There is nothing better than having a perfect, flat stomach. It is such a good feeling to throw on a bikini without needing to worry about a muffin top ruining your life. It’s a liberating feeling to be able to walk around and feel comfortable with your body, with yourself.
I am here to help you achieve this.
Let me put it to you this way – I have worked with a lot of women.
Skinny women. Overweight women. Tall women, short women, athletic women, lethargic women.
Women who work in offices and women who work in the military.
I’ve seen it all when it comes to regimens, body types, genetics, diet, you name it.
And out of all the countless exercises out there to choose from – and believe me, there are some bad exercises out there – it’s a telling fact that I keep going back to the same ones over and over again.
Why? Well, because they’re simply the best. End of story.
So when I tell you that these are the best 10 ab exercises to get a flat stomach – you’d better believe it.
With that in mind, if you’re looking to lose stubborn belly fat – these are for you.
1. The Forward Snake
If you’re sick of doing crunches or other exercises that have you lying on your back – this one is for you. You’ll feel it strengthening and toning your entire core (1).
First, lie down on the floor face down. Keep your palms flat on the ground near your chest.
Then, use your core to lift up your upper body off the ground, getting your head, shoulders, and chest as high as they can go and pulling your shoulder blades together and downwards.
Hold that pose for 2 seconds and then slowly lower yourself back down. If you really want to make this difficult, lift your hips and thighs off the floor at the same time.
2. Upwards Facing Bent Knee Stretch
Get your abs feeling great (and really feeling the burn) with this amazing stretch.
First, lie on your back with your knees bent – and lift up your head and shoulders until your chin is curling in towards your chest (2).
Take a deep breath in as you pull your right knee towards your chest. Keep your right hand on