The thighs and belly area are trouble spots for many women. If jiggly thighs and a muffin top have you feeling self-conscious about your appearance, cardio exercise is your best bet for shedding the fat. Although muscle-toning weight machines can help you sculpt the muscles of your abs and thighs, there's no such thing as spot reducing. Whether you love the gym or are looking for a new piece of cardio equipment for your home gym, exercising on cardio equipment can help you get rid of excess flab on your thighs and stomach.
Whether you enjoy a brisk walk or like to really get sweaty with a good jog, using a treadmill is effective for losing weight all over, including your stomach and thighs. To blast fat and burn more calories, include interval training in your treadmill routine. Warm up for five minutes with a moderate walk, and then increase the speed. If you are a beginner or you have physical limitations, keep your speed at a brisk walk for four minutes. If you are more advanced, push yourself to a jogging or running pace for this four minute time interval. Next, increase your pace by 1/2 mph or so for one minute, then return to your previous pace. Continue alternating between a moderate and vigorous pace, and then finish off with a slow five-minute walking cool down.
Achy knees and joint issues aren't limited to the elderly. If you've experienced problems in your joints after trying to jog or briskly walk off the weight, an elliptical trainer might be a better option. The gliding of your legs and the back and forth movement of your arms adds up to a great fat-burning, cardio workout to slim down your belly, thighs and all over. The low-impact nature of the elliptical trainer makes it easier for you to get your aerobic workout in without having to worry about knee pain the next day. Similar to the treadmill, you can also do intervals of moderate to vigorous paced movements for an increased calorie burn.
Cross-Country Ski Machine
On days when it's not possible to exercise outdoors, a cross-country ski machine can help you blast around 500 calories per hour without the high impact of jogging or running. Cross-country ski machines are an effective alternative to the treadmill or stationary bike, and they engage ab and thigh muscles while you burn fat. Until you can hit the snow-covered trails, this piece of cardio equipment will help you get tight-dress ready as you dream of buckling up your cross-country ski boots and exercising outdoors.
Stair climbers are known to work the thighs and tush while burning calories, but they also benefit the belly area. As you build muscle during your stair climber workouts, your body will become a more efficient calorie-burning machine. This helps you lose weight all over, including the belly area. While working out on the stair climber, engage your abs by drawing your belly button in and keeping your core tight. However, don't forget to breathe!
- NutriStrategy: Calories Burned During Exercise
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- "New York Times": Best in Gym
- American Council on Exercise: What is the Best Piece of Cardio Equipment to Use?
- Oprah.com: 7 Fun Exercises Your Trainer Doesn't Want You to Know About
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.