Exercise! - is swimming the best cardio exercise for belly fat?




graw
09-05-2011, 06:21 PM
please help.

i want to make this belly budge!

all suggestions/tips/opinions welcome!

:?:


JessLess
09-05-2011, 06:44 PM
You can't spot reduce fat, so you want to burn fat overall. Building muscle helps because you burn more fat. Cardio helps because you will burn more calories leaving less to turn in to fat. In my opinion, the best exercise combines both burning calories (cardio) and building muscle. But the best exercise is the one you will do.

graw
09-06-2011, 10:38 AM
You can't spot reduce fat, so you want to burn fat overall.

Point taken, it's just that I find with the treadmill, my legs tone up really well but the belly is the same. I did treadmill a few times a week for 3 months last summer, and honestly, I just hate the treadmill now.

I'm taking swimming lessons next week and I'm hoping I learn quick because I've heard swimming works all the body rather than just the legs, as with the treadmill.


Bellamack
09-06-2011, 11:03 AM
I was a competitive swimmer in HS & College and it is fabulous for the entire body. With that said, you still need some weight baring exercise to keep your bones strong, along with weight training to keep your muscle strength and great for metabolism. Swimmers & Dancers have beautiful bodies, I think. JMO :)

tdiprincess
09-07-2011, 12:08 AM
I'm with Bellamack, swimming is great exercise, but you also should try to incorporate some weights or strength training in as well. If you do a search on youtube you'll find a plethora of ab videos, which will help a bit with your stomach. I find pilates does wonders as well.
In the end though, each body is different and looses weight in different areas first and then last. For me, my legs are the last spot to lose fat. This stinks because my upper body will slim quickly and I'll be wearing a size small shirt and then still 8-10pants. It stinks for buying suits because either the skirt needs to be taken out or the jacket needs to be taken in LOL..

Any good cardio workout though is going to help you trim fat over time on your whole body.

Miaka
09-07-2011, 10:46 PM
Swimming is a great cadio exercise without stressing your joints, however remember to watch your food intake as I always am extra hungry after a swim.

pixiegotfat
09-07-2011, 10:56 PM
pilates is great for the core. i googled lower abdominal workout the other day and LiveStrong.com had 5 suggestions. did all of them and my abs are still sore. good sore.
swimming is great at blasting calories while you are doing it but when the body cools down outside of the pool the big burn slows down considerably. some weight resistance training like circut training gives you a longer calorie burn post-work out.

mkroyer
09-08-2011, 12:37 PM
umm.. the best exercise to reduce belly fat is eating in a caloric deficit... abs are made in the kitchen. If you work your abs (like ANY MUSCLE) they will get larger, and stronger..... but yoou WONT see it unlesas you reduce your body fat (which is 100% diet)

oh, and just an aside, swimmers actually tend to, on average, have higher body fat percentages thean say, runners, or weightlifters, or gymnasts......fat makes ya float!

fitmom
09-08-2011, 02:25 PM
I was always 'skinny fat' but my belly particularly after two kids left a lot to be desired, lol. I started running a few months ago and the belly fat just melted off me. I'm not kidding. My tummy's never looked this flat or firm. Anyway, I'd love to swim but with two kids, they'd never leave me alone in the pool. You can't 'spot reduce' but you need to do an exercise that uses the whole body like swimming, walking, cycling or running to burn body fat. And eating cleanly too. The diet is like 80% of the equation. Good luck. It can be done...I'm living proof. :)

runningfromfat
09-08-2011, 08:23 PM
The best exercise is the one you'll stick to. If you don't like running on the treadmill then don't do it! ;) If swimming is your thing, go for it!

Now, if you're talking about fine tuning. Adding in some weights is really going to help you lose inches, tone up and you'll look smaller even at heavier weights. But just doing swimming in and of itself is a GREAT start. Right now work on picking something that you will enjoy and can do consistently. Later work on the fine details.

About your stomach, though. You can never spot reduce. Pilates etc will tone up the muscle underneath the fat but in order to reduce fat you have to create a calorie deficit. It looks like you're pretty close to your goal so it doesn't mean that you necessarily have to lose a lot of weight but if you were to strength train you could work on decreasing your overall body fat, which would in turn decrease your belly fat. Unfortunately, it might just be that your belly fat is the last to go (totally normally, unfortunately :( ) and that's why you experienced having a belly while running before.

graw
09-09-2011, 08:10 AM
The best exercise is the one you'll stick to. If you don't like running on the treadmill then don't do it! ;) If swimming is your thing, go for it!

Now, if you're talking about fine tuning. Adding in some weights is really going to help you lose inches, tone up and you'll look smaller even at heavier weights. But just doing swimming in and of itself is a GREAT start. Right now work on picking something that you will enjoy and can do consistently. Later work on the fine details.

About your stomach, though. You can never spot reduce. Pilates etc will tone up the muscle underneath the fat but in order to reduce fat you have to create a calorie deficit. It looks like you're pretty close to your goal so it doesn't mean that you necessarily have to lose a lot of weight but if you were to strength train you could work on decreasing your overall body fat, which would in turn decrease your belly fat. Unfortunately, it might just be that your belly fat is the last to go (totally normally, unfortunately :( ) and that's why you experienced having a belly while running before.

Thank you for encouraging words :)

What do you mean by "strength train"?
And what kind of weights should I use? I'm eager to lose around my waistline. I find myself to be a bit shapeless.

I'm not very familiar with gym equipment, but I'll have free use, at any time, of the gym and swimming pool near where I'm gonna live for university. It's free for all students!

So I shall have no excuse for not going :D

Thank you for your feedback - I'm excited about learning how to swim now!

runningfromfat
09-09-2011, 09:08 AM
I think one of the best ways to start for a beginner is grab the book New Rules of Lifting for Women. It really gives a great overview and will even give you a workout routine for 6 months. :carrot:

The best strength exercises works the most muscles at once. In the NROLFW he gives an example of doing a dumbell row (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/schultz63.htm) vs. a tricep kickback (http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Triceps/DBKickback.html). When you do a dumbell row you're working the whole lat, the upper back, and the trap muscles with a tricep kickback you're just working your tricep. So with a row you're working more muscles=more calories burned and you're saving time in your working. Since you can't spot reduce the best workouts include the most muscles at once (unless your injured).

Another thing to keep in mind is that you want to lift heavy because that's how you build muscles. A big part of the calories burned with strength training is that your muscles take time to repair themselves for awhile afterwards (that's why it's not recommended to lift with the same muscle groups two days in a row). During that time your muscles might appear big (so don't freak out if your arms look huge the next day!), all it is, is water retention and it will go away.

If you want to swim and lift weights on the same day you can maxamize the number of calories you burn by lifting first and then going for a swim afterwards. If that doesn't work with your schedule don't stress out abut it and do what works for you. ;)

Here's a nice blog post about a lady who stayed the same weight (140lbs) but lost body fat through strength training, the difference is remarkable! http://everydaypaleo.com/2011/06/22/attention-scale-addicts-part-2/