No matter how much we try or want to, we don’t get to workout and go to the gym nearly as we’d like to. With work, school, studying, relationships, friends, family, and just about everything else on our plate–we barely have time to breathe, let alone get dressed and get in the gym. We’ll do just about anything to get an easy workout in when life gets jam-packed, so when we find exercises we can do from our chair in the office (or even at school), it’s promising.

Contents

9. Seated Leg Raise:

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Essentially, working out your quads and glutes will correlate over to your abs. Any workout is good for burning some unwanted fat.

  • Sit with your back flat on the chair.
  • Lift your left leg up until it’s perfectly straight and parallel to the floor.
  • Place your left leg down.
  • Repeat with your right leg.
  • Repeat 20-30 times.

8. Torso Turns:

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Perfect during those downtime moments at work and easy to do.

  • Twist your torso to the left
  • Twist your torso to the right
  • Repeat 30-40 times

7. Double Knee Lift:

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Essentially, you want to do crunches to get the max-ab effect, but, Karen from accounting will rat you out to your boss. You can easily do this workout at your desk and it targets all the muscles in your stomach region.

  • Bring your legs together
  • Hold the sides of the chair with both hands
  • With a straight back, lift your knees and pull them to your chest – flex your abdominal muscles.
  • Put your feet down, but don’t touch the floor
  • Repeat 10-20 times

6. Knee-To-Chest Lift:

Like the double knee lift, this targets your unwanted belly fat in a simple, quick workout that doesn’t take much work (aka, you can sit down and do this). Instead of using both knees, you’ll isolate each individual knees.

  • Sit down on a chair with a straight spine. Do not let your back touch the chair
  • Place your feet on the floor, hip-width apart
  • With a straight back, lift your right knee and pull to your chest – keep your belly sucked in
  • Put your hands on your shin and draw the knee closer.
  • Repeat 20-30 times by alternating your knees

5. Double Knee Lift With Side Bends:

This targets your belly fat just like the regular double knee lift but isolates your sides to get those lines you so desperately want for summer.

  • Sit on the edge of your chair with a straight back
  • Bend your body to the side, sit on one glute
  • Keep your legs together, lift both knees to your chest as you did in the last exercise
  • Repeat on the other side
  • Repeat 10-20 times

4. Toe Touches:

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Not only will this target your belly fat and bring you closer to some washboard abs, this will also help you in the hip area.

  • Keep your feet on the floor, about as wide as the chair
  • Extend your arms in front of you
  • Turn your body to the right, bend, and touch your left foot with your right hand
  • Hold this position for a few breaths
  • Turn your body to the left, bend and touch your right foot with your left hand
  • Repeat 20-30 times, alternating sides

3. Full Body Lift:

Make sure you’re in a stable chair before you do this (aka no wheel-y chairs).

  • Sit in the chair and hold the arms of the chair tightly
  • Lift your body above the seat of the chair, so that your hips and legs hang in the air
  • Use your abdominal muscles to raise your knees to your chest
  • Hold this position for 15-20 seconds, then slowly lower down
  • Repeat 4 times

2. Knee To Elbow Lift:

This will target your belly fat and your thighs–win/win all around.

  • Sit with your back straight, do not let it touch the chair
  • Put your hands behind your head
  • Lift your right knee to your chest
  • Twist and bend your torso so that your left elbow touches your right knee
  • Return to the starting position and repeat 15 times.
  • Lift your left knee to your chest
  • Twist and bend your torso so that your right elbow touches your left knee
  • Return to the starting position and repeat 15 times

1. Oblique Stretches:

University Orthopedics

By targeting your glutes and legs, your entire body will follow in the calorie burn-sesh.

  • Stand beside the chair and place your left hand on the arm of the chair
  • Raise your right hand above your head
  • Lift your right leg and bend the knee so that your heel touches near your bum
  • Slowly lower your right hand so that it can touch the heel of your foot
  • Change the hand and leg and repeat on the other side 10-15 times
  • Do a series of 4 for each side

h/t Shared.

1. Knee-to-chest lift

How to do it:

Sit with you back straight and not touching the back of your chair. Keep your feet on the ground and as wide apart as your hips. As you exhale, lift your right knee to your chest. Hold a few seconds before slowly releasing your foot to the ground while breathing out. Now, do the same with your left leg.

Repeat 20–30 times on each leg.

This exercise helps you burn fat, improves your metabolism, and strengthens your abdominal muscles.

2. Double knee lift

How to do it:

Straighten your back and hold each side of the chair with both hands. Then, hold your legs together and bring both knees simultaneously against your chest. Keep your stomach muscles tense and slowly lower your legs without touching the ground before lifting them again.

Repeat 10–20 times.

This exercise works your stomach muscles in an effective yet gentle manner.

3. Double knee lift with side bends

How to do it:

Sit on the edge of your chair with your back straight. Hold your chair firmly with both hands so that you’re sitting on one glute. Hold your knees and lift them to your chest and then lower your legs without touching the ground before lifting again.

Repeat 10–20 times on each side.

This exercise is perfect for those who want to trim a little at the waist.

4. Bends

How to do it:

Keep your feet on the ground and lift your arms to shoulder height. Then, twist right and stretch forward to touch your left hand to your right foot. Hold the position for a few seconds before returning to the starting position. Then do the same motion on the other side.

