Want a toned mid-section just in time for summer? You’ll need a killer cardio-and-strength-training routine, combined with targeted, ab-focused moves (and of course, a finely-tuned diet) to get you there.
Here are a set of core-sculpting exercises that will work your abs and show off your trim tummy with confidence.
1. Russian Twists
Russian twists are an ingenious way of ripping your oblique muscles and building core strength.
- Start the exercise sitting on a mat. Lift your legs slightly off the ground so you are balancing on your backside.
- Holding either a dumbbell, barbell plate or medicine ball, rotate your torso alternately from side to side.
- Be sure to brace your core throughout the movement.
- Do three sets of 12 each.
2. Lower Belly Leg Reach
This is essentially a 2-in-1 exercise that targets the lower and middle abs.
- Start with your back to the ground and with your legs raised up, knees bent at a 90-degree angle over the hips.
- From a more relaxed position and your hands behind your head, slowly lift your shoulders and perform a crunch.
- At the top of the crunch, hold the position for five seconds.
- After you’re finished with the first position, extend your legs upwards from the 45-degree angle and hold the position for five seconds to complete a rep.
- Perform three sets of 12 reps.
3. Donkey Kickbacks
Donkey kickbacks might not look very effective, but trust us: they’ll give you a burn in all the right places.
- The starting position for this exercise is on your hands and knees with your back kept as flat as possible at all times.
- From the starting position, rest all your lower body weight on your toes only (knees off the ground).
- Tighten your belly muscles while bringing your right knee as close to your nose as possible, and straighten your right leg behind you for one rep.
- Repeat the motion for 12 reps and three sets on each leg.
Planks are one of my personal favourites, because despite being really effective in sculpting the abdominal region, they also do a great job of working the arms, butt and even the quads.
- Start the position by getting on all fours with shoulders directly aligned above your arms.
- Stretch both legs out behind you so that your lower body rests on the balls of your feet.
- With your abs drawn inwards and your body aligned as flat as possible, hold the position for a minute.
- Hold for three sets of 60 seconds each.
5. Boat Pose
The lower abs are some of the most problematic regions of the core area. The boat pose is a great weapon for blasting lower-belly fat.
- The workout starts in a seated position with the feet flat on the ground, knees bent in front and the upper body supported by both arms behind the torso.
- Stretch out your legs in front and stretch out your arms in front of you.
- Keep your back straight. Hold the pose for a full minute and let your legs fall back down slowly.
- Repeat for three sets.
6. Reverse Crunch
This exercise can be done to fight belly flab without any equipment but to get even better results, you can opt for an eight-pound medicine ball.
- Lie on your back with your legs raised and raise your knees at a 90-degree angle.
- Place a medicine ball between your legs. Pull your knees toward your chest and return to the starting position for one rep.
- Aim for three sets of 12 reps.