The gym is a place to work out and socialize, and it also offers numerous exercise machines for you to choose from. Many people find the machines intimidating and confusing. It is sometimes hard to tell which machines are most appropriate for certain problem areas. Excess belly fat is a common complaint and can also be harmful to your health. Fortunately, several machines at the gym can help you reduce your belly fat.
Cardio machines at the gym provide one of the most effective ways to burn belly fat. Cardio sessions will burn calories, which will lead to an overall decreased body fat, especially if you work at a challenging intensity. Choose machines that not only work your cardiovascular system but that also work your belly, such as treadmills, elliptical machines and rowing machines. Although you're not directly working your belly with these machines, the muscles of your abdomen are constantly engaged to provide your torso with stability and balance. Take advantage of the cardio machines at least 30 minutes a day, three to five days a week.
Ab Crunch Machine
The most widely known machine at the gym to get rid of belly fat is the ab crunch machine. This machine provides constant resistance while you work your belly in a "crunch" fashion. The ab machine allows you to adjust the intensity to your level. Sit at the machine, grasp the handles and position your feet under the roller pad. Contract your abs and roll your spine forward to bring your chest toward your knees. Return to the starting position slowly, controlling the movement by contracting your abdominal muscles.
Torso Twist Machine
Unlike the other belly machines found at the gym, the torso twist machine primarily targets your external and internal obliques. Your obliques make up your waistline and act as a girdle to hold the contents of your abdomen in place. Adjust the seat to the appropriate height, and then sit or kneel on it. Grasp the handles, contract your belly and slowly twist your hips to the right. Return to the starting position, resisting the weight of the machine as you move. Next, twist your hips to the left. Continue to alternate sides until you have completed the desired number of repetitions.
The high-pulley machine works similarly to the ab crunch machine, but is more appropriate for individuals who are too small or too large to fit comfortably into the crunch machine. This machine primarily works your rectus abdominis and external oblique muscles. Kneel in front of the machine, holding the handle behind your neck with an overhand grip. Contract your belly and curl your torso toward the floor. Carefully return to the starting position.
Incline benches are a popular piece of gym equipment and are most commonly used to strengthen abdominal muscles and burn belly fat. The bench can be adjusted to different levels of incline, depending on your fitness level -- the greater the incline, the more difficult the exercise. Sit on a bench with your feet positioned under the roller pads and your hands behind your head. Slowly lower your head and torso toward the bench. Contract your abdominal muscles and sit up to return to the starting position. Hold a weight or medicine ball in front of your chest to make this exercise more difficult.
- "ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer", Second Edition; Nicki Anderson, et al.; 2007
- "Strength Training Anatomy, Second Edition"; Frederic Delavier; 2006
- ShapeFit: Abs Exercises - Abdominal Crunch Machine For Six Pack Abs
- Fitlink: Torso Twist - Machine
- Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.