Repeat 20–30 times and change sides between each bend.

This exercise burns fat on both your hips and stomach.

5. Body lift

How to do it:

This exercise requires a stable chair with armrests. Hold the armrests firmly and then stretch your arms while lifting your entire body from the chair so that your legs are in the air. While hanging in the air, raise your knees to your chest and try to hold the position for 15 seconds. Then slowly lower yourself and breathe.

Repeat four times.

This exercise burns fat effectively and gives you a well-toned back, shoulders, and stomach.

6. Knee-to-elbow life

How to do it:

Sit down on your chair with your back straight without touching the back of the chair. Place both your hands on the back of your head. Then, lift your right knee and try to touch your left elbow. Return to your original position and repeat with your left knee and right elbow.

Do four sets of 15 lifts on each side.

This exercise is very good for your abs. Just make sure your knee touches your elbow.

These exercises are easy to do and don’t take much time. In addition to getting a well-toned body, you’ll feel full of energy all day long. Why not start a routine at work and save time at the gym?

Share these smart exercises with everyone you know. They’ll thank you later when they get a flat stomach!

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While it is important to exercise, sometimes it’s hard to get the exercise that you need during the day. The problem is that if you are sedentary for too long, you will begin to have aches and pains like my husband began having. My husband’s back surgery recovery plan included seated workouts to help his mobility return, and it was essential in controlling the pain.

Often times, back pain is caused by an abdominal injury, hamstring injury, general leg injury, or a pulled muscle, so if you can fit in a workout or even squeeze in some exercise at work – you’ll be ahead of the game.

He had to find a solution and he did: simple exercises to do without even standing up (while he was putting in a full day of work)

Today, I am sharing some ways that you can exercise from your chair.

Unfortunately, his body didn’t appreciate this (backaches, etc… which come with being sedentary). I’m sure his heart health was lacking as well, begging for a little physical activity. When I was in his office one day, just visiting, I started talking to his co-workers. It turned out that everyone had the same complaints.

I hope these ideas help: Exercises You Can Do while Sitting Down in the Office

Here are seven exercises you can do while sitting down in the office that doesn’t even require that you get out of your seat.

Calf muscle toning

Give your calf muscles a work out by raising your legs up on the very tips of your toes while remaining seated. Your calf muscles should start to burn after a few seconds.
⇒ Hold for ten seconds, return to the starting position, and then repeat eight times.

Clenches

The beauty of this exercise is that you aren’t getting up and no one knows that you are secretly fitting in a workout.
⇒ For buns of steel, clench your buttocks and hold for ten seconds. Do five sets of eight reps

Ankle Rotations

This exercise can strengthen the flexibility of your ankles and make you less likely to suffer from sprains.
⇒ Rotate your ankles in both directions for five seconds. Do five sets of eight reps in each direction.

Arm stretches

Just because you’re seated at your desk doesn’t mean your arms can’t do just about anything they want. Many arm exercises can be performed while seated at your desk. Stretch the muscles in your right arm by reaching as far to the left as you can with your right arm while supporting it in the crook of your left elbow and then hold it there. Remember to keep your arms straight to get the best stretch that you can.
⇒ Feel the stretch for five seconds. Do eight reps before switching over to your left arm.

Rotating at the waist

Strengthen your core by rotating at the waist while remaining seated. Get into the proper position by sitting with your legs shoulder width apart and your knees bent over the edge of your chair.

It is almost like a wall sit position, but you are in your chair.

Rotate as far to the left as you can and hold for five seconds, then repeat on the right. Grab the backrest of your chair with your hands for extra support.
⇒ Complete five sets of five seconds on each side.

Crunches

Move to the edge of your chair with your feet on the ground. Lean back on the backrest. Then lift your straightened legs a few inches above the ground and raise your back a few inches off the backrest. Feel the burn in your abdominal muscles and hold for ten seconds.

If this is difficult, bend your left knee a bit or bend your right knee a bit.
⇒ Eight reps of ten seconds each can strengthen your core considerably when done regularly.

Leg Lifts

Starting with both feet flat on the floor, do leg lifts, starting first with the right leg and then the left. Lift your left leg until it touches the underside of your desk. Return to the starting position and repeat with your right leg.
⇒ Do ten sets of eight reps to strengthen your thigh muscles and your core.

Being busy is never an excuse to not stay fit. While you should always try to make time for proper cardio and weight training, never forget that there are many other ways you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine by doing this at work or even workout at home. Be sure to always stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle with you at your desk. Eat healthy foods – like my favorite one: 4-ingredient Banana NICE cream!

Doing a couple of simple exercises while sitting down in the office each day can, when done regularly, help to improve your flexibility, muscle tone and strength.

WORKOUTS TO DO AT A STANDING DESK:

If you have a standing desk like the AnthroDesk ErgoSpring Wide Standing Desk Converter, you can move from sitting to standing in a few seconds with the gas spring assisted lift. Standing desks do wonders for your posture and can help with back pain.

Glute Squeeze

While standing straight, behind your desk, squeeze your glutes and hold for 45 seconds. Release, relax, and then repeat. Do at least 10 of these.

Calf Raises

Standing straight, raise your heels until you are on your toes. Hold for several seconds, lower your heels back down, and repeat. Do this 30 times in a row, or more if possible. I often suggest trying to do this for a minute straight, then taking a break and doing it for another minute.

