There are many reasons why fat tends to gather around the midsection, from stress to poor diet to genetics. No matter what the cause, it’s some of the most stubborn fat to get rid of when on a weight loss journey. While the main way to lose fat is to eat in a calorie deficit, exercising can make it easier. The options on what that exercise could be are endless, but the most important thing is finding a type of exercise that you enjoy. One type of exercise that could be beneficial is interval training. James Kunitz, creative director of www.bodyfx.com, and Jaana Kunitz, creator of the FIGURE 8 workout, shared some of their favorite interval exercises for losing fat and flattening your stomach.
Interval training is a type of exercise that consists of high intensity but short lasting circuits with rest periods in between. There are a number of benefits that come with this kind of training, especially for fat loss. “The most notable benefits of interval training include increased caloric expenditure, improved endurance, more lean muscle development, and better overall cardiovascular health,” The Kunitz’s say, “if your primary goal is to burn fat, interval training, specifically high-intensity interval training, can play an important part in achieving that goal.”
One upside to interval training is that the workouts are shorter, but still pack a punch, even after the workout is done. “Interval training has been shown to promote better overall caloric expenditure. What’s more, some studies have demonstrated that EPOC (excess post-oxygen levels) levels are higher for hours longer following a HIIT workout. This means that your body is working hard to pay back its oxygen debt and burning more calories in the process.” Interval training also promotes lean muscle tissue growth and development, which can help with weight loss and management. The Kunitz’s shared a circuit to try if you’re new to interval training. Perform all of the repetitions for one exercise before moving on to the next one. Once you finish all five exercises, rest for three minutes, then begin again. You can repeat the whole circuit up to five times.
10 Jump Squats
Kick your hips back like you’re going to sit in a chair and bend the knees while bringing your hands up. Now, simultaneously throw your hands down as you jump off the ground. Land softly and move into the next repetitions.
With your toes on the floor and your hands underneath your shoulders, make a straight line with your body. Push off the floor, focusing the contraction in your chest. Make sure to keep your hips in line with your body – Don’t let them drop.
10 Superman Lifts
Lie on the ground on your stomach. Simultaneously lift your hands and feet into the air. Hold them up there for a moment and slowly go back to the starting position.
20 Mountain Climbers
From the push-ups position, bring your left knee towards your chest. Kick it back then bring the right knee up. That’s one repetition. Continue alternating.
From a standing position, kick your feet back and perform a push-up. Hop up so that your feet are at your hands then jump straight into the air. Once you land, go into the next repetition.
When beginning an interval training circuit, the Kunitz’s have a few tips, especially if your goal is to lose fat. “It’s important not to single out one exercise for burning belly fat. Spot reduction is still a very debated topic, so the focus should be on what combination of exercises will help to skyrocket the body’s metabolic response to promote fat burning.” Having a balanced workout routine is key, so focus on finding exercises that you enjoy and make you feel your best.