Top 5 Best Abdominal Exercises to Tighten and Flatten Your Stomach
If you want to tighten and flatten your midsection, a balanced nutrition plan and the right type of abdominal exercises are a must. In this article, I am going to show you some of my personal favorite abdominal exercises, great for those of you who want to achieve a tight and toned six pack. If this is your goal, this article is for you!
Of course before you jump into these exercises, remember that they alone will not magically melt fat away from your waist. This is the myth of spot reduction. You may have read or heard that you can burn fat off a particular body part by exercising that area. This simply is not possible. Even if you performed a thousand crunches every day, your fat will not simply vanish from your waist.
Fat reduction will only occur with a proper nutrition plan in conjunction with a balanced exercise program. This means utilizing cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and most importantly eating a healthy and well balanced diet. If your nutrition isn’t dialed-in, forget about it. This is especially true if your overweight as achieving a six pack will be virtually impossible if you aren’t eating a reduced calorie diet.
Now if your diet is already in check, begin incorporating these five abdominal exercises into your workout routine right away for great results. I’m confident in no time you will begin to feel and see improvements in your abs definition. However, for those of you who have a little fat to burn, get that nutrition on track and incorporate cardiovascular plus these exercises into your exercise routine and you too will begin to see results in time.
Top 5 Abs Exercises to Flatten Your Stomach
#1. Stability Ball Plank
If you have a decently low body fat percentage the first step in creating a flatter stomach is to strengthen your core muscles.
Strengthening your core muscles will tighten up your mid section because the core muscles draw in your belly button which creates the smallest waist possible.
The plank is the best stabilization exercise to work the deep core muscles. Taken a step further on the stability ball will allow you to maximize the exercise to achieve maximum stomach tightening results.
The best part about the stability ball plank is you can do it at home or at the gym and it takes less time than most exercise machines which are far less effective.
To perform a proper stability ball plank properly make sure your belly button is drawn in at all times. Your lower back should never arch and your hips should never sag towards the floor. For more tips check out this blog post.
#2. BOSU Ball Crunches
After you have worked the deep core muscles with exercises such as the previous stability ball plank it is time to hit the abs.
If you already have minimal fat around your midsection and want to achieve the six pack abs look these crunches on the BOSU ball are a tremendous ab workout.
If you have never used the BOSU ball before just a few sets of these crunches and you will probably be sold.
You can pick a gym quality authentic BOSU at your local sporting good store or online for around $100 and they pretty much last forever. You almost literally would have to stab one with a butcher knife to damage it.
You can perform many other exercises on the BOSU besides abdominal crunches. There are many different variations of crunches which you can do on the BOSU. Make sure you keep your deep core muscles drawn in while you perform BOSU crunches. If you want to see even more things to do on the balance trainer, visit this page for more tips.
#3. Bicycle Crunches
The bicycle maneuver is an old but good abdominal exercise which can be done on the floor anywhere. The bad part about the bicycle maneuver is it very easy to cheat while doing them.
Bicycle crunches takes the good form and isolates one side at a time to get a very isolated abdominal crunch.
Form is key if you want to get any benefit from this abdominal isolation exercise. Make sure one leg is off of the floor and fully extended in front of you.
The other leg should be up in a 90 degree angle. While you crunch with your hands behind your head, you should lift both shoulders off of the floor twisting your opposite elbow to the leg which is up at 90 degrees.
If you do them properly you will be hard pressed to get 15 reps on each side. These are one of the best crunches for your abs but they can be quite difficult. This page dedicated to abdominal exercises is great if you’re looking for even more effective exercises for your abs so be sure to check it out.
#4. Stability Ball Walk Outs
If you had only one core exercise you could do for whatever reason stability ball walkouts would probably be your choice. These are sometimes called rollouts also.
Stability ball walkouts are a very good exercise for the deep core muscles which can tighten up to reduce the circumference of your waist.
When you perform walkouts your core has to control the up and down as well as the lateral movement of your core.
Since multiple planes of motion have to be accounted for, your core muscles work extra hard to hold your body steady.
To perform walkouts perfect you should never let your lower back arch and never let your stomach and hips sag towards the floor.
If you can perform 20 proper repetitions of stability ball walkouts the first time you should be proud and your whole mid section will be sore for a few days. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
#5. V-ups / Pike Crunch / Jackknifes
V-ups are a great way to work the abdominals. They are sometimes called jackknifes, pike crunches and there are some more names as well.
V-ups are not for everybody as they require you to use your hip flexors a lot. If you have heavy or very long legs V-ups may not work your abdominals as much as they should.
There are a few different ways to perform v-ups. The most beneficial way is to swing yourself up to the V position and slowly lower yourself all the way back down towards the floor.
A great things about V-ups is they can be modified very easily simply if you hold some form of resistance with your hand or between your ankles.
If you perform these 5 exercises on the same day you will be well on your way to a flatter stomach, and maybe even six pack abs which will show off a super fit, lean body.
The Bottom Line
Incorporating these five abdominal exercises into your overall exercise routine will not only take your abs definition up a big notch, you’re also going to vastly improve the strength and stability of your crucial core muscles.
While having an amazing looking six pack is not doubt something we all desire, if we look beyond our abs, core strength and stability is truly the foundation of a functionally strong body. With these exercises you’re hitting both and I’m confident you will be impressed with the results.
I hope you find these exercises enjoyable, let me know in the comments below how you feel after giving them a try!