Standing Squats

Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and your toes pointing forward. Looking straight ahead, put your weight on your heels and the balls of your feet. Push your bottom back and your feet forward-facing. Squat down, keeping your knees in line with your feet. Hold for a few seconds and stand back up. Repeat 10-12 times.

MY FAVORITE GET-FIT TOOLS:

  1. WEIGHT-LOSS PLAN. If you are ready to really get serious & lose weight… My husband lost 30 pounds in under 8 weeks using this plan. (Here he was at 6 weeks & 25 pounds lost… the before & after)
  2. YoNananas is one of my favorite things- it will change the way you snack. If you love ice cream or sorbet, this is for you.
    You put fruit in (you freeze the fruit first) and it comes out like ice cream! My favorite combo is mango, pineapple, and one banana. I might do a youtube video on it.

3). The Ninja – you can turn anything into a smoothie or juice. It’s a huge hit in our family.
4. Put this under your desk & workout while you work. 😉

5). FITBIT- This one is wireless, so it is easier for me to keep up with. 😉 Track steps, distance, floors climbed and sleep quality and more, and stay connected with Caller ID and time of day (displayed on the FITBIT).

Learn how to lose fat, gain muscle and feel your best here.

Anthrodesk Standing Desk
You can order a standing desk converter from Anthrodesk. It will work with your existing desk & you can assemble it in under ten minutes. It’s simple to use – I can raise it with one hand, easily.

  • STAY IN SHAPE WHILE YOU STAY HOME.
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  • HOW TO START EATING CLEAN… WHEN YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN.

Note: Always check any terms and conditions that your doctor may have for you before moving forward with any new exercise.

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Five Belly Toning Exercises to Tighten Skin after Weight Loss

There are a number toning exercises that can help tighten skin on your belly after a significant weight loss. Extra loose skin is common after losing a large amount of weight and belly fat is always tough to get rid of. The good news is that there are toning exercises that along with eating a healthy diet and performing cardiovascular exercise can help you burn that extra flab and tighten skin on your belly. Below are some examples of belly toning exercises that will tighten up your mid-section in no time! Try to perform at least 15 – 20 repetitions of each exercise listed below.

1. Legs Up Straight Arm Crunch

This exercise will help tone your upper abs and can be performed using a dumbbell to make it more challenging. Lie flat on your back with your legs up at a 90 degree angle from the floor. With your arms straight (hold a dumbbell if you desire), curl your shoulders and upper back off the floor using your abs while pulling your arms up towards the ceiling. Hold for a second; then slowly lower your shoulders and back down toward the floor. Keep your arms straight and legs up during the entire exercise.

2. Air Bike

The air bike is performed lying on your back as well. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows bent and your knees pulled slightly toward you. Using your abs, curl your shoulders up off the floor and pull your right elbow to your left knee until they are touching (or almost touching). Then alternate by pulling your left elbow to you right knee. Continue alternating right to left until you’ve reached the desired number of repetitions.

3. Side Bridge

The side bridge will strengthen and tone your obliques. The exercise is performed lying on your side. Resting your weight on your elbow and forearm, raise your mid-section until your torso and legs form a straight line (sloped upward). Simply holding this position will help tone your abs; hold the position as long as you can.

4. Lying Leg Raises

Lying leg raises will help you tone and tighten skin around your lower abdominal muscles. Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and up in the air (90 degrees from the floor). Keeping your legs as straight as possible, slowly lower them out in front of you until they are almost touching the floor; then lift them back up to your starting position and repeat.

5. Pelvic Thrusts

Pelvic thrusts will also help tone up your lower abs. As with leg raises, lie on your back with your legs up in the air (90 degrees from the floor). While keeping your legs up, slowly lift your pelvis off the floor and upward using your lower abdominal muscles; then lower yourself back down to the floor and repeat.

Toning Your Tummy: 4 Ways to Tackle Belly Fat After Pregnancy

My kingdom for a tighter tummy! Many a new mom has uttered those words (okay, something like those words) as she glances down at her post-baby belly. Even if you’ve reached your prepregnancy weight, chances are your still dealing with a little extra belly fat. Don’t ignore it: Without concentrated effort (like some tummy exercises after pregnancy) those ab muscles are bound to stay saggy (and get worse with baby number two).

Now’s the time to get those muscles taut and toned by integrating a targeted tummy routine into your exercise plan. Not only will strengthening your abs help your profile, it’ll improve circulation and reduce your risk of back problems (including postpartum back pain), varicose veins, leg cramps, ankle and foot swelling, and more.

Tip 1: Keep It Simple
There are lots of tummy exercises after pregnancy that will help you flatten the flab. Basic crunches may be the most, well, basic, but they work. If you haven’t done them before (or in the past nine months or so), start slowly and don’t push yourself too hard. A better way to start is with pelvic tilts and simple ab contractions: Lie down on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor. Slowly tighten your abs and tilt your pelvis toward your head. Tighten the pelvic floor as you do this (what a great time for some Kegel exercises!).

Tip 2: The Real Deal
Ready for real crunches? Lie on your back, put your feet on the floor, knees bent, and place your hands behind your neck to support your head. Press your lower back into the floor, then lift your head and shoulders off the ground. Repeat 10-15 times. As you get stronger, add difficulty (lift your feet off the floor during reps, for example) and variations (like tilting your legs to the side and reaching for the opposite knee as you come up to tone the oblique muscles on the sides of your torso). Working different muscles is essential for losing that belly fat after pregnancy.

