Bored of your belly? Wish it was flatter? A tighter, more toned stomach not only makes your clothes fit much better, which means you look good, but also makes you feel healthier and more confident. Yet, the road to obtaining a flatter stomach is easier than you think thanks to the following 7 killer flat stomach exercises you can do at home.
1. Abdominal Crunches: The simplest of all – and one of the staple exercises of the military – is the basic abdominal crunch. Secure your feet under your bed or sofa, or just plant them firmly on the ground and lie back on the floor keeping your knees bent. Place your hands behind your head and raise your torso to towards your knees. Return to the starting position to complete one repetition. If starting from the floor is too difficult to begin with, start with your torso already off the floor. The lower the starting position, the deeper the contraction and stimulation of your abdominal muscles will be. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
2. Leg Raises: Swing your body around and hold on to the underside of the bed or sofa using your hands. The aim of this ab exercise is to raise and lower your legs – keeping your legs extended the whole time. As before, the lower you can go without your legs touching the floor and then raising again, the deeper the contraction. This exercise focuses on the lower ab muscles to reduce belly fat in that area. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
3. Tummy Twists: Move to an empty area of your room and grab an object you can comfortably hold with both hands such as a ball or small weight. Sit on the floor with legs in front and knees bent. Now raise your feet slightly off the floor and move the object from side to side. Touching the floor at either side of your body counts as one repetition. This works the side stomach muscles. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
4. Planks: Planks are a particularly strenuous exercise to perform since they demand constant engagement of stomach muscles to build stamina and therefore burn more fat. Stretch out face down on the floor, lying on your elbows so that your head is off the floor. Now tense your stomach and lower back muscles as you raise your lower torso off the floor. Hold for 20 seconds and release. Do this 5 times.
5. Bicycle Kicks: Lie on your back. Now raise your legs and place your hand on the top of your hips, with elbows on the floor to support your legs, while they are elevated. Now begin to move your legs in a rotating fashion like you are riding a bicycle upside down. Continue for one minute. Rest and repeat three times.
6. Toe Reaches: For anyone with low mobility, limited floor space, or wishing to watch TV while exercising then this one is for you. Hold a weight in each hand – or a food can or similar – and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Now reach down to your right foot with your right hand. Your left hand should rise towards your chest. Repeat on the other side and do this 20 times for each side.
7. Standing Twists: Drop the weights and stay standing. Put your hands behind your head (without clasping your fingers) and begin to twist your torso from side to side while keeping your legs and hips as still as possible. This works your entire core area and helps flatten your stomach.
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