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Walk off Belly Fat

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Click the image to open in full size.Walk Off Belly Fat — and More!

By Michele Bender, Prevention magazine

Prevention

 

 

You know walking is great for your heart, legs, butt, and energy level. Here's a happy but little-known fact: It's also a great way to flatten your belly.

 

Women who walked briskly for about an hour a day for 14 weeks shrunk their belly fat by 20%—without changing their eating habits, reports a Canadian study.

 

To firm up even faster, don't do just any old walk. This workout teaches you techniques that trim abdominal fat while you move; ab toners, done during short breaks, will give you added definition. The result: a flatter, stronger middle in just 6 weeks—no sit-ups required.

 

The Expert

 

Scott Cole, author of the Best Abs on Earth DVD, designed this workout

 

6 Weeks to Slim

 

Ultimate Belly-Flattening Workout

 

Your Workout at a Glance: The three plans below offer intervals of fast-paced Power Walks and moderate-paced Tempo Walks to burn calories and shed fat. During each, you'll do Walk 'n' Tone moves (below right) to work your abs harder and Stop 'n' Tone exercises (see p. 152) to really sculpt.

 

Do each full routine 3 times a week. On alternate days, take the walks but skip the toning moves.

 

Pace Yourself

 

Based on a 1-to-10 intensity scale:

 

Warm-up, cool-down (3-4 intensity level) Easy enough that you can sing

Tempo Walk (5-6 level) Moderate enough that you can talk freely

Power Walk (7-8 level) Brisk enough that you can talk but you'd rather not

Weeks 1 & 2: Firm up fast

 

The basics: As you walk, engage your abs by lifting the crown of your head and lengthening your spine.

 

Start: Warm-up, easy pace (3-4 intensity level)

 

4:00: Power Walk, brisk pace (7-8 intensity level) with arms bent

 

5:00: Tempo Walk, moderate pace (5-6 intensity level)

 

7:00: Power Walk

 

8:00: Stop 'n' Tone—Side Pull-down

 

8:30: Power Walk

 

9:30: Tempo Walk

 

11:30: Add Walk 'n' Tone—Curl

 

12:30: Stop 'n' Tone—Cross Punch

 

13:00: Power Walk

 

14:00: Tempo Walk

 

16:00: Add Walk 'n' Tone—Reach

 

17:00: Stop 'n' Tone—Knee Twist

 

17:30: Power Walk

 

18:30: Tempo Walk

 

20:30: Add Walk 'n' Tone—Press

 

21:30: Stop 'n' Tone—Lunge Run

 

22:00: Power Walk

 

23:00: Tempo Walk

 

25:00: Power Walk

 

26:00: Stop 'n' Tone—Slip a Punch

 

26:30: Power Walk

 

27:30: Tempo Walk

 

29:30: Power Walk

 

30:30: Stop 'n' Tone—Standing Crunch

 

31:00: Cool-down, easy pace

 

35:00: Finished

 

Weeks 3 & 4: Burn off fat

 

What's new: Tempo Walks are longer to burn extra calories and uncover the firmer abs that you've been working on.

 

Start: Warm-up, easy pace (3-4 intensity level)

 

4:00: Power Walk, brisk pace (7-8 intensity level) with arms bent

 

5:00: Tempo Walk, moderate pace (5-6 intensity level)

 

9:00: Power Walk

 

10:00: Stop 'n' Tone—Side Pull-down

 

10:30: Power Walk

 

11:30: Tempo Walk

 

15:30: Add Walk 'n' Tone—Curl

 

16:30: Stop 'n' Tone—Cross Punch

 

17:00: Power Walk

 

18:00: Tempo Walk

 

22:00: Add Walk 'n' Tone—Reach

 

23:00: Stop 'n' Tone—Knee Twist

 

23:30: Power Walk

 

24:30: Tempo Walk

 

28:30: Add Walk 'n' Tone—Press

 

29:30: Stop 'n' Tone—Lunge Run

 

30:00: Power Walk

 

31:00: Tempo Walk

 

35:00: Power Walk

 

36:00: Stop 'n' Tone—Slip a Punch

 

36:30: Power Walk

 

37:30: Tempo Walk

 

41:30: Power Walk

 

42:30: Stop 'n' Tone—Standing Crunch

 

43:00: Cool-down, easy pace

 

47:00: Finished

 

Weeks 5 & 6: Boost benefits

 

What's new: Stop 'n' Tone moves are longer (60 seconds each) to really tighten and firm your midsection.