More About Exercising After Baby

Postpartum Health & Care Fitness After Pregnancy: Walk to Lose Weight You & Your Health After Baby: Getting Back in the Exercise Saddle You & Your Health Exercising With Baby on Board: Eight Fun Ways Postpartum Health & Care Fitness After Pregnancy: Walk to Lose Weight You & Your Health After Baby: Getting Back in the Exercise Saddle You & Your Health Exercising With Baby on Board: Eight Fun Ways

Tip 3: Recruit an Exercise Buddy
If you like, you can get your baby into the act, too! Blast your baby fat after pregnancy with a baby bench press: Lie down with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor, holding your baby so he’s resting on your belly. Inhale and lift your baby skyward, pulling in and contracting your abs at the same time; then exhale and lower your baby. Do as many reps as you can. (Get more tips for exercising with baby).

Tip 4: Stay on the Ball
An exercise ball is another great tool for tummy exercises after pregnancy. Ball crunches work like regular crunches, but you’ll be adding the element of balance, which makes your moves a bit more challenging. If crunches just aren’t your thing or you want more of an overall workout, try yoga or Pilates, both of which place an emphasis on a strong core. A sensible diet (like the Postpartum Diet) and regular cardio exercise will also help you burn belly fat after pregnancy (not to mention overall fat, too).

Just so you know, What to Expect may earn commissions from shopping links.

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A toned, flat tummy is a goal many of us strive to achieve in time for bathing suit season, but endless crunches and ditching all your favorite foods until July 4th isn’t the right—or fun–way to do it. A sculpted core and trim tummy can be attained by incorporating small changes into your day, like holding in your abs while you walk and adding the right healthy fats to your diet. In our lean belly guide, you’ll get diet and exercise tips that will help you eliminate hard-to-reach ab flab and reveal a sculpted, sexy midsection. Here, learn 25 ways to flatten your belly by summer.

1. Take your gossip session on a walk

Instead of catching up with friends over food and drinks, suggest a reunion on the move—you’re likely to work out 104% harder if you have an exercise buddy. Suggest a weekly walk-and-talk session, form a friendly fitness club, or take advantage of gym specials together. You’ll motivate everyone to get moving while you grow even closer.

6 Signs You Joined the Wrong Gym

2. Deflate your muffin tope with the roll-up

Hold a resistance band taut between hands and lie on the floor face up, with legs extended and arms overhead. Pull abs in, tuck your chin, lift arms toward the ceiling, and roll head, shoulders, and torso up and over your legs as far as you can. Keep heels firmly on the floor and reach hands towards your feet. Pause, then slowly roll back down. Do 5 to 8 reps with 30 minutes of cardio 5 to 6 times a week.

3. Make time for cardio

If you want to burn the most belly fat, a Duke University study confirms that aerobic exercise is the most effective in burning that deep, visceral belly fat. In fact, aerobic training burns 67% more calories than resistance training or a combination of the two, according to the study.

The Top Walking Shoes for 2012

4. Try out Spidey moves

Eliminate spillover spots with the Spiderman Climber: Get into plank position with arms and legs extended, hands beneath shoulders, and feet flexed. Keeping your abs tight, bend your left leg out to the side and bring the knee toward the left elbow. Pause, then return to start. Switch sides. Do 20 reps, alternating sides, with 30 minutes of cardio 5 to 6 times a week.

The Secret to a Flat Stomach

5. Fight fat with fiber

For every 10 grams of fiber you eat daily, your belly will carry almost 4% less fat. Thankfully, there are more enjoyable ways to increase your fiber than scarfing down a box of bran flakes: Two apples, ½ cup of pinto beans, one artichoke, or two cups of broccoli will all give you 10 grams of belly-flattening fiber.

6. Be pushy at restaurants

Saying, “I’ll go last” when the waiter comes around could be adding bulk to your belly. A recent study showed that a normal-weight woman was more likely to mimic a thin woman’s eating habits than an obese woman’s. So when you’re out for girl’s night, order first. You’ll keep yourself, and maybe even a friend or two, on track to a flatter tummy.

How to Prevent Anything

7. Do the Windshield Wiper

Lie face up with arms out to your sides, palms down, and legs bent at 90 degrees so feet are off the floor. Keep abs tight and slowly lower legs to the left as far as possible, keeping shoulders on the floor. Pause, then return to start. Repeat to the right. Do 20 reps, alternating sides.

Top Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

8. Clean your house

One more reason to start your spring-cleaning: Vacuuming is a great ab workout. Tighten your abdominal muscles while you push back and forth for a tighter tummy while you clean.

9. Cut back on the pretzels

Too much salt will make you retain more fluid, which contributes to a puffy appearance and extra water weight.

10. Fry fat with the boat move

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Target your deepest ab muscles with The Boat: Lie face up on a mat with arms straight up over chest. Lift your upper body off the ground by rolling through the spine. At the same time, raise your legs so that you’re balancing on your butt, knees bent and shins parallel to the ground. Slowly roll back down onto the mat, lowering legs. That’s 1 rep. Do 5 reps per set, resting 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

11. Add this green fruit to your diet

Just half an avocado contains 10 grams of MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids), which halt blood sugar spikes that tell your body to store fat around your belly. Eat these in ¼ cup servings to ward off belly fat without overdoing it.

