I have to admit I’ve got a bit of the jelly belly blues. Everywhere I look are magazine covers of bikini-clad stars or celebs, like Katy Perry and Kate Hudson, flaunting toned tummies in tight-fitting dresses.
As for my belly, well it seems sometimes to be more flab than fab. Yes, I get it, I will never have abs of steel like The Situation (nor would I want to) or oodles of extra cash to spend on personal trainers.
But, there’s got be a way for us average Janes to lose the pooch without hours and hours of crunches.
Celebrity fitness guru Kristin McGee, who works with Tina Fey and Bethenny Frankel, says Pilates is the ab-tastic exercise, claiming it works the deepest abdominal layer, which acts like an inner girdle.
“Traditional sit ups might even push your stomach out if done incorrectly, whereas Pilates ab moves pull your stomach in and up.” Kristin adds, “It’s like a magic zipper that eliminates the belly pooch.”
Plus, a good Pilates plan can produce results in just 10 sessions!
“You will notice your lower abdominals getting stronger and more toned… Mostly your abs will be more defined in a very lean way. It’s not 6 pack abs, but a great, smooth, defined, lean long look that you will achieve with Pilates,” reveals Kristin.
Kristin’s Top Five Belly Blasters:
1. Single Leg Stretch: Lie face-up with legs straight out on mat. Lift head and shoulders off the mat about to the bra strap level. Raise both legs to about a 45-degree angle and then alternate pulling one knee to chest at a time as you extend the other leg away. Keep tailbone heavy and abs pulling in strongly. Do at least 16 to 20 reps on each side. This move strengthens and tones your upper and lower abs, inner thighs and waist.
2. Double Leg Stretch: Begin in same position as the single leg stretch. Keep arms raised out to the side and pull both legs in to the chest. Next stretch both arms and legs straight out and away from each other long. Circle the arms around front, like a snow angel, and then pull knees back in. Return to starting position. Do 8 to 10 reps. Excellent for toning shoulders, arms, back, hips, thighs and lower abs.
3. Single leg Straight Leg: Raise both legs straight up to the ceiling. Then pull one leg towards you as the other falls towards the floor (but don’t let it touch the ground). Next, scissor kick switch, and pull the other leg towards you. Alternate 8 to 10 times, pulling each leg straight twice towards you as the other one falls straight forward, towards the floor. Tones lower abs, thighs, waist and arms. Also, stretches and lengthens the hamstrings.
4. Double Leg Straight Leg: Raise both legs straight up to the ceiling. Put hands behind the head and keep elbows wide. Keep head up and shoulders lifted up off the mat (to the bra strap level) and then lower both legs straight down and back up. Don’t go too far down – want to be sure abs in tight and don’t let the lower back lift off the floor. Do 8 to 10 reps. This move is one of the most effective ways to target the lower abs.
5. Criss Cross Bicycle: Finish with the bicycle. Raise legs to a 45-degree. Then crisscross side to side. Bring opposite elbow to knee as the other leg goes straight out. Twist and twist for 16 to 20 reps. Bicycle move is an excellent way to blast belly fat and get rid of love handles. Works the entire core region as well as arms, shoulders, back and thighs.
In just 20 minutes, 4 to 5 times a week, Kristin says anyone can be on the way to a new body. For more exercise tips, check out www.kristinmcgee.com.