Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Looking For The Right Love Handles Exercise?

By John Winaby

If we are going to lose love handles or fat from any area on the body it will require not only the right exercises, but also an improved diet. Exercise only helps to firm and tone up the muscles which are beneath the skin; however, a reduction in calorie intake will ensure that the extra pounds you have gained around your waist will be lost.

It is crucial that you are consistently performing between 2 and 5 different types of abdominal exercises at least twice a week in order to help eliminate those love handles and to tone and firm up the muscles. These exercises will train the muscles so that they will become stronger and in turn improve the appearance of the waist. But don't forget the importance of the calories you take in each day. These two factors combined can produce fantastic results.

When you have decided which love handles exercises you are going to be using, you need to recognize that the abdominals require more repetitions to get in shape as opposed to other body parts, such as the biceps (arms) and pectoral muscles (chest). Plus it is crucial that you initially do each exercise slowly and deliberately so that you will create the habit of having great form and also place more force on to the muscles as you exercise. As you become familiar with exercises you will want to vary the speed so that the body does not adapt to the exercise and hinder your progress. Below we look at just a couple of the kinds of exercises you may want to consider trying so you can get rid of those unwanted love handles.

1. The Basic Crunch Exercise - This one is specifically used to train the rectus abdominis muscle that runs from the breastbone down to the top of your pelvis. First off you'll want to lay on the floor with your feet apart about the same width as your hips with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Now place your hands behind your head so that they cradle it. You can intertwine your fingers if you'd like but ensure your elbows are rounded inward slightly. Now just move your chin slightly towards your chest and as you do this pull in the muscles of your abdomen. When comfortable begin to slowly curl your head, neck and shoulders up from the floor and as you move into the final position exhale. Once you have reached a position you are comfortable with stay in it for several seconds before slowly lowering your head, neck and shoulders back down to the floor remembering to inhale as you do so.

2. Twist Crunch Exercise - This not only works on the rectus abdominis but also the two sets of muscles that are wrapped around your waist known as the internal and external obliques. You need to place yourself in the same position as you did for the basic crunch exercise and then as you curl your neck, shoulders and head up you need to turn them towards the left. Exhale as you move up from the floor and hold this position for several seconds before lowering back down to the floor, remember to inhale as you do. Then repeat this exercise again, but this time twist your head, neck and shoulders to the right. It is important when doing the above love handles exercise you make sure that it is your head, neck and shoulders that you twist not your elbows. Remember it is the muscles that surround your stomach and waist that are the ones you want to tone up so really concentrate to make sure that you twist from the middle.

Here's a tip I learned years ago from a bodybuilder named Franco Columbo. You can use this tip anytime and anyplace. You know how guys sometimes draw their stomachs in to suddenly become like one of those "after" pictures in a before and after contest? Well believe it or not, this is an exercise. Of course it can be very uncomfortable depending on how far you've sucked it in and how long you attempt to hold it there. But if you can draw it in to point that is comfortable and hold it there whenever you think of it, you will strengthen the muscles and it will become increasingly more comfortable over time.

Next, pay attention to your self talk. Everything you say to yourself is being recorded in your subconscious mind and is creating and recreating your self image. Even when you don't do so well find something positive to tell yourself. If you only did half of what you intended to do, tell yourself well that's better than nothing. And when you do nothing, tell yourself "That's not like me. I'll do better next time".

Your thinking is the key to your success. Make sure you're thinking positively and remember what James Allen said. "The body is the servant of the mind. It obeys the orders of the mind whether they be deliberate or automatic".

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