10 Diet Splurges You Can Enjoy

12. Play catch

Get into a crunch position—lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, shoulders and head off the floor with your abs contracted. Then have someone throw an exercise ball (or basketball) to you—first to your left side so you have to twist and reach to catch it, and then to your right. Do this as many times as is comfortable, and try to increase the number each week.

13. Skip your daily soda habit

Where do you think all those bubbles from carbonated drinks end up? They gang up in your belly! Swap soda, diet soda, and seltzer for Sassy Water, a Flat Belly Diet staple beverage. Get the Sassy Water recipe here.

14. Get on the wagon

That glass of wine with every meal may be part of the reason your jeans are too tight. Alcohol intake is known to raise cortisol levels, sending fat straight to your belly.

15. Paddle off your belly pooch

Kayaking is an exhilarating, ab-crunching workout. Constant paddling requires lots of twisting and tightness from your abs for long periods of time. For the best kayaking trips, visit kayaking.org

10 Reasons Your Abs Exercises Aren’t Working

16. Sprinkle these seeds on your salad

Sunflower seeds are packed with tons of MUFAs and B vitamins, which play an important role in protecting against inflammation. Sprinkle two tablespoons on top of your salad and stir-fries.

17. Sculpt your core while you walk

As you go about your day, imagine there’s a magnet pulling your belly button back toward your spine. Practice the tuck until it becomes comfortable, and soon this easy ab-engaging move will become like second nature.

Try Power Walking to Blast Fat

18. Add fresh seafood to your plate

Salmon and other fatty fish are rich in the same omega-3 fatty acids as many belly- fat-busting foods. Try poaching your fish for a low-calorie way to enjoy this lean protein.

19. Guzzle more H20

Forget water weight: Drinking lots of water helps flush bloat that your body might be holding onto in the heat.

20. Stand tall while pumping iron

Stand as much as possible when doing weight-lifting exercises. That way your abs will naturally help to balance and stabilize your body. To add an extra flat belly boost to your weight routine, concentrate on keeping your abs tight and maintaining good posture while you lift, but without holding your breath.

21. Sleep away your belly fat

Research from the University of Chicago shows that those who sleep 7 hours or more a night lose twice as much fat and are less hungry than those who get less than 7 hours of shut-eye.

5 Ways Sleeping Less Makes You Gain Weight

22. Tone up with tennis

A few sets of backhands and forehands in the cool fall weather, and you’ll feel your abs getting tighter after just a few sets. You’ll strengthen your obliques with every stroke.

23. Keep peanut butter on your diet

One serving of peanut butter has 2 g of fiber and 8 g of protein, on top of belly-busting MUFAs. Try this easy recipe to add a flat belly punch to dinner: Toss a half-cup of whole grain noodles with 3 ounces cooked shrimp, minced scallions, and 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper. Dress with a mixture of 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons warm water, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

Is Peanut Butter Good for You?

24. Punch your way to a flat stomach

Take your workout indoors with boxing. Aerobic kickboxing is more than just a great belly fat-burning, cardio workout. All those arm thrusts and high kicks firm abs, too.

25. Sculpt while you sit

While you’re driving, sitting, or just waiting at the doctor’s office, imagine there’s gum or wet paint on the back of your chair so you have to hold yourself up instead of leaning back. Keep shoulder blades down and back, abdominals lifted, and picture yourself knitting your rib cage together and in.

Get the Belly Fat Blasting Walking Workout

More from Prevention:

Is Your Kitchen Making You Sick?

Sculpt Sexy Arms for Summer

The Best Exercises for Your Butt

Beat Your Body’s Fat Traps with Yoga

How to Tighten Loose Skin After Weight Loss

If you’ve lost a lot of weight recently, or you’ve been following the tips you’ve read from the Get-Fit Guy, such as Which Workout Burns The Most Fat? or How to Tone and Lose Fat in One Body Part , then you may have noticed that you have a bit of loose skin hanging around. From extra skin under the arms to a hanging pouch around the stomach, loose skin can pose an embarrassing problem, especially if weight loss has been achieved rapidly.

Skin tightening is a hot topic. MIT reported that a new material was created to temporarily tighten skin, saying it could be used to “provide cosmetic improvement.”

In this article you’ll learn why skin gets lose, how to tighten loose skin after fat loss, and you’ll also find out which creams, medical procedures, nutrition tactics and exercises will successfully tighten loose skin. Here’s how to tighten skin after you’ve been losing weight:

Why Skin Gets Loose After Weight Loss

Since it has to stretch as we move, grow, and–as in the case of weight loss–shrink, skin is an incredibly elastic living organ. Yes, that’s right, skin is not just one big piece of rubber that covers the entire body, but is instead an organ, and just like all the other organs in your body, it is comprised of cells.

Different layers of your skin have different types of cells, and though the skin cells on the outer part of your skin (the epidermis) are constantly being lost and replaced with new cells, the skin cells under the epidermis are a bit more permanent. These layers of the skin, called the dermis and subdermis, are made up of elastic connective tissues, fibers, blood vessels and all sorts of components that can stretch or contract depending on how they’re treated.

