Cardio can blast away fat on your upper abdomen.
Unfortunately, there isn't one particular exercise you can do to slim down the upper part of your rectus abdominis, also referred to as the upper abs. To reduce fat from any problem area of your body, you must lose total body fat. In addition to eating a healthy diet, doing the right exercises can help you achieve this. When your total body fat reduces, so will the fat that's covering your abdomen.
Burn Calories With Cardio Exercise
It's generally recommended to do at least 30 minutes of moderate cardio on most days of the week. This burns calories, makes you sweat and increases your heart rate, all while you're still able to talk. Cardio can include walking briskly, jogging, jumping rope, bicycling or climbing stairs. If you include high-intensity intervals in your cardio routine on one or two days, you can optimize your results. The American Council on Exercise states that interval training effectively reduces belly fat. Simply speed up to a vigorous intensity for one minute, and slow down for two minutes to recover. Alternate between intensities for about 15 minutes.
Maintain Muscle With Resistance Exercises
Doing one or two strength-training sessions per week can help reduce body fat including the fat on your upper abdomen. Resistance training stimulates muscle tissue, which is metabolically active. This means that it burns up many calories just to exist; you burn calories during and after your workout. The Centers for Disease Control recommends working your large muscle groups with enough weight so the last couple of repetitions are difficult to finish. Exercises can include bench presses, lunges, bent-over rows, squats, pushups and deadlifts.
Tone With Targeted Exercises
Many people resort to abdominal exercises in the hopes to reduce excess belly fat. These exercises don't reduce belly fat -- they just strengthen and tone the muscles under the fat. Also, according to Len Kravitz, Ph.D., an exercise scientist and author at the University of New Mexico, you can't train the upper abs independently from the lower abs. For instance, during crunches, both areas are engaged, but because you're using your torso as resistance, it emphasizes the upper area of the rectus abdominis. Some other exercises you can do include lying toe touches, V-ups, planks, and hanging knee raises.
For Your Consideration
It takes a deficit of 500 calories each day to lose one pound per week. Changing your diet can make it easier to achieve this deficit. Helpguide.org recommends reducing your sugar intake and emphasizing whole grains, low-fat protein, fruits, veggies and reduced-fat dairy products. Also, if you have a health condition or injury, consult a doctor before starting a new workout routine or diet.