There are several different methods of stomach toning. In all of these methods, the goal is to firm and strengthen the muscles in the stomach area, improving fitness and appearance. Many people use exercises that target the area specifically, such as crunches, while others prefer more general aerobic workouts or whole body exercises that work the stomach area along with the rest of the body.
Crunches are a common method of stomach toning. They are believed to be an effective technique to strengthen and tone the stomach muscles and to burn fat around the mid-section. Crunches are similar to sit ups, but require the upper part of the back to be lifted instead of the entire back.
Crunches can be achieved by lying flat on the back, bending the knees, placing the hands behind the head and while contracting the stomach muscles, and lifting the upper part of the back. The person should exhale when lifting and inhale when returning to original position. This should be repeated several times.
When considering the different methods of stomach toning, aerobic exercise is thought to be one of the best methods. This type of exercise consists of working the large muscles for a period of time while sustaining 60 to 80 percent of the maximum heart rate. Exercises such as walking, swimming, jogging, cross-country skiing, and aerobic classes include aerobic exercise. This method not only burns fat from the stomach, but from the entire body.
Stomach toning can also include performing exercises that involve working the whole body, the joints, and the larger muscles combined with crunches. With this method, crunches are important, but only as a small part of the workout. When the larger muscles are worked, hormones are released in the body that can help burn fat and build muscle. The heart rate and metabolic rate, the speed at which the body uses energy, are also increased. When these rates are increased, calories are burned more effectively.
Although there are many different methods of stomach toning, changing the diet is one of the most important things to do in order for these methods to be effective. If the person exercising does not eat right, he or she is unlikely to see big results. Getting the right amounts of protein, carbohydrates, and fats into the diet can help the body to remain healthy and sustain muscle mass.
Foods that are high in protein include meat, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, soy, nuts, and seeds. Carbohydrates can be found in foods such as cereal, grains, bread, rice, sugar, some fats, beans, and fruit. Nuts, butter, oil, and some meats are a few foods that contain fat. In addition to exercising and eating right, it is also important to cut back on calories in order to burn the fat around the mid-section.