 

Start: Warm-up, easy pace (3-4 intensity level)

 

4:00: Power Walk, brisk pace (7-8 intensity level) with arms bent

 

5:00: Tempo Walk, moderate pace (5-6 intensity level)

 

9:00: Power Walk

 

10:00: Stop 'n' Tone—Side Pull-down

 

11:00: Power Walk

 

12:00: Tempo Walk

 

16:00: Add Walk 'n' Tone—Curl

 

17:00: Stop 'n' Tone—Cross Punch

 

18:00: Power Walk

 

19:00: Tempo Walk

 

23:00: Add Walk 'n' Tone—Reach

 

24:00: Stop 'n' Tone—Knee Twist

 

25:00: Power Walk

 

26:00: Tempo Walk

 

30:00: Add Walk 'n' Tone—Press

 

31:00: Stop 'n' Tone—Lunge Run

 

32:00: Power Walk

 

33:00: Tempo Walk

 

37:00: Power Walk

 

38:00: Stop 'n' Tone—Slip a Punch

 

39:00: Power Walk

 

40:00: Tempo Walk

 

44:00: Power Walk

 

45:00: Stop 'n' Tone—Standing Crunch

 

46:00: Cool-down, easy pace

 

50:00: Finished

 

Walk 'n' Tone Moves

 

Add these simple arm exercises to your walk to boost its tummy-firming power. "Moving your upper and lower body at the same time makes your torso muscles work harder to provide stabilization and balance," says Cole. The result: "You'll shape up faster."

 

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Curl: With arms out to sides at shoulder level, bend elbows, pulling hands toward shoulders like you're doing biceps curls.

 

Reach: Raise arms out in front of you at shoulder level like you're punching. Alternate arms in opposition to legs.

 

Press: Alternate reaching arms overhead.

 

Stop 'n' Tone: Ab Exercises

 

Do each move for 30 seconds. If it works only one arm or leg, do 15 seconds on each side. Double the time in weeks 5 & 6.

 

Side Pull-down

 

Targets the obliques on your sides to give you a more defined waistline.

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended overhead. Shift weight to right foot and contract left side of torso, lifting left knee out to side. At the same time, bend left arm and pull elbow to left thigh. Extend arm and leg back to start, but tap toe on ground and repeat. Switch sides.

 

Cross Punch

 

Firms your lower belly by targeting the transverse abdominal muscle. The twisting also slims your waistline.

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and abs pulled in. Bend arms so fists are at about chin level, like a boxer. Keeping feet planted, twist to right and punch with left arm, then return to start. Contract lower abs with each punch. Repeat, alternating arms.

 

Knee Twist

 

This twisting move works your waist-whittling obliques.

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Squat with hips and knees bent, feet shoulder-width apart, and hands behind head. As you stand up, raise left knee as you twist to left and pull right elbow toward left knee. Lower and repeat with right leg.

 

Lunge Run

 

Tones your rectus abdominis, the long muscle that runs from your ribs to your pelvis, to give your abs super definition.

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Lunge with left foot in front and right foot about 2 feet behind it, arms bent at sides. Keeping left knee bent and torso still, lift right knee toward chest and lower, swinging arms back and forth. Switch legs and repeat.

 

Slip a punch

 

Another benefit to working your oblique muscles: shrinking stubborn love handles.

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent slightly. Bend arms so fists are at about chin level, like a boxer. Keeping shoulders relaxed and lower body still, bend at waist and lean torso to right as if you were trying to avoid a punch. Repeat, bending to left.

 

Standing crunch

 

Like on-the-floor crunches, this move tones the rectus, the muscle group responsible for the six-pack look.

Click the image to open in full size.

 

Lunge with right foot in front and left foot about 2 feet behind it, arms overhead. As you straighten right leg, raise left knee toward chest as you bend and pull elbows down toward left knee. Return to start. Switch legs and repeat.

 

Photographed by Ericka McConnell

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I walk every day for lunch. I wonder how weird I would look doing these things... in the middle of the cemetary where I walk!

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