Will Cycling Tone My Stomach?
Everyone wants to know how to get rid of that excess belly fat that seems to come out of nowhere. Exercise and proper diet are sure to help with reducing unwanted body mass, but exercise is not always motivating and dieting can certainly be a challenge. In order to diet successfully, it is always a good idea to record your food intake with a food journal.
What did you eat? How much/how many servings? It’s simple and holds you accountable for the quality of food you put into your system. It’s a good idea to take into consideration that the type of foods you consume is essentially your “fuel” for when you exercise. In order to eat successfully, according to healthambition.com, you need to increase your intake of fiber and protein.
The site’s article also suggests to work on reducing sugar intake, the number of carbs in your meals, and to change the oils you use. Coconut oil is a great supplement to your cooking as it has been shown to reduce belly fat when used in certain quantities (30 ml according to healthambition.com).
One of the best ways to lose belly fat is to participate in fun aerobic activities that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Examples of aerobic activities can include brisk walking, running, jumping rope, or cycling. In this article, we will specifically discuss the potential benefits of cycling on the reduction of abdominal fat.
Will cycling tone my stomach?
The short answer is yes. When you work for large muscle groups, your metabolism is increased, as it requires a lot of energy to keep those muscles working. The body first metabolizes carbohydrates as its main energy source before fat stores are used. With repetitive aerobic exercise, those fat stores will decrease as demand for energy becomes greater.
Large muscle groups include the quadriceps muscles in the thighs, the hamstrings on the back of the legs, the abdominal muscles of the stomach, the gastrocnemius and soleus of the calves, and the glute muscles in your posterior. All of these muscles get a lot of work while cycling, increasing energy output and using calories. In addition, aerobic exercise has been proven to be effective against fat making a comeback, one of the biggest problems avid dieters face when they come off their diets and don’t exercise with regularity.
Cycling doesn’t specifically focus on my abdomen. Cycling is more legwork than ab work, so how exactly will cycling tone my stomach? Does focusing on a target area work better than cardio (sit-ups versus cycling)?
According to recent research, targeting a specific problem area isn’t effective in reducing area fat. A study by the Department of Kinesiology at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville found that participants in a control group compared to a group performing two sets of ten repetitions with seven different abdominal-specific exercises had no significant impact on body weight and body fat percentages. Cardio, by comparison, is much more helpful in utilizing those fat stores efficiently, since a full body workout incorporates the large muscle groups and burns more energy. You can find the study – here.
What is the best way to cycle to lose abdominal fat?
You don’t have to train to become the next Olympic road cyclist. Bikeradar.com suggests that you cycle at a steady pace since lengthy rides at a low intensity can effectively burn fat compared to high-intensity cycling. If calorie-burning is more your goal, consider interval training. Six sets of hard pedaling for a duration of two minutes will get that heart rate up and 30 seconds for recovery between sets keeps the body in burn mode.
You don’t have to be on an actual bike to enjoy the benefits of fat-burning cycling. A floor exercise you can do right in your living room called the “lying bicycle” allows you to mimic being on the bike. This can be done by touching your right elbow to your left knee and left elbow to your right knee without your shoulder and legs touching the floor; you are essentially suspended on the ground, using a lot of core strength. The plank is also a fantastic core strengthener and will help you replace that bubble gut with lean muscle.
Why is cycling the best way to lose fat?
Check out the Youtube video! This guy talks about five reasons he thinks cycling is the best way to burn fat. He also supports vegan nutrition, but his reasons for supporting cycling as an activity are very enticing.
In short, cycling is a fun, independent way of getting out of the house while depleting your body of those stubborn fat stores. Your waistline will shrink and your health and quality of life will improve! I do always recommend cycling to work or to college each day which will definitely help you tone your stomach.
About the Author
I'm a passionate cyclist and an adventurer. Writer and editor of Yes Cycling.