21 Feb 2013

Best exercises for a flat stomach
Best exercises for a flat stomach (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)
A bulging stomach is a problem area for most mortals. Even those who are naturally thin tend to develop a paunch as they step into their 30s.

Our stomachs store fat for a number of reasons; these reasons range from the genetic to plain abuse of food and drink, with little to no exercise. Often, those who invest heavily in exercise and diet to banish the bulging stomach, do so with a vague and incorrect idea of what is needed for a flat stomach. Today, we give you a few exercises that will strengthen and create lean abdominal muscles, help you eliminate a flabby belly and give you a flat stomach that helps you fight disease and ill-health.

The key to a flat stomach is combination

To kick that tummy fat, simply belting away crunches or pushups is not enough. A solo act can't lead to a flat tummy or fat loss. Fitness expert, Sophia Yasmin says, "In my opinion spot reduction is not possible, there is no way to target a particular part of the body for fat loss."

Your goal should be to build muscle, and focus on fat loss. Whether you are able to drop weight before attempting muscle toning, or tone muscle and then cut fat, depends entirely on how overweight you are, and how many inches you need to lose.

Follow patterned full body exercises like skipping and running to burn energy at an elevated heartrate. The kind of food you eat also helps to cut down that visible and visceral fat. A balanced healthy diet is essential for stomach fat loss.

Drink plenty of water and stay off from stress and anxiety and limit your salt intake. Besides get enough sleep to kick your belly fat.

Mentioned ahead are exercises that will help get a flat stomach.

Note: These exercises will only help you get rid of stomach fat if you practise them in combination with a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet.

Funky standing abs

This is one of the best and easiest exercises to begin with. Stand with your feet below your shoulders, and then tighten your abs slowly bending your knees.

Tilt your pelvis forward, so that your back is curved. Come back to the centre and tilt pelvis backward. Perform this exercise 15 times on either side, or as your workout permits.

Chair leg lifts

Perform this exercise using any kind of chair.

All you have to do is, sit straight with your back flat against the chair, place your hands on the seat of your chair, then slowly lift your knees towards your chest and slowly restore them back.

Carry out slow breathing while doing this. Perform this 2 set exercise at least 10-15 times.


This is a good exercise for upper, lower and oblique abdominal muscles. Begin by lying flat on the ground, with your feet placed firmly on the ground, clasp your hands behind your head.

Raise your upper body by squeezing your abdominal muscles and when you are halfway through, hold on for 3 seconds.

Then bring back your body back to floor, slowly. Do at least 30 crunches per set.

Perpendicular exercise

Lie flat on your back, with your hands behind your back. Breathe out, as you lift your legs over your hips so they are perpendicular to the floor; slightly extend the distance between your legs.

Breathe in as you lower down your legs. Start up with 4 to 5 sets, and then increase it to 10.

Dumbbell bends

This exercise is useful for your oblique muscles. Start with grabbing a dumbbell, holding it in your right hand; see to it that your palm is facing your body.

Your feet should be at a shoulder-width distance. Slowly place your left hand on your hip and bend your upper body towards the right, while keeping your head and body facing forward.

Bring back your body to normal position and then repeat the same movement on the left side. Practice 20 repetitions.

Bicycle exercise

Bicycle is the best exercise for toning your stomach. It helps by keeping your stomach stable, along with movements, which burns fat.

Perform this exercise by lying on the floor, place your hands behind your head and bring your knees off the floor.

Bring your right elbow towards your left knee while performing cycling motion, and then switch your elbow position.

Side exercise

This exercise targets your oblique, core muscles and shoulders. Stand straight, with your feet at approximately the width of your hips. Slowly bend your knees and hold dumbbells in each hand.

Lift your hands up, so that the dumbbells are above your head and relax. Then lean your arms, head and torso to the right till 2 counts, then come back to the original position and then repeat it to the left side.

Carry out at least 10 repetitions.


Lie on the floor, with your face down, upper body supported on your forearms. Raise your entire body off the floor, with the support of your forearms and toes form a straight line.

Carry out 3 repetitions, with 15 to 20 seconds hold.

Clock exercise

To carry out this exercise, you may need an exercise ball. Rest your back on the ball with your feet aligned with your hips.

Stretch your arms over your head, contracting your abdominal muscles, and then rotate your body like a clock. Carry out 10 rotations in each side.

5 exercises you can do while at work

Here are some exercises that you can do while you are at work

Sitting at your desk and staring at the computer screen for hours is not something that most of us, who have regular nine-to-five jobs, can avoid. However, what is most worrying about this kind of a sedentary lifestyle is that it takes a toll on our health and fitness. With all of us running after time constantly, and not getting ample time to workout at home or at a gym, exercising while at work, may be the only possibility.

This will not only reduce stress and keep you energized, focused and healthy, but will also increase your productivity at work. All you need is a break of a few minutes. If you are not blessed with a gym in your office premises, do keep the following tips in mind and make the most of it. You can practice these without leaving your office. Do them every day and notice the difference.

Take it to the mat
Keep a fold-able exercise mat in your office, which can be used to carry out basic exercises like stomach crunches, push-ups and leg lifts. This can help to burn off carbohydrates and revitalize you for the rest of the day.

Take the stairs
When given the choice between taking the elevator or climbing the stairs to your floor at work, opt for the latter. Climbing stairs is an easy exercise and also one of the best every day exercises for office-goers. It not only burns calories, but this cardiovascular activity also gets your heart pumping and helps in boosting blood circulation.

Stress buster
Squeezing a stress ball repeatedly gets the blood flowing, and is a good exercise for heavy keyboard users. It also increases strength of the forearm and joints. And it is fun!

Keep walking
Walk around your office after lunch, or within the premises. Brisk walking for 10 minutes or more, boosts energy levels and helps fight stress and aids in relaxation.

Throw your weight(s) around
Keep small hand weights at your desk and lift them while talking on the phone. Try lifting weights that are not very heavy when sitting at the desk. Take a 10-minute break to stand up and do simple lifting exercises. Do two or three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions for a quick, efficient toning workout. You can also stretch a bit while sitting on your chair.
Courtesy With: The Times of India

How to cure hiccups

Hiccups can come at any time without warning. And sometimes, they can be extremely embarrassing. But the fact is, some simple techniques can stop hiccups. Here, take a look...

Press your palm

-Use the thumb of one hand to press the palm of the other hand — as hard as you can. Another tactic is to squeeze the ball of your left thumb between the thumb and forefinger of your right hand. You may feel discomfort, but it serves as a distraction that affects the nervous system and has the ability to stop your hiccups.

Hold your breath

-Take a long, deep breath and hold it for a few seconds. Experts say when there is a build-up of carbon dioxide in your lungs, the diaphragm relaxes and eases the hiccups.

Shut your ears

-Shut your ears for about 20 to 35 seconds. Another option is to press the soft areas behind your earlobes. This will send a signal to relax through the vagus nerve, which connects to the diaphragm.

Put your tongue out

-That's right, stick your tongue out. This is a common trick employed by vocalists and actors when they perform, because it is known to stimulate the opening between the vocal cords. This helps you breathe more smoothly and stops the spasms that cause hiccups.

Cover your mouth

-Cup your hands over your nose and mouth. Continue breathing normally while you do this. This will stop the hiccups because of the extra dose of carbon dioxide.

Drink water fast

-Take about 10 sips quickly from a glass without stopping. When you gulp down a drink, rhythmic contractions of the osophagus override spasms of the diaphragm and stop you from hiccuping. 

Courtesy with : The Times of India