Right. Many of us want that toned and taut washboard stomach most fitness models sport. Here’s what I’ve learnt, based on Cherry’s, Grace’s and my own health journeys: you’ll only achieve a moderately flat belly towards the tail-end of your exercise programme. This can take anywhere from a year (for Grace) to 4 years (for me).
I know, I know, it sucks. But just as I don’t doctor my photos using Photoshop or filters and post them as is, I’m keeping it real. The purpose of sharing my knowledge isn’t to promise you that you’ll have that bikini body in 2 weeks. If miracles are what you’re after, this blog isn’t for you.
But if you want moderate and holistic health and wellness that is achievable and attainable for a normal person with similar time and energy constraints as everyone else, then yes, I can help you. Heck, I want to! Let’s begin! So you’ve done power walking and stairclimbing for 2 to 3 months and you’re looking to melt more visceral fat.
When I first started, all those ab exercises were way too difficult. I was a true novice, a beginner, starting right from the bottom. After having my spine injury diagnosed and stopping exercise for years, I had NO core strength at all! But then I remembered childhood and the flat stomachs my friends and I had.
What did we do and what do kids in general do while sitting down? Just observe when you’re out. Children love to swing their legs or kick them when they’re seated. It’s instinctive due to their restlessness and boundless energy! And remember: our legs are connected to our lower torsos (please refer to my 2 health myths exposed post).
So I modified the ab exercises to make them more manageable for beginners. The equipment you need? A chair with armrests and a floor 😛 These 2 exercises achieve roughly about the same effect of building up core strength, so pick the 1 that is most manageable and do it first. When you’ve gotten good at it, then try to do the other.
#1 Sit on the armchair with your back straight. Lean back slightly if needed but don’t curve your spine. Place your forearms on the armrests and grip them for support.
Lift both knees, legs bent, as high as you can, then lower them back to the ground. Repeat for as many as you can, then rest and try again. It doesn’t matter how high or how low you can lift them or how many times you can perform it without resting; the key here is to get started. Do this on alternate days or daily.
Every 2 to 3 weeks, try to increase the number of times you can lift your knees and lower them without a break.
#2 Sit on the floor and lean back slightly. Place your hands on the ground for support, then extend your legs straight in front of you. Slowly raise 1 leg to about 45 degrees, then lower. Do this for the other leg. Repeat for as many times as you can before you take a break. Then start again.
Every 2 to 3 weeks, try to increase the number of times you can raise and lower your legs without requiring a rest.
I’d started out with these 2 basic ab exercises. If you’re at the beginner stage, you may find them useful and more manageable. You don’t need to set aside tine for them either; just perform them during commercial breaks or while you’re watching Netflix! Alternate them with your dances, which I’d written about in an earlier entry. A variety of movements and exercises is always beneficial.
Our health is in our hands. Whilst 6 pack abs may be unrealistic for us normal folks, a moderately flat and taut belly is still within our reach through sustained effort. So get started!