Slimming our midsection is an ongoing goal for many of us. Some days, we feel bikini ready, and other days we would rather keep our stomach covered up. Whether you prefer flat or muscular abs, it takes dedication and the right combination of exercises. Our guide to how to get a flat stomach combines cardio, planks, and additional ab exercises, all designed to get results.
Equipment: yoga mat, interval timer (Gymboss is a free app download)
What to Do: Perform each exercise for 1 minute and rest for 15 seconds after. Rest 30 seconds in between rounds. Perform this exercise 3 times a week over a 30 day period for great results.
Beginner Level: 4 rounds
Intermediate – Advanced Level: 5-6 rounds
1. Elbow to Knee Crunch
The elbow to knee crunch stabilizes your lower abs while working your upper abs. Bringing your elbows in also engages your obliques slightly.
2. Leg Drop
Leg drops are a slower variation of leg lifts. They involve slowly bringing your legs down to the floor. This requires extra muscle control, which promotes muscle strength.
3. Side Plank w/ Reach Through Twist
Side planks with the reach through twist engage your entire mid-section.
4. Mountain Climber
Mountain climbers are a fast-paced cardio workout that burns fat while toning your upper and lower abs.
Bicycles are a fun cardio exercise that works your entire core. The crossing and meeting of elbow to knee helps target your obliques. Slower bicycles help provide a longer muscle burn, while fast-paced versions provide the benefit of cardio. Alternate between sets to benefit from both.
6. Toe Touch
The toe touch is perfect at engaging both lower and upper abs. Stabilizing your lower abs, while contracting your upper abs, will make your mid-section stronger and help burn additional fat.
7. Plank Hip Dips
The plank hip dip helps to strengthen your core and work the minor muscles in your obliques. These muscles help boost your overall ab strength.
Additional Tips for Success
1. For all plank exercises, make sure to keep your core tight and roll your abs toward your spine to get the full benefit.
2. Without clean eating, your abs will stay hidden beneath a layer of fat. Look over our Top 25 Flat Belly Foods to balance exercise with eating.
3. Planks may be challenging because of the pressure on your shoulders. As you continue to do them, your shoulders will develop and become stronger.
4. Rotate the exercises to help promote growth and avoid hitting a plateau.