are more stubborn than others or have more fat than others depending on their body types, but no one cardio exercise will cause a noticeably larger amount of fat loss in only one area of the body. As long your cardio workouts last longer than 20 minutes at a reasonable pace, where your heart is beating faster than usual and you are breathing quicker, but not out of breath, then every form of cardio should help you lose fat.
If you can’t afford a gym membership or don’t have time to travel to the gym, here are some cardio workouts that you can do at home:
- Running, biking, or brisk walking.
- Jumping rope – the favorite staple of a boxer’s workout for a reason. Jumping rope is simple, inexpensive, and an excellent aerobic workout.
- Stair climbing – find a set of stairs or even just a bench and jump up quickly on one foot at a time, alternating feet. Again, this simple form of cardio can get your heart rate up quickly and burns calories galore. You can even hold extra weight in your hands to increase the intensity of the workout.
- Squat and jump – this is a bit more intense and shouldn’t be attempted by anyone with knee or back problems. However, the squat and jump is a great combination of strength, balance, and cardio training. Go down into a squat, and as you are rising up, jump as high as you can, bringing your knees to your chest. Repeat.