May 212012

One of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your body and lose belly fat is squats. You may be wondering what squats have to do with losing fat around your belly. Well it turns out that performing compound exercises vs. single-muscle exercises burn more calories and as a result will burn more fat.

Why Squats Burn Belly Fat

You may think of your leg as only having a few muscles but it has over 15. Squats work 9 muscles and here's a secret: one of those 9 muscles is your abs. So you can see it's crucial to work your legs and the squat is an excellent starting exercise move. If you're doing squats you'll burn more calories and achieve your flat belly faster. If you ignore your legs it will take you probably twice as long to achieve a flat belly. It's that serious.

Research has shown that in addition to burning more calories squats will: improve your overall body strength, balance, endurance, flexibility, and your speed. Squats work your glutes (butt), quads, hamstrings, erector spinae (back muscle), Transverse abdominus (part of your abs) Gluteus mediums/minimus (hip abductors), adductors, Soleus (part of calf), and Gastrocnemius (calf). A lot of work is going on in each movement, which is why this is such a great exercise.

How To Perform Squats

So let me tell you how to perform a squat properly. First perform it without any weights until you get the form perfect. Then you can add dumbbells to increase the intensity.

  1. Stand shoulder length apart.
  2. Move your hips back & bend your knees and hips
  3. Lower yourself until your knee & hips are parallel to the floor.
  4. Then push your body up back into the starting position.

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  • Going down too fast: Your squat should be a smooth motion from start to finish, don't rush it down or up.
  • Flexing your torso too far forward: If you do this you put unnecessary pressure on your back which could lead to back injuries.
  • Knees not aligned with your toes: Make sure your knees are aligned with your toes to avoid injury.

So that's a squat in a nutshell. It's a killer exercise move, especially when you incorporate it into circuit training. It hits a lot of muscle groups which will help you lose belly fat faster so if you needed a reason to try them, now you've got one. What I want you to do right now, is pick your next workout day and make sure you start using squats that day and over the next several weeks you'll start seeing the difference.

Apr 292012

I've talked before about why you should exercise other body parts besides your abs if you want to lose stomach fat. Basically the more muscle you have on your body the more fat you burn. So it’s in your best interest to work out all the muscles in your body, not just the ones that you can show off.

This leads me to my exercise for you today: the pull-up, a simple exercise that works multiple muscles in your back and arms. If you use this exercise you’re going to burn more belly fat & have a stronger back. A stronger back can help prevent back pain. So if you skip pull ups you'll be giving up these great benefits.

Why Pull Ups Burn Belly Fat

So which muscles does a pull up target exactly? Well it hits your biceps, triceps, latissimus dorsi, deltoids and trapezius. It's also been shown to target your abs. You need your abs during a pull up to help stabilize your body. So that's a total of 6 muscles in one exercise. The strength you gain from doing pull ups will carry into other exercises as well.

The great thing about pull ups is you don't need any expensive equipment. In fact if you have a park nearby with a pull up bar it's free. If not then you can go out to a local store and buy a pull up bar or use the one in your gym. Nothing fancy or expensive just get something that'll fit your door. Measure your door where you plan to fit the pull up bar to make sure it'll fit.

How To Perform A Pull-Up

Pull ups come in many different forms. The easiest form to start with is where you grab the pull up bar with your wrists facing you. Have your arms around shoulder length apart and that's the beginner form. If you can't do one of those don't sweat it, I was there as well. You just need some assistance. Just grab a chair and rest one leg on it while you do your pull up. As you get stronger you'll notice you won't need the chair at all.

Pull ups are a compound exercise, so that means they target multiple muscles all at once. The more muscles you work, the stronger they get, and the more fat they'll burn. So start doing pull ups today! Decide now whether you’ll do them at a park, gym, or in your own home. Remember don't get discouraged if you can't do one, stick with it and soon you'll be doing it no problem.