Everyone knows the children's song about the leg bone being connected to the hip bone, but how many people really take it to heart? Obviously, everyone knows that the leg bone does in fact attach to the hip bone; that's not the point. Probably not many people really stop to think about how related and interconnected the parts of the human body really are. In an illustration of this point, the back and stomach muscles are all affected by one another as they form a girdle around the lower torso. It stands to reason, then, that your posture affects how your tummy looks, and the strength of your stomach muscles affects your posture.
Stand Up Straight
This first step to losing a belly is to stand and sit up straight. This actually has a few different effects. First of all, slouching accentuates belly fat, so simply sitting up will make you appear slimmer. Second, proper posture help improves the strength of your back, which of course makes it easier to maintain proper posture longer. Third, poor posture leads to back pain, which makes stomach exercises difficult. Having good posture will make it easier for you to work out your stomach muscles and whittle down that belly. Lastly, a nice straight posture enhances blood flow throughout the body, particularly to the legs and lower back, both of which are involved in many stomach exercises. So, if you are trying to lose a belly, the first step is to simply sit and stand up as straight as possible as often as possible. Do that, and you are already on your way!
For the reader familiar with the crunchless crunch, this move will seem similar but backwards. For this exercise, you will need to start by lying on your stomach with your forehead on the floor. You may use a mat or towel to cushion your pelvis and head. Position your arms by your sides, palms up. Contract your back muscles to lift your torso off the floor. Hold the contraction briefly, then release and slowly lower your torso back down to the floor. Repeat for an entire set.
The next part of this exercise begins by extended your arms out above your head (picture a superhero flying through the air). Now lift your legs off the floor simultaneously while keeping your head and arms held in place. Try to imagine your legs growing longer as you are lifting them up. Hold your legs up briefly, then slowly lower them back to the floor.
Doing these two things will help you strengthen your back and correct your posture, which are great first steps to losing an unwanted belly. You will also want to continue working on your back muscles and other core muscles, such as the transverse and rectus abdominus. Stomach exercises that work the core will help you straighten up your posture, lose belly fat, and gain muscle tone in both your back and tummy. As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.