If you're looking to shape your lower body as well as flatten your belly, you're going to need a proper exercise regimen with a good diet. Working out will yield little to no results if you're overeating and not filling your body with healthy foods, but once you have a solid diet, your work in the gym will really start to show off. Transform your body faster by combining cardiovascular exercise with strength-training exercises. Cardiovascular exercise alone may help you to lose weight, but adding strength training to your workout routine will help you build lean muscle as well as shape your body.
Flatten Your Belly With Cardio
Along with a healthy diet, cardiovascular exercise is one of the best ways to lose unwanted weight. The recommended amount of cardiovascular exercise is 150 minutes per week, which breaks down into 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise five days a week. Workouts like running, biking and even walking all can help you to lose excess body fat, including unwanted belly fat. Instead of sticking with the same cardiovascular workout each time, vary your workouts to keep your body guessing and challenged. For example, if you typically run at a steady pace, try adding intervals to your run to increase your overall calorie burn.
Tummy Toning Exercises
Once you've burned off the excess layer of belly fat, the muscles of your core will finally be able to shine. Get your core into shape by working it two to three times a week with exercises like the plank, toe touches or Russian twists. These exercises not only shape and tone your core, but they also strengthen your core overall to protect your spine.
Lunge For Better Legs
If you want sculpted legs, then you should be lunging. Lunges are a total lower-body sculpting exercise, but they specifically target the hamstrings, glutes and quads. There are several variations of the lunge, all of which can be done with or without added weight. Adding dumbbells to the lunge, however, will increase the exercise's effectiveness, helping you to really sculpt and improve your lower body. When you're at the gym, try walking lunges, static lunges or even reverse lunges with a pair of dumbbells to strengthen and shape your legs.
Squat for Your Glutes
The squat is one of the best lower-body exercises, but it's only effective if performed properly. Squatting down low, to where your glutes have dropped past your knees, is the only way you're going to see the results you want. Having to push yourself up out of this low position requires your entire lower body, from your glutes to your quads, to lift yourself back up to a standing position. As an added bonus, because you have to engage your core to push your body back up out of a squat, your abs are also getting worked during a squat. Start off squatting with dumbbells, or hold a medicine ball in both hands in front of your chest until you have perfected the squat technique.
Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.