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How Do I Tone the Midriff?

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  • Written By: David Bishop
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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The term "midriff" refers to the anatomical region beneath the rib cage and above the hips, more commonly referred to as the belly. Toning this area of the body involves following a proper diet to reduce abdominal fat, along with an exercise regime designed to strengthen and define the muscle groups in this area. Yoga, Pilates and other general exercise disciplines can help with toning, as can specific routines aimed at working the abdominal muscle groups. Crunches, sit-ups and leg raises are some of the exercises that can contribute to shaping the midriff area. Toning the midriff has several health benefits, including improved posture and reduced back pain in some people.

The first step to any exercise program is adopting a healthy diet that allows a person to achieve his or her target weight while still getting enough protein and calories to maintain high energy and develop muscle mass. Some weight loss experts have designed special diets said to help a person lose belly fat, but there is no hard scientific evidence that these are more effective than any other diet. Generally, a person hoping to tone the midriff should eat foods high in protein and low in saturated fat. Overweight people also may need to restrict their caloric intake to reduce belly fat.

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Some people seeking to tone their midriff may choose to take yoga or Pilates classes, while others may begin aerobic routines such as running, swimming or cycling. Aerobic exercise will help a person use calories and remove fat in the abdominal area. Belly dancing classes are another popular method of exercise that can dramatically strengthen and tone a person’s midriff. A person should always consult with a physician before beginning a new exercise regime.

Once a person has established a routine of healthy diet and aerobic exercise, he or she should incorporate workout routines specifically aimed at strengthening the abdominal area. Doing sit-ups, crunches and leg raises that use the muscles in and around the belly should produce a more toned midriff after a few weeks of work. Some people may wish to consult with a physical therapist or personal trainer to find the best exercise routines and to make sure they are using the correct forms. Many people beginning a regime benefit from finding a workout partner who can offer moral support and encouragement. Some people may find it difficult to get “six-pack abs” because of age or body shape, but most people will still benefit from a healthy diet and abdominal exercise.

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