What Happens to Your Skin When You Lose Weight?

When you lose weight, and especially when you lose weight very quickly, these elastic components of your skin not only lose the layers of fat that keep them stretched out over your body, but they also don’t have much time for their elasticity to adapt to your new shape.

In addition to weight loss, age, poor nutrition, dehydration, excessive sun exposure, and smoking can all affect the elasticity of the skin and give you that elephant-like appearance you probably don’t want.

As you lose fat and your loose skin begins to appear, the first rule is: don’t panic! Because it is a living organ, your skin will slowly return to a shape that fits your new body. But since that process can take up to two years, here are steps you can take to make your skin tighten more quickly:

  1. Lose weight at a healthy pace
  2. Stay hydrated
  3. Eat properly
  4. Take care of your skin

Tip #1: Lose Weight at a Healthy Pace

As mentioned, in addition to weight loss, age, poor nutrition, dehydration, excessive sun exposure, and smoking can all affect the elasticity of the skin.

Crash diets and excessive amounts of time spent exercising can rapidly shed both muscle and fat, resulting in a double-whammy on your skin–the supportive underlying muscular structure that holds skin against your body is lost, as is the fat that keeps the skin stretched out.

Quick and dirty tip for not losing weight too quickly: Aim for 1-2 pounds of fat loss per week, and make sure your weight loss program includes weight lifting so that you do not lose lean muscle. Check out more weight lifting and strength training tips here.

Tip #2: Stay Hydrated

Attend to your hydration needs. Water is a crucial component of maintaining skin elasticity. From both food and drink, you should be taking in at least two liters of water each day. A wonderful resource for learning more about proper hydration is this article from Nutrition Diva: How Much Water Should I Drink?

Tip #3: Eat Properly

Two necessary ingredients that keep skin plump and elastic are collagen and elastin. Protein-rich foods such as cottage cheese, milk, legumes, tofu, beans, seeds, nuts, and fish all contain collagen and elastin forming components, as well as oils to help maintain healthy skin.

Quick and dirty protein tip: For optimum absorption, squeeze 100-200 calories of these protein sources in immediately after your workout. For more on what to eat when working out, see my article on what to eat before and after exercising.

Tip #4: Take Care of Your Skin

Nourish and care for your skin. Daily exfoliation can help to remove dead skin cells and increase skin circulation. A hot bath with sea salts and minerals can improve skin tone. Skin tightening creams with herbal formulas and ingredients such as aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, yeast extract, soy protein, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A can help to hydrate and increase collagen and elastin formation in skin. For more information about skin care after weight loss, read the Nutrition Diva’s post on how vitamin E can help with stretch marks.

Stay away from harsh detergents, such a sulfates in soaps, shampoos and dishwashing liquids, limit your sun exposure and stay away from tanning booths, and limit your exposure to hot and chlorinated water—all of these things will decrease skin elasticity.

See also: How to Use Cold Weather to Lose Weight

Quick and dirty tip: If you swim for fitness, use soap and shampoos that are specially designed to remove chlorine.

When to Consider Surgery for Loose Skin

Skin can only be stretched so far before it loses some of its ability to snap back. If you’ve had a 9-month pregnancy, then you’ll be able to tighten your loose skin. But if you’ve carried a hundred or more extra pounds for many years, you may be a candidate for plastic surgery to tighten and lift loose skin. This fix should only be used in extreme cases, and I should warn you: my clients who have undergone this operation have actually gained more fat afterwards while they were rehabilitating from surgery!

Bottom Line

As mentioned earlier, elasticity of your skin will naturally decrease with age. Though you can address issues such as not losing weight too quickly, staying properly hydrated, eating the right foods, and caring for your skin, you simply have no control over your age! Quick and dirty tip: Rather than letting age stress you out, you should focus on the things over which you have control—like exercising and eating right—and you’ll find that you always look good.

Whether you have a kangaroo pouch, an orangutan chin, or elephant legs, you can use the tips in this article to tighten loose skin or prevent loose skin in the first place.

The 5-Step Solution to Loose Skin After Weight Loss

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You’ve done it.

You put in the hard work, stuck out the diet, and lost a bunch of weight.

But there’s a problem. A major problem.

Instead of the ripped new body you were dreaming of, you’ve got bumps and bulges of unsightly loose skin.

Unfortunately, you’ve swapped one headache for another–blubbery fat for saggy skin.

And if it has you down, I understand.

But the good news is you don’t necessarily need surgery to fix the problem–you really can tighten that skin and show off a toned, lean and healthy-looking body.

And in this article, I’m going to share with you several strategies for improving the look and health of your skin and how to go from “loose to lean.”

Would you rather listen to this article? Click the play button below!

Want to listen to more stuff like this? Check out my podcast!

Is It Loose Skin or Fat?

This is the first question we need to answer.

Is what you’re worrying about actually loose skin or simply excess fat that’s hanging on for dear life?

You see, we all have “stubborn” deposits of fat that take longer to shrink than others. In men, you’ll find this fat mainly in the stomach region and in women, it’s usually the hips, thighs, and butt.

Unfortunately, you can’t achieve “targeted fat loss” in specific areas of your body with special diets or exercises and there’s no magic pill or powder for those last pockets of fat.

There are physiological reasons for this, but we don’t need to dive into the technicalities here.

