Sunday, December 17, 2017

Get that toned Carnival body


WORKING THE ABS: Fitness trainer, Denise Ramsingh does a knees up and knees down sit-up.

Mark Fraser

Losing weight is a challenge for most people. For many women and men, the stomach is often a problem area. This is the place where fat often accumulates and expands the waistline. Having a flat and sexy waistline is a goal for most people, however, many would agree it is a feat easier to say than to do.

While many take the time to tone up for Carnival, personal trainer Denise Ramsingh openly shares exercises that will help you achieve that trim waistline.

Ramsingh said, “Building a strong core is important because it sets a foundation for the rest of the body when exercising. You can achieve a nice, flat stomach through diet and exercise since they both go hand-in-hand.”

Ramsingh has been a personal trainer for the past two years. She loves to exercise and goes to the gym at least four days per week.

Originally from Chaguanas, she said, “Growing up I was always a physical person. I was always into sports from running; to football, cricket and even diving. I started from the age of seven. These sporting activities made my foundation and further instilled in me the love for fitness which channelled me into this career path as a fitness trainer.”

If you are not a fan of weights or weight training, why not try calisthenics, says Ramsingh.

She said, “Calisthenics are a form of exercise consisting of a variety of movements, often rhythmical and generally without using equipment or apparatus. It is intended to increase your body strength and flexibility with movement such as bending, jumping, swinging, twisting or kicking using only one’s body weight for resistance. They are usually conducted in concert with stretches. When performed vigorously and with variety, Calisthenics can benefit both muscular and cardiovascular fitness; in addition to improving skills such as balance, agility and coordination.”

Ramsingh noted that from young children to mature adults, anyone who is physically able can do callisthenic exercises, she said.

She said, “Some examples of calisthenic exercises include: squats, push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, standing calves and lunges. My favourite exercise to do is squats because it targets the quadriceps, hamstrings and the gluteus maximus (butt).

“Keep in mind exercise is essential along with a balanced diet for one’s own health and wellness. My philosophy when it comes to exercise that it should be in some way incorporated in our everyday lifestyle,” Ramsingh said.

“Once this balance is obtained there is no barrier in achieving your goals when exercising. Before doing your ab exercises, it is good to put in some cardio,” she added.

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You may ask yourself...

What is the difference between sit-ups and crunches?

According to both exercises work the abdominals, however, the real change is the way the exercise strengthens your body.


A sit-up begins with you lying flat on your back. Your knees are bent with your feet on the floor. Your hands are behind your head or across your chest. As you lift your shoulders and chest towards your legs your stomach tightens as you move to an upright position. The movement decreases the space between your ribs and hips. The lowering of the movement is performed slowly as you return your upper body to the floor.


A crunch resembles half of a situp. You begin in the same position, lying on your back however the main difference between body position during a situp and a crunch is the location of your lower back. When you are doing a situp, your lower back leaves contact with the floor. During a crunch, your lower back remains on the floor.

The National Strength Coaches Association Journal reports that another difference between a sit-up and a crunch occurs after the first 45 degree movement of a situp. Your abdominals are not as actively involved in the movement beyond the crunch position. Your abdominals become stabilisers as your hip flexors finish the final phase of the sit-up.