The Top 10 Exercises for a Flat Stomach
Getting a toned and lean stomach means doing the right exercises for a flat stomach, doing them properly, and doing them often. Many struggle with flat stomach exercises because they don’t use the right form and don’t do these exercise often enough, and don’t combine good stomach exercises with the right diet plan and with aerobic activities as well. They may not be doing the exercises for a flat stomach in a challenging way so that their muscles are worked and fat is burned.
Consider 10 exercises to get a flat stomach and how to combine exercise for the stomach with other changes to get that lean, toned look you want.
1. Crunches for a Flat Stomach
Crunches are time-tested exercises for the stomach and they work, when done properly and done often. Be sure you keep your back straight when doing crunches and lift at the shoulders, so that your stomach is working and those muscles are being toned. When you curl up in a crunch, you’re working your back and may be straining it as well; this is ineffective and one main reason why so many try crunches as an exercise for a flat stomach but fail to get results. Challenge yourself with your crunches by holding the crunch and fighting the resistance as you return to your starting position.
2. Sit-ups Are the Best Exercise
The reason that sit-ups are the best exercises for a flat stomach is that they use the entire stomach, when done properly. As with crunches, be sure you’re keeping your back straight and are using your stomach muscles to pull yourself up, and then are fighting the movement back down again. This works your muscles twice as much so you get faster results. Never try to do sit-ups quickly; the body needs to get oxygen and blood to the muscles as they’re being worked. This will give you the best results.
3. Leg Lifts for Flattening
Flat on your back, legs together, arms next to you, lift your legs just a few inches from the ground and hold them there. Your stomach will work to keep the body supported and keep your legs lifted, which is why it’s a good exercise to get a flat stomach. Remember that you only need to lift your legs a few inches from the ground; any more distance and you’re not working your stomach. Hold the position as long as you can for added challenge.
4. Scissor Sit-ups to Flatten the Stomach
As you perform a sit-up, pull one leg up to your chest, bending at the knee, and twist your body so that your opposite elbow touches your knee. Return to your starting position and switch legs. This is the best exercise for a flat stomach because the knee lifting works the lower abs while the sit-up works the upper abs. You’ll also strengthen your core and your back, and will be burning calories as you perform this movement.
5. Rolling Curl for a Flat Stomach
A favorite Pilates movement, a rolling curl works your entire abs and is a great exercise for a flat stomach. While sitting, pull your legs up to your chest and hug them with your arms. Pick your feet up off the floor and roll slightly, rocking back and forth. Your stomach muscles will support you in this movement and they’ll get flat in no time. You can even hold yourself in one position for added challenge.
6. Kettle Ball and Twist Exercises for a Flat Stomach
Twisting and kettle ball routines are good stomach exercises because they work the side muscles and help to give you a trimmed waistline. If you have a partner, sit back to back and twist to each side to hand off a kettle ball. Work on your own by twisting and dropping the kettle ball next to you. Speed does not help this exercise and may strain your back, so go slow when doing any twist exercise to flatten the stomach.
7. Swimming to Flatten the Stomach
Another favorite Pilates move is a swimming technique; on your stomach, arms stretched in front of you, legs a few inches apart, move your limbs up and down as if you’re swimming and slapping the water with your hands. When you lift your legs up off the ground to scissor kick, your stomach will work to support your body and the stretch will also work your back and sides. This is a great core movement to help build all the muscles around your midsection and to stretch your back, improving your posture.
8. Side Plank to Flatten the Stomach
The plank is a very challenging pose in yoga and one used for Pilates. To add more challenge, try a side plank. On the floor, resting on your elbows and toes, put your weight on one side and lift the opposite arm in the air. Your stomach will work harder to support your body as you do this. Hold for a count of three and then switch sides. You can also hold yourself in a simple plank position for more challenge as the stomach works to keep you upright and off the ground.
9. Lunge Twist is a Good Challenge
The lunge works the legs and back; you step forward on one foot and bend that knee so that your opposite leg gets stretched. To add an exercise for the stomach, put your arms behind your head and twist while in the lunge position; you’ll notice your stomach tensing to support you and those muscles will be worked overtime, giving you a flat stomach and a lean, toned look.
10. Leg Circles to Flatten the Stomach
Lie on the floor, arms by your side, legs together. Slowly lift your legs in the air until they are straight up, your body forming a ninety-degree angle. Move your legs in a circle one way for a count of eight, then in the opposite direction for another count of eight. Lower your legs, rest, and then repeat. Your stomach muscles will support your legs as you do this.
Remember that most Pilates movements are good stomach exercises as they work to improve the core including the abs. When searching for good stomach exercises, look for Pilates movements or those that challenge the midsection and the back. This will increase the tension in the stomach which works and tones the muscles.
Exercise to get a flat stomach won’t work if you don’t watch your diet and get regular physical activity every day. You need to burn calories so that you burn fat, and those toned muscles show through. Challenge yourself with your physical activity; if you just walk, try jogging. If you jog, add rock climbing or hiking or cycling to your routine. Go for longer times each time you’re out, even if it’s an extra few minutes. If you still struggle with exercise for stomach muscles and tightening, be more mindful of what you eat. Cut out sugar and carbs and other empty calories.
If you combine a good eating plan and lots of regular activity with the right exercises for the stomach, you’ll succeed in having the body you want.