Dare to Go Bare: 6 Excellent Exercises for Your Tummy
We all want a toned, fat-free tummy, but not so many achieve what they want. This is mostly because many still rely only on doing crunches, which have been shown to be one of the less effective abs exercises, as they target only some muscles of the abdomen and not the entire core.
To lose belly fat and make some great-looking abs, you can’t do only one type of exercise, but a series of them in order to engage your core, avoid back and spine pain, and improve posture as well.
1. Bottoms Up
This exercise will work all of the muscles in your abdomen and it is one of the best abs exercises.
You should start by lying on the ground with your back faced downwards. Your arms should be beside your body and your legs straight. Then move by drawing your knees to your chest, while flexing your hips and knees. Then extend your legs and raise them up so that they form a 90o angle with the ground. Stay in that position for a couple of seconds with your abdominal muscles flexed and then return to the starting position. Repeat this exercise as many times as you can.
2. Spiderman Plank Crunch
Place your body in the traditional plank position holding your body straight. Start the exercise by bringing the right knee close to your right elbow and return to the normal plank position. Than do the same thing with the left leg and repeat the exercise 10 times for each leg. This exercise engages your entire core, and you’ll be tightening both the front and the back of your abdomen. You don’t need any equipment for this exercise, so you can do it at home, at the gym or even outside.
3. Side Plank
This exercise is a little more advanced than a regular plank because instead of supporting the weight of your body on all fours, you’re doing it with just one side of your body having only two stable points. This means you have to tighten your core even harder in order to remain stable.
You should start the exercise by lying on your left side with your left elbow placed under your shoulder and your legs stacked. The right hand should be placed on on your right hip. Flex your abs and lift your hips while you are achieving balance with your forearm. Your body should form a diagonal line with the floor for the exercise to be performed correctly. Hold this position for half a minute (or more if you can handle it), and then switch sides.
The name of this exercise says it all. You will begin by lying on the ground with your back facing downwards, your legs straight and your arms extended behind your head. Then do the exercise by pulling your knees to your chest while rotating your pelvis to lift your glutes off the floor. At the same time, bring your arms to your knees while flexing the spine – stay in that cocoon-like position for a few seconds. Then return to the starting position and repeat the exercise as many times as you can.
5. Cross-Body Crunch
Lie on your back and put your legs in a 60o angle with your feet flat on the ground and your hands behind your head. Start the exercise by curling up and bringing your right elbow to your left knee. Exhale while flexing, and while returning to the starting position inhale. Repeat the same exercise with the other side, and do each side for at least ten times.
You can also do another variation of the exercise – first do all the repetitions for one side and then switch to the other.
6. Overhead Stretch
Stand up straight, put your arms above your head and interlock your fingers so that your palms are facing the ceiling. Your shoulders should be down as you pull your arms up. In order for your torso to fully stretch, pull your tailbone down and keep your torso stable while you do the exercise which should stretch both the front and the back of your torso.
This exercise is great for stretching your muscles after all the other abdominal exercises, but while doing it you’re also working on tightening your abdomen and creating a beautiful tummy you will want to show off to everyone.