Read: Why Belly Fat Is So Stubborn (and How to Lose It)

We just need to determine if you’re dealing with a legit case of excess skin or if you’re being mislead by soft and jiggly body fat instead.

And the easiest way to do this is to simply pinch the part of your body that’s the source of your woes.

If you can grab more than a few millimeters of skin then there’s more fat to lose.

That doesn’t mean you don’t have excess skin, too, but until you burn away the majority of the fat it’s covering, the skin on top is not going to tighten–it will continue its sad, droopy existence.

Remember that skin is shaped by what’s underneath, and once you’ve lost those last stubborn pounds, it can and will (to some degree) tighten.

Don’t Get Loose Skin Surgery Until You’ve Done This…

If you’re considering surgery for your loose skin, don’t go under the knife just yet.

If you lose enough fat and build enough muscle (which we’ll talk more about soon), chances are you’ll finally be happy with what you see in the mirror.

You see, many people don’t realize how lean they have to get to see where they really stand in terms of loose skin.

Here’s what it boils down to:

Men shouldn’t consider the surgical route until they hit 10% body fat. And for women it’s 20%.

Read: How to Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage Easily & Accurately

The reason for this is once you get that lean, you’ll have lost most of your stubborn torso fat and thus will be able to see if you have a genuine loose skin problem.

Again, what many people think is loose skin is just fat and it can be hard to differentiate until you get lean.

The Truth About “Weight Loss” and Loose Skin

Weight loss is overrated.

Starve yourself and do a bunch of cardio and you’ll lose weight.

Unfortunately, you won’t just lose fat. You’ll lose muscle too.

And that leads to the soft “skinny fat” look that may work with your clothes on, but not so much when you take them off.

If you want to look lean and athletic instead, you need to go beyond “weight loss” and start thinking about “body composition.”

That is, if you want a muscular, lean, and athletic physique, you don’t want to just “lose weight” at any cost–you want to lose fat and preserve (or even gain) muscle.

Read: The Secret to Body Recomposition: Lose Fat & Gain Muscle

This goes beyond the skinny fat dilemma, too–it relates directly to loose skin.

You see, fat and muscle are what press up against your skin and keep it from hanging loosely. If you lose a significant amount of both fat and muscle, as so many crash dieters do, your skin loses its underlying support and can’t do anything but go limp.

That’s why gaining muscle is an extremely effective strategy for combating loose skin.

You need something to fill the void that is contributing to the loose skin problem, and muscle is the ideal candidate. (It can help eliminate cellulite too!)

This advice applies to both people that have already lost a lot of weight and those that are just beginning.

  • If you’ve already lost weight and are now stuck with loose skin, you should start resistance training to build muscle.
  • If you’re just starting your journey, make sure you include resistance training in your weight loss regimen.

4 Easy Ways to Improve Skin Elasticity

Your skin can shrink and expand and shrink again.

It’s quite amazing, actually, and something that we take for granted until it finally lets us down and stops bouncing back.

This happens naturally as we get older, but it can happen when we’re young too.

As you now know, rapid weight loss is a common culprit, but there are other lifestyle choices that reduce skin elasticity and increase the risk and severity of loose skin.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. There are several simple strategies you can use to help keep your skin stretchy and healthy.

1. Stop Smoking

There are so many reasons to not smoke. And here’s a big one: it ruins your skin.

The bottom line is if you want to keep your skin glowing and healthy, you have to say no to cigarettes.

This is well-established scientific fact.

For example, one study conducted by researchers at the International Association of Ecologic Dermatology involved the analysis of the skin of 64 female Italian smokers.

They looks at the presence of lines, vascular and pigmentation, elasticity, brightness, and texture and found that the average biological age of the subjects was 9 years older than their chronological age.

That is, their skin looked 9 years older than it actually was.

There’s a silver lining here, though:

After 9 months of not smoking the average reduction in the biological age of the skin was 13 years.

2. Eat Enough Protein

Protein helps keep your skin moist, wrinkle-free and elastic.

This is why studies show that a high-protein diet is associated with skin health and youthful appearance, and why low protein intake affects your skin, making dryness, wrinkles, and poor elasticity more likely.

There are many other benefits to a high protein diet as well.

  • You build more muscle and get stronger.
  • You lose more fat and less muscle.
  • You feel fuller.
  • You preserve more muscle as you age.

The science of eating is complex and evolving, but this much is now clear: a high-protein diet is the way to go.

Read: The Top 4 Scientifically Proven Benefits of a High-Protein Diet

3. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

It’s a well-known fact that eating fruits and vegetables improves health.

Research clearly shows that people who eat higher amounts of these foods are more likely to live longer, disease-free lives than those who don’t eat enough.

It’s also a well-known fact that few people eat enough or even know how much they’re supposed to eat and why.

(The government recommends that adults eat about 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit per day, and the more kinds and colors you eat, the better.)

Unfortunately, this dietary negligence increases the risk of chronic disease and dysfunction, and as your skin is a reflection of your inner health, we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that research shows that a high daily intake of fruit and veggies helps you have beautiful, elastic skin.

4. Take the Right Supplements

There are many supplements that purport to help with loose skin, but most have little scientific evidence to support such claims.

There are two supplements that are worth considering, though:

  1. Gelatin
  2. Fish oil

They’re not a substitute for the diet and exercise strategies we’ve discussed, of course, but they can, well, supplement your efforts to improve the look and quality of your skin.

