Ask the Trainer at GetYourRearinGear.com gets numerous questions from women who want to lose weight, get in shape, or tighten typical problem areas. Last week’s Workout Tips for Women offered advice from Chris Freytag about toning the hips, thighs and abs. This week, fitness expert Kris Wayne offers more advice for women who are committed to exercise, but struggling with stubborn problem areas.
Get Your Rear in Gear reader: I am in good shape. I exercise to stay healthy and feel good. But I want to look good, too! No matter how much I exercise, I can’t get rid of the fat on my inner thighs and abs. Can you help?
Kris Wayne: Working to tighten the abdominals and the inner thigh muscles can be challenging since mother nature likes to store extra body fat in those areas for child bearing purposes. The stomach, hips and thighs are the first place extra weight goes and the last place it comes off, so an effective cardio program for fat burning is essential. A good core exercise program is also important.
As a rule crunches are not an effective for the lower abdominal wall or the “corset muscles” which define the waist and give the back support during rotational movements. To work those muscles more effectively, imagine you are zipping up a tight pair of pants; scoop the navel into the spine to give the low back deep support.
- Lay on your back with your knees bent off the floor and your stomach scooped. Slowly lower your legs towards the floor, then bring them back to a 90 degree bent knee position. When you get stronger, put a small stability ball between your legs and lower your legs towards the floor as if to straighten the legs. Only lower as far as you can, while maintaining that scooped abdomen.
- While maintaining that “scoop” you need to add your waist muscles. To add them, imagine that you are wearing a corset to keep the torso stable. Then put a stability ball between your bent legs and lower your legs to the left towards the floor and then towards the right. Only lower as far as you can without releasing your scoop or letting your back arch.
- Eventually you can transfer the ball from your legs to your upper body as you bring your legs and arms together and then straighten them out again, remembering to keep your core scooped and hollowed.
- The inner thighs can be worked by taking a smaller stability ball (45cm) and put it between your ankles and squeeze against the ball until you feel your inner thighs tighten. Hold that resistance as you bend and straighten your legs.
Remember that must also be doing an effective fat burning cardio workout to burn fat. It is also important to maintain an effective eating program where you are burning more calories than you take in. Rather than guess about this, consider getting a resting and exercise metabolic test done to determine exactly what heart rate maximizes fat burning and just how many calories your body needs to function . Be patient and stay committed by finding a friend or workout buddy to exercise with so you stay committed to your long term goals.
Check out these videos from Expert Village for variations to Kris’ exercise: