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Pooch-Reducing Ab Exercises

By Kimberly Caines ; Updated July 18, 2017

Whether you blame it on aging, genetics, hormones or leading an unhealthy lifestyle, there's nothing cute about a belly pooch. That protrusion in the lower abdomen often plagues women and is hard, but not impossible, to get rid of. The right exercises can help slim down and tighten your lower stomach. As long as you're consistent and determined, you can soon say "goodbye" to that belly pooch.

Spot Reduction Is Impossible

Before engaging in ab exercises, understand that spot reducing fat in your tummy by with abdominal-strengthening exercises is impossible. These exercises only have a strengthening and toning effect. You must focus on reducing fat from your entire body through diet and exercise to reduce fat in your problem areas, including your abs. Strengthening exercises will then tone the ab muscles to give you more definition and shape.

Pooch-Reducing Cardio Exercise

You might not think of cardio as abdominal work, but it's a requirement to reduce the fat in your lower belly. One hour of cardio a day can help you lose belly flab, especially if you include one or two high-intense interval sessions. According to the American Council on Exercise, this type of training effectively reduces belly fat. Intervals require that you alternate between one minute of vigorous exercise and two minutes of recovery. For instance, sprint for one minute and then jog at a moderate pace for a two-minute recovery. Do this for about 20 minutes. Intervals can also be done on a stationary bike, elliptical machine or stair climber.

Targeted Abdominal Exercises

By raising your knees or legs, you can target the lower part of your abdominal region. Do knee raises while hanging from a bar, leg circles while lying face up on the floor, or scissor your legs up and down or cross them over each other while they're raised at a 45- or 30-degree angle. During the floor exercises, you must eliminate the space between your lower back and the ground by engaging your core. Placing your hands under your buttocks can make it easier to do this. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 20 repetitions of each exercise.

Circuit Training Exercises

Full-body strength training helps maintain muscle tissue, which boosts your metabolism and can help you lose fat, including that lower belly pooch. Circuit training adds cardio to the equation, which gives you the best of both worlds. This type of training is best done two to three times a week. A circuit requires that you work through one set of six to 15 exercises with minimal rest. For instance, do lying leg circles followed by jumping jacks. Then perform bench presses and lunges, followed by jumping rope. After this, do the plank exercise and overhead presses. Create your own variety of exercises to prevent boredom.

Things to Consider

A nutritious, reduced-calorie diet is essential to lose belly fat. Continuing to eat unhealthy, diet-sabotaging foods can negatively affect your results even when you're burning calories through exercise. Limiting sugar, cholesterol, salt and trans and saturated fats, while eating smaller portions and choosing low-calorie healthy snacks such as fruits and veggies, can make a big difference. Also, before you start your quest to reduce that dreaded pooch, consult your doctor, particularly if you suffer from health conditions or injuries.

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