A smart exerciser knows that simple core exercises like crunches will strengthen their muscles but won't affect the fat above it. Burning calories with exercises such as running, swimming and cycling will melt off the fat, but they won't target the abs as crunches do. To burn fat and exercise your core, do plyometrics and full-body core exercises. Plyometrics burn 150 calories in only 10 minutes for 135 lb. person, according to LiftingRevolution.com. Try a plyometric exercise such as medicine ball sit-ups and throws to train the abs. Full-body exercises are effective fat-burners as well because they use all the muscles of your body, according to Adam Campbell, author of "Women's Health Big Book of Exercises." Stability ball pikes are a full-body exercise that works your abs.
Medicine Ball Sit-ups and Throws
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Hold a medicine ball in both hands at chest height. One hand should be on each side of the ball with your elbows out at 45-degree angles toward the floor. Use a 3 or 5 lb. medicine ball until you perfect your exercise form, and keep the weight low even as you progress in your ability to do this exercise, as plyometrics require speed and weights that are heavy will slow you down.
Roll back to the floor one vertebrae at a time at a moderate speed. Sit up all the way, still holding the medicine ball. Throw the ball against a wall about 10 feet from you so you catch it on the rebound. A better option is to have a friend catch the ball and throw it back to you.
Lean back as the ball is coming toward you, and catch it as it is over your head. Continue all the way back to the floor, holding the ball at chest height. Sit up and throw the ball again.
Start with three sets of eight repetitions to work your abs.
Stability Ball Pikes
Roll face-down onto a stability ball and walk your hands forward until the ball is under your ankles and your hands are directly under your shoulders. Flatten your back so you look like a bench. Keep your neck straight and in line with your spine.
Lift your hips and roll the ball forward. Keep your legs, arms and spine straight. Raise your hips until you have made a triangle with your body. The top of your head should point downward.
Roll the ball backwards to your starting position with your body parallel to the floor. Do 10 reps and then work up to doing this exercise for a full-minute straight. Increase your time per your ability.
Items you will need
- ✓ Stability ball
- ✓ Medicine ball
- Plyometrics often are thought of as jumping exercises, but they really are about explosive power--fast movements combining speed and strength with little to no rest in between contractions. Jumping jacks, mountain climbers and jumping rope are fat-burning plyometric exercises you can try in between medicine ball sit-ups and throws for a longer plyometric workout.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.