Everyone wants to get into awesome shape, and men and women around the world wish that they could look like Brad Pitt and Beyoncé respectively. The problem is though, that few of us these days have the time or more importantly the energy to work out regularly – when you come home from a long, hard day at the office, the last thing you will often want to do is to head to the gym for a long, intense workout.
This is why there has always been a huge amount of interest in the idea of being able to get into shape without doing any work. And surely in this day and age of impressive technology there must be some method you can use to build muscle and burn fat without having to physically heave huge chunks of metal around?
Well sadly there is no way to get into great shape while doing completely no work on your part. Of course if that was the case then there would be no such thing as people who were overweight – we'd all just use those 'magic bullets' and get ourselves amazing physiques.
At the same time though, there are still some tricks you can use to get into shape doing a lot less, many of which rely on technology or just a good understanding of how the body works mixed with a little creativity. Read on and let's take a look at some of the smartest and laziest ways to start getting into immense physical condition…
An ab belt is a device designed specifically for that purpose – to tone the stomach while you sit down and watch TV or just generally relax. It does this by administering tiny electrical shocks through a lubricated pad that covers the stomach. This then causes the nerves in the muscle to fire (they are controlled by electrical impulses) which contracts the muscle forcing you to tense.
Ultimately this then means that you're squeezing the muscles with the same intensity that you normally would when training and this can help lead to some muscle development. Whatever these packages tell you though, the benefit is still not as good as if you were actually working out as you won't be moving your muscles through the usual range of motion. Thus ab belts can help you to gain a little definition and using them is certainly better than doing nothing… but it's a far cry from actually doing sit ups, pull ups or any other more effective workout. And of course this won't help you to burn fat on your stomach – fat loss cannot be targeted and requires large amounts of cardiovascular exercise.
But perhaps using things like ab belts is approaching the issue from the wrong angle. Perhaps the aim should not be to build muscle without doing any kind of exercise, but rather to build muscle and burn fat doing things that don't feel like working out.
One way you could do this for instance that relies on technology is to use motion controlled gaming machines such as the Kinect or Wii. This way you'll be jumping around, swinging your arms and generally burning a huge number of calories but at no point will you feel as though you're doing a boring workout – rather you'll be having fun and it will just so happen that that will additionally help your fitness.
Dynamic Tension/Static Contraction
Ab belts show us how we can potentially improve our muscles through tensing and not actually need to lift any heavy weights. To do this though you hardly need an ab-belt even – instead you can just tense your muscles while moving or while still – which is called dynamic tension or static contraction respectively.
To try using static contraction right now, put your hands on your knees while you're sitting, then try and force your upper body between your legs while holding yourself in position using your upper body and arm strength. This will allow you to create enough resistance to really get a burn going in your stomach, and you don't even need to stand up!
Of course a number of supplements can help you to burn fat and build muscle. fat burning supplements for instance will make your body burn fat even when you're not doing anything. But as with all these techniques, they still work much better when you're working out as well.
The author of this post, Vikram Shenoy, is a freelance blogger who often writes for GoodHealth Technology. He likes to write about lifestyle, home improvement, health and more. You can also follow him on twitter @ShenoyTrivikram