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How to Firm Up a Flabby, Hanging Stomach

author image Patti Richards
Patti Richards has been a writer since 1990. She writes children’s books and articles on parenting, women's health and education. Her credits include San Diego Family Magazine, Metro Parent Magazine, Boys' Quest Magazine and many others. Richards has a Bachelor of Science in English/secondary education from Welch College.
How to Firm Up a Flabby, Hanging Stomach
A woman and her daughter are exercising together. Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

A flabby, hanging stomach can be a sign of an unhealthy lifestyle. Childbirth, extreme weight loss and weight that fluctuates frequently can also result in a hanging stomach. Making changes to your exercise routine, diet and lifestyle can add up to inches lost and a firmer abdomen. Making healthy food choices as well as strengthening your core work together to create a leaner profile.

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Lose Your Pouch

After extreme weight loss or childbirth, the skin around the tummy area stretches out. This can result in something that looks a great deal like an empty pouch. But stretched skin does not necessarily mean you have extra weight to lose. Toning the muscles around the abdomen can help stretched-out skin bounce back. The Fit Day exercise website recommends doing legs-up straight arm crunches and air bicycling. Do legs up arm crunches by lying flat on your back and lifting your legs to a 90-degree angle. Raise your arms and pull them up toward the ceiling while lifting your shoulders and upper back off the floor. Begin with three sets of eight reps. Do air bicycles from the same floor position, only this time bend your knees and lock your fingers behind your neck, touching your right elbow to your left knee. Alternate elbows and knees for a total of three sets of eight reps.

Perfect Poses Reduce Paunch

Along with abdominal exercises, certain types of yoga poses and stretches can step up your belly-reduction workout routine. The Dr. Oz Show website suggests planks and cat poses for an intense tummy workout. For the plank pose, start on your elbows and knees and place your feet out behind you in a plank position so your body is parallel to the floor. Hold this position for as long as you can and try to increase the amount of time each time you do this exercise. Begin the cat pose by getting on your hands and knees. Arch your back like a cat and inhale deeply, pulling the stomach muscles back toward the spine. Inhale for four seconds and exhale for four seconds with this pose.

Burn Belly Burn

One of the most important places to look when it comes to reducing belly fat is your refrigerator. Knowing which foods pack on belly weight and which foods help burn belly budge is important. The Dr. Oz Show suggests eating more monounsaturated fats like the kinds found in nuts, olive oil and seeds to burn belly fat, and eliminating the fats found in hydrogenated oils, enriched flours and trans fats. Trans fats like the ones found in margarine, packaged cookies, crackers and pasta increase midsection weight gain and can actually bring fat to the belly from other parts of the body.

Fat-Busting Cardio

Getting a good cardio workout through walking, jogging, bicycling or elliptical machines helps the body burn more calories. And burning more calories is one of the best ways to fight a belly bulge. Fitness industry pioneer Denise Austin for the Newsmax Health website recommends taking a walk or doing other cardiovascular exercises at least 30 minutes each day to increase belly-fat loss and improve overall health and well-being.

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