The Ultimate Belly Busters

If you want a set of great abs, roll out the ultimate Belly Busters.

A great set of abs has always been a fantasy for me. For years my youthful estrogen-rich skin held my belly so it appeared toned. As the years have passed with too many responsibilities and too little time for exercising, my gut has just started pouching out. Then menopause took the fat from my hips and thighs and redirected it to my belly. I started looking three months pregnant. Ironic isn’t it? I can no longer bear children yet I look like I am carrying one. Just a couple of months ago on the way to yoga class a teenager waiting for a bus smiled and asked me, “When are you expecting?” Escaping a response I ran into the nearest restroom locked myself in a stall and sobbed. Between age, menopause and craving food 24 hours a day…. this mid-aged menopausal girl called in the ultimate Belly Busters!

Benefits of a tone tummy

1. Better balance and coordination
2. A healthy flexible spine
3. A sense of “feeling” better
4. Increased motivation
5. A strong support system for the muscles in your lower back,
hips and pelvis
6. A more stable center of gravity
7. More shopping options

The abdomen consists of three main muscles groups:

1. Rectus abdominis is the large flat muscle wall that runs from the lower chest to the pubic bone. Most of us refer to this
muscle as our “abs”.
2. Oblique abdominis is the muscle that runs diagonally along the side of the mid-section from the lower ribcage to the pubic area. The internal obliques lie underneath the external obliques.
3. Transversus abdominis is the thin strip of muscle that runs horizontally across the abdomen.

The ultimate Belly Busters is a series of exercises focused on each muscle group. All you need is an area in your home that gives you the space to lie down and 10 minutes.

The Ultimate Belly Busters Program
– Three sessions per week, with a “rest” day between workouts
– 10 minutes per session
– 3 Belly Busting exercises that consist of 8 to 12 lifts per set
– 3 sets, with 60 seconds between each set.

The Ultimate Belly Busters

– Lie on your back on a mat or a carpet.
– Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor.
– Press your lower back to the floor.
– Place your hands behind your head.
– Lift your chest to your pelvis. Do not tuck your chin to your chest.
– Keep your elbows pointing outwards; do not wrap your arms around your head. Do not pull on your head. Let your abs lift you up.
– Exhale as you lift your chest upwards.
– Keep your lower back on the floor.
– Contract your abdominal muscle as hard as you can and count to 3.
– Return your shoulders to the floor, with your head still up.
– Repeat this crunch for 8-12 repetitions.

The Bicycle
– Lie on your back.
– Press your lower back into the floor.
– Place your hands behind your head, and do not cross your fingers.
– Bring your knees to a 45- degree angle.
– Lift your shoulders off the floor, and do not pull on your neck.
– Touch your right elbow to our left knee then repeat, as your
right leg extends.
– Switch sides, bringing the left elbow to the right knee and the
left leg extended.
– Continue alternating sides imitating a pedaling motion on a bicycle.
– Do 8-12 repetitions

Cross over crunches
– Lie on your back.
– Press your lower back towards the floor.
– Bend your right knee at a 90- degree angle.
– Cross your left foot on top of your right bent knee.
– Put your hands behind your head – one on top of the other.
– Lift your shoulders up off the floor and twist so your right
elbow tries to touch your left knee.
– Hold for 2 seconds, squeeze those abs.
– Return to start position.
– Do 8-12 reps.
– Then switch sides.

Repeat these three Belly Busters two more times.

1. Make sure you suck in your belly button toward your spine before curling off the floor. This activates twice as much muscle activity and makes each move more effective.
2. When doing the Belly Busters breathe through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe with full inhalations and exhalations. Exhale when your muscles are tightening and inhale when your muscles are lengthening.
3. Include a cardio activity 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Once you shed excess belly fat you will start seeing your new “abs”.
4. Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol drinkers who consume more than three glasses per sitting have more belly fat than moderate or non-drinkers. Try to limit your alcohol intake to one glass or less per day. Alcohol can also raise levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol helps your tummy to store fat.
5. Eat fiber. Fiber helps fight constipation that can give your abdomen more roundness. A bowl of yummy raspberries is loaded with fiber.
6. Drink water. It is calorie-free and keeps you hydrated.
7. Improve your posture. Start sitting up straighter. Sit with your shoulders back, chin up and your lower back pressed up against the chair.
8. Keep a slow, steady pace while doing the Belly busters. Focus your attention on doing these exercises properly. Proper form and moving slowly will make your session more efficient. If you experience any pain, stop. If you have back issues, speak to your doctor before beginning these Belly Busters program.

Having gone through most of my adult life only dreaming of a firm belly, it took the menopause wake up call and the ultimate Belly Busters to thank for a tone tummy.

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