It’s time to address a nagging problem that many women encounter after they hit their 30s: hanging belly fat. This stubborn extra padding around your midsection can greatly affect your confidence and self-image, keeping you from feeling your absolute best. Fortunately, we spoke with Rose McNulty, CPTNASM Certified Personal Trainer and Nutritionist with Garage Gym Reviews, sharing a well-designed workout plan consisting of several effective strength exercises for women to melt away hanging belly fat after 30. Get ready for a flatter, toned tummy.
But first, let’s get one thing straight: There’s no magic fix or quick fix that specifically targets belly fat. However, a strategic approach that combines targeted strength exercises with effective fat burning techniques creates a powerful combination that can help you shed unwanted pounds, strengthen your core, and achieve the toned midsection you desire.
McNulty tells us, “While it’s not possible to reduce specific areas of fat on the body, working on the areas where you hope to lose fat helps ensure that toned muscles are waiting to appear once you do. When it comes to body fat, belly, getting enough exercise in general, and incorporating cardiovascular training into your routine are essential, as is eating a balanced, healthy diet.That said, strength training also burns calories and helps with long-term fat loss. Building muscle also increases your resting metabolism, which is the number of calories you burn during the day regardless of activity.”
If you’re looking for the most effective exercises to help you shed excess belly jiggle, we’ve got you covered below. Read on to learn more about McNulty’s recommended strength exercises for women to melt hanging belly fat after 30, and after that, check out the 6 belly fat exercises you should start doing at 30. years.
Squats are a powerful exercise that can help reduce hanging belly fat by engaging multiple muscle groups, including the glutes, quads, and core. This compound movement will strengthen your lower body while helping burn fat for a more toned core. “The squat is a great movement for sneaking up on core strength because it requires perfect posture and overall stability,” says McNulty.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then bend your knees and swing your hips back to lower your body into a squat. Lower yourself until your upper thighs are nearly parallel to the floor, keeping your spine neutral throughout the exercise. Push through your heels to return to the starting position. Once you’ve nailed the bodyweight squat, try adding weight like dumbbells, kettlebells, or barbells. Complete three sets of eight to 12 reps.
Hanging leg raises are excellent for targeting those lower abs and eliminating hanging belly fat. Lifting your legs while hanging from a bar will engage your entire core, helping to sculpt a flat, chiseled tummy. “This exercise is a classic benchmark for hitting the lower abs, which some people find harder to work with than typical ab exercises like crunches,” says McNulty.
Begin by grabbing a pull-up bar or sturdy overhead bar with an overhand grip, allowing your body to hang down with your arms straight. Engage your core and keep your upper body stable as you hinge at your hips to lift your legs straight up. Bend your knees as you lift your legs to make the movement suitable for beginners, or keep your legs straight as you hinge at the hips for a bigger challenge. Lift your legs until your quadriceps are roughly parallel to the floor, whether or not you bend your legs. Slowly lower your legs. Perform three sets of 10 to 15 reps.
Russian twists with a medicine ball are an effective rotational exercise that targets the obliques (lateral abs) to help create a well-defined midsection and trim around the waist.
Grab a light medicine ball and sit on the floor, leaning back slightly with knees bent and feet slightly off the ground. Engage your core to rotate your torso from side to side, holding the medicine ball close to your torso with both hands throughout the movement. “Think about engaging your core throughout the movement, and keep your spine neutral and shoulders back as you twist,” advises McNulty. Go for three sets of 15 reps on each side.
Planks are a classic exercise for a strong, firm core. “The plank is a killer ab exercise that works the entire core, including the glutes, upper body and legs,” says McNulty.
Start on all fours with hands shoulder-width apart, then step forward so your body forms a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Maintain a straight line and keep your hips low as you engage your core muscles to hold the plank position for as long as the workout requires. Perform three sets of holds for 30 to 60 seconds.
This exercise is performed by lying on your back and imitating the movement of a dead insect. (Sounds silly, we know!) However, it’s a fantastic core exercise that can reduce your waistline and firm your tummy. McNulty says, “This low-impact move is a general twist and is a great way to work on coordination as you move each side of your body independently but in unison.”
Lie on your back with your arms extended toward the ceiling and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Slowly lower your right arm towards the mat as you straighten your left leg, keeping your lower back pressed into the floor. Return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps on each side.
Scissor kicks are a simple yet effective exercise for sculpting the lower abs and helping to melt away abdominal fat. “Most people will feel this exercise in the lower abs more than anywhere else, but it also works the rest of the core, glutes and legs, making it harder than it might sound,” says McNulty.
Lie on an exercise mat with your legs extended and your hands at your sides or under your lower back or buttocks for support. Engage your core as you lift your legs slightly off the floor. From here, lift your right leg straight up and keep your left leg hanging just above the floor. Simultaneously lower your right leg and lift your left, then continue the movement for the prescribed reps or time. Perform three sets of 15 to 20 reps on each leg.
Push-ups build upper body strength and engage your core muscles for stability. This classic compound movement can help strengthen your entire core and support fat loss. Plus, it offers different variations to use as your fitness progresses. McNulty advises, “Use a wall or do them from your knees if full pushups are too difficult.”
Start on all fours with hands shoulder-width apart, then step forward so your body forms a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Bend your elbows to lower yourself toward the floor, keeping your upper arms at about a 45-degree angle to your body, then push back once your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Aim for three sets of as many repetitions as possible.
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