There are thousands of websites out there that promise you some kind of miracle treatment, pill or diet that will help you lose weight effortlessly. As soon as you read something like that, the alarm bells should go off in your head, as they are most probably trying to tell you something utterly useless.
The secret of slimming down any part of your body is in fact very simple. Your body should use up more calories than you have eaten. By focusing on certain areas of your body, you might achieve a better tone of muscles in that part of the body, which results in nicely shaped muscles, whether these are the muscles of your abdomen, legs, hands or any other part you want to shape.
Burning calories immediately calls to mind sweating in a smelly gym or the Rocky type of training where you are running up an endless flight of majestic stairs while the song The Eye of the Tiger is booming somewhere in the background. Forget about it.
You Could Start Losing Weight at Home
What if slimming down your stomach could be done in the privacy of your home, by devoting small amounts of your valuable time to regular exercise that in will result in a slimmer stomach and wonderfully toned muscles on your belly in a surprisingly short amount of time?
It gets even better. You don’t need to buy a whole array of gym equipment in order to do dozens of various exercises that will burn a lot more calories than simply doing aerobic exercises without anything. And it isn’t any magic we’re talking about nor any wonder treatment, drug or diet, but a simple helper that will make your exercise a bit more intensive and effective.
Why Resistance Bands?
Resistance bands are simple flat elastic bands that are used for training muscle strength. As they give your muscles more work to do during the exercise, they will also naturally increase calorie consumption, helping you to also achieve that lovely muscle tone that you have always secretly admired.
Resistance bands are used not only when you want to increase the intensity of your workout;they are also used in sports injury rehabilitation. They come in a number of strengths which makes them suitable for different types of training as well as for making your training more intensive once you master a certain degree of strength.
The great thing about resistance bands is that they are really easy to store and they can help you with a number of exercises. Have you ever tried to put dumbbells in a drawer? They are not only clumsy, but with all the weight they might actually damage furniture. Or even do damage to hardwood floors, it has happened to us on occasion and we weren’t too happy about it.
Elastic bands are easy to fold and you can put them in a sock drawer, a cupboard or anywhere else you might want to put them. Plus there is no need for tons of additional equipment if you are going to do some of the exercises we are about to introduce today.
The only negative thing about elastic bands is that you don’t have the excuse that there is no way to take your training gear with you if you go on a business trip. Elastic band exercises are just as easily done in your living room as they are in your bedroom and garage or even in the park.
There are dozens of exercises that you can do with resistance bands. Here is a handful of exercises that you could start with to finally get that belly nice and flat. All the exercises require no special equipment but an elastic resistance band. Most are aimed at abdominal muscles, which seems like a fitting place to start if you want to slim down your stomach.
Let’s get on the floor for this great exercise. The seated rowing exercise does not work on your abdominal muscles directly, but it involves so many muscle groups that it is a great warm-up exercise. All you need for this exercise is a bit of room on the floor. Not even that much, as you’ll be sitting up, not lying down.
Sit on the floor, your legs in front of you in a slightly bent position. Get the resistance band around your feet, cross it in front of you and hold one end in each hand. Start with your arms straightand then pull them back, bending your elbows until your hands touch your chest. Then slowly return to the starting position.
Repeat 12 times in three series.
Doing knee pulls with a resistance band is slightly different from what you might have imagined as a knee pull. It’s a great exercise that engages many muscles in your upper, as well as in your lower body without putting too much strain on any part. Your abs should be engaged all the time if you are doing it right.
Put the band around one foot, then get on the floor into the push-up position. Now pull your knee towards your upper body. You will end up in a kind of sprinting start position. Extend your leg all the way again to finish one repetition.
Do about 12 of these for every foot and repeat for three series.
The Russian Twist is a great exercise for your abdominal muscles. Besides resistance bands it also requires some room on the floor to perform the exercise.
Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent, like you are about to do a sit-up. The resistance band is under the soles of your feet, you are holding the ends of the band in each hand. Bring your hands together and lean back to hold your torso at approximately 45 degrees. Then pull your hands to about waist level first on one side then on the other, using your entire upper body to do so.
Do about 12 of these on each side and repeat for three series.
This is a variation of the classic exercise, which is actually much easier to do with a resistance band. Your abdominal muscles still get a great workout though and this variation will make you feel super flexible.
Lie on your back, the resistance band is around your feet, ends in each of your hands. The band should be slightly taut. Now pull with both hands bringing both your feet and your upper body up into a V position. Try to hold the V position for a few seconds. Going down, don’t bring your feet or torso to the ground, but keep them slightly above ground. Your feet should only touch the ground when you are resting between the series.
About 12 repetitions of threes series should do the trick.
Side V-ups is another exercise that doesn’t require anything but a resistance band and some space on the floor. Abdominal muscles and oblique abdominal muscles are engaged.
Get down on one your right side and wrap resistance band around your feet. Hold the ends of the band in your left hand while your right hand is stretched out on the floor with your palm down to keep you safely balanced. Pull hard on the resistance band bringing your upper body and your legs up to form a V.
Repeat about 12 times then turn to the other side. Repeat both sides three times.
For this exercise you don’t even need much space on the floor, as you’ll be doing it standing up. Your abdominal and oblique abdominal muscles will be joined by the back muscles for this.
Stand with you feet slightly apart, about the width of your shoulders. You are standing on the center of your resistance band, each end of the band in one of your hands. Pull the band up to your shoulders to get more resistance. Now simply rotate your whole upper body from side to side. Don’t forget to bend your knees slightly.
Do about 12 of these and repeat for three times.
This is a classic exercise with a resistance band twist. Even if it is a classic, it works miracles for the abdominal muscles.Unlike all the other exercises described previously, you will need to fix the band to a point somewhere back of your head for this one. Plus of course some room on the floor.
Start by lying on your back, your feet should be planted firmly on the ground or fixed under something. Grab the band on the edges and flex the elbows. Raise your head and shoulders using your stomach muscles. You should keep your hands still throughout the exercise. Slowly return back to the original position. Remember that there is no need to pull yourself all the way up to your knees. In fact lifting your lower back off the ground might increase the chances of injury.
Repeat 12 times and do three series to achieve the maximum effect.