Gelatin

Gelatin is a type of protein that comes from collagen, a protein itself that’s crucial for healthy skin.

Research shows that, when eaten, gelatin can stimulate the production of collagen and thereby improve skin elasticity (the dosage was 250 mg per day, in case you’re wondering).

Gelatin isn’t the easiest thing to fit into your diet plan, though, because it’s most easily found in sweets and desserts.

That’s why it’s simpler to take it as a supplement.

Here’s the product I would personally use (NOW Foods is a trustworthy company):

Fish Oil

A high-quality fish-oil is one of the best all-round supplements you can take.

It has a whole host of health benefits, including improving skin elasticity (and results can be seen in as little as three months).

Check out this article to learn more about choosing a fish oil supplement.

A Word About Weight Loss Pills

While supplements can help you get more out of your diet and training, no pill or powder can directly burn fat off your body.

That’s probably not what you want to hear, but it’s the truth.

That said, when you know what you’re doing with your diet and exercise, certain “weight loss pills” can speed up the process of fat loss.

Read: The Insider’s Guide to Fat Burning Pills: An Evidence-Based Review

The Bottom Line on Loose Skin After Weight Loss

If you’ve lost weight and now have a loose skin problem, the game plan is simple:

  1. Get really lean (~10% body fat for men and ~20% for women)
  2. Build muscle
  3. Eat a high-protein diet
  4. Eat plenty of fruits and veggies
  5. Supplement if your budget can support it

If you stick with that plan and be patient and consistent, then there’s a good chance you can get a body you can be proud of without having to turn to surgery (which should be avoided at all costs, in my opinion).

Good luck!

Ditch The Pooch! 15 Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat & Tighten Your Tummy

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Ditch the pooch! Tone your middle using the best exercises to lose belly fat.

Ab exercises go beyond the basic crunch. Yes, that one you had to do during middle school PE. In fact, if you want to strengthen your core and define your muscles, you should vary the exercises you do.

The abdominal region isn’t just one big muscle. The rectus abdominis is what causes that famous “six pack” shape. To each side of these, you have internal and external obliques, as well as the transverses abdominis, which are often referred to as the body’s natural corset. If you want strong, tight abs, you need to target all of these muscles, which mean you need more than just crunches.

Varying your ab exercises helps you target all the important muscles. Make sure to devote time to your lower abs, upper abs, as well as your sides.

Additionally, because so many of us store fat in our belly region, moves that incorporate cardio helps our abs appear more defined. As you lower your body fat percentage, your muscles are better able to show through.

15 Best Exercises to Lose Belly Fat and Tone Abs

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Russian Twist
  • Leg Lifts
  • Reverse Crunch
  • Plank Hip Twist
  • Plank with Knee to Elbow
  • Wood Chopper
  • Seated Leg Circles
  • Strengthen Core Muscles
  • Bicycle Crunch
  • Knee Drop
  • Cork Screw
  • Side Bend
  • Plank
  • Side Plank

What to Do: Choose 4-6 exercises and complete the recommended number of sets. Take 30- to 60-second breaks in between sets.

1. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are one of those ab moves that double as cardio. The faster you go, the harder your heart will have to work.

They work your abs by forcing you to engage your core in the plank position. You’ll see that you need to tighten your middle to perform this move correctly. Mountain climbers work your lower abs, as well as your shoulders and quadriceps.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 40 reps (20 each side).

2. Russian Twist

Russian twist is one of the best ab exercises to work your obliques (the muscles on the side of your torso). If you keep your legs off the ground, you’ll also work your lower abs. Beginners can perform this exercise without weights, and add dumbbells once they grow stronger.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 40 reps (20 each side).

3. Leg Lifts

The thing with leg lifts is that they’re deceptively simple. The first few reps won’t feel like much, but your abs will start to burn by the end of your set. Burn, baby, burn!

Leg lifts target your lower abs. You might also feel your thighs working to keep your legs straightened out together.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 20 reps.

4. Reverse Crunch

The reverse crunch is a harder version of leg lifts. You add an extra degree of difficulty when you lift your hips off the ground. This extra lift shifts the focus on the upper abs, making reverse crunches a more rounded exercise. They target the rectus abdominis and are a great exercise if you want a defined six pack.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 12 reps.

5. Plank Hip Twist

Plank hip twists target the obliques and the transverse abdominal. You’ll also get a little bit of upper body action because your shoulders and arms have to work to keep you steady.

To get the most out of this exercise, focus on keeping the proper plank position. Raising your hips too far up into the air, or letting them sag too much, takes the focus away from the abs. Additionally, if you’re swaying too much from side to side, chances are your abs aren’t properly engaged.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 40 reps (20 each side).

6. Plank with Knee to Elbow

These challenging planks work your core, stomach, and back. In order to maintain proper form, you’ll have to engage all the muscles in your core. Be sure to follow the video and use correct form.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 24 reps (12 each side).

7. Wood Chopper

The wood chopper is one of the most effective exercises for tightening the core. Any exercise that requires turning or twisting your torso from side to side works the obliques. They’re great for tightening your sides, toning abs, and improving your core’s stability.

What to Do: Perform 3 sets of 40 reps (20 each side).

Exercise to tighten stomach

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