First of all, let’s get one thing clear: there is no way to target specific areas of fat on your body. No matter how enthusiastically the man on the infomercial promises his products will be able to “melt those love handles” or “firm up that butt”, he’s lying. Or at least, bending the truth.
The trick is to work out and improve your diet. The lifestyle changes on the next page will help you with the latter, and this three-minute six-pack workout will help with the former.
Even if you came to this story just to trim down your belly, you might be surprised to know that you already own a perfect six-pack – it’s what helps you twist, stabilise, breathe, absorb impact and even grate cheese. But for you (and your admirers) to see it, you need to ditch the belly fat that’s obscuring it. The golden ticket is reaching 10% body fat. Hit that number and those rectus abdominus and external obliques you’ve been patiently nurturing will take centre stage.
Here’s the fat-burning finisher that fitness model and online PT Alex Crockford uses to get in cover star shape. The moves work your entire body, drawing on strength, power and conditioning moves that’ll make every muscle fibre twitch and keep your heart rate high enough to keep burning calories for 24 hours after you’re done.
How it works
The circuit includes pull-ups, which are one of the most effective abs-activating full-body moves around, according to research by strength guru Bret Contreras. The overhead press action of the thruster works the oblique muscles that ripple down the sides of your core, and the burpee includes functional crunching and flexing movements that trump any sit-up you’ve ever been mis-sold.
Set a timer for three minutes. Do all the reps of exercises 1-4, and then as many reps as possible of good-form burpees until the time is up. Rest for 60 seconds, then repeat the whole process for between two and four sets. Keep a tally of the total number of burpees you do. Next time around, beat it.
Hold the bar with an overhand grip. Retract your shoulder blades to engage the muscles in your upper back. Brace your core and pull up until your chin is over the bar. Lower under control. Struggling? Jump to the top position, then lower slowly.
2. Box jump
Lower into a quarter squat, then explode up to jump and land on the box. Bend your legs to cushion your landing. Stand up, then step back down.
3. Barbell thruster
Squat down, keeping your chest up, back straight and the weight on your heels. Drive up powerfully and press the weight overhead.
4. Kettlebell swing
Drive your hips forward to start the swing. As you lower, hinge at the hips by pushing your glutes back. When you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, drive your hips forward powerfully.
Reps AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
Drop to a crouch. Jump your feet back into a press-up position. Jump your feet forwards again, drive up and jump. Breathe in on the way down and out as you jump back up.
Find out more about personal trainer Alex Crockford at alexcrockford.com