Having strong core muscles, flat tummy and the commonly sought after six-pack are the usual goals for anyone trying to get fit and in shape.
Strong core muscles make it easier to do most physical activities. Strong core muscles are also important for athletes, such as runners, as weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance and injuries. Weak core muscles can also leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries.
The plank works because as you keep your body stiff as a board, it develops strength primarily in your abs, the muscles that connect your upper body, lower body and your shoulders, arms, and glutes.
- Place your hands directly under shoulders
- Put your toes into the floor and squeeze glutes to stabilise your body
- Neutralise your neck and spine and keep your head in line with your back
- Hold the position for 20 seconds at first. You can increase this time as you get used to this position
Sit ups are an exercise that engage multiple muscles including the chest, hip flexors, lower back and neck according to Healthline, helping you achieve a flat tummy.
- Start off by lying on your back
- Bend your legs and plant your feet firmly on the ground
- Place your hands behind your ears, without pulling on your neck
- Move your upper body all the way up toward your knees
- Exhale as you lift your upper body
- Lower body down to return to your starting point (1)
- Inhale as you lower yourself
The scissor kick is one of several exercises you can do to build and maintain your core strength achieving a flat tummy while engaging your lower body as well.
- Lie on your back on the ground
- Place your arms by your sides, palms down
- Engage your core
- Lift both legs off the ground at about a 45-degree angle.
- Ensure your neck is relaxed
- Lower one leg toward the floor as you lift the other leg up in a scissoring motion
- Repeat this motion by slowly switching your legs up and down
- Repeat 2 sets of 12 to 20 repetitions.
Bicycle crunches are a great way to target multiple muscles in one easy exercise and is a less boring alternative to simple crunches. Flat tummy here you come! Here’s how you can do them
- Lie flat on the ground
- Put your hands behind your head
- Bring your knees in towards your chest and lift your shoulder blades off the ground
- Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle
- Turn your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow towards the left knee in a bicycle motion
- Switch sides and repeat steps 3 to 5 to complete one rep
- Do three sets of 20 reps
This exercise is simple and effective way to get a flat tummy and tone your shoulders, and hips. Perform these exercise by doing the following.
- Lie on your back
- Raise your knees and bend them at 45°
- Use your abs to raise your torso to a 45° angle with the floor
- While keeping your arms straight and raised, twist your torso to the right side, keeping your arms straight and raised
- Pause and then reverse the twist to repeat on the left side two complete one rep.
For a video demonstrating some flat tummy exercises you can refer to this video.
Which exercises do you use to get a flat tummy? Brag about your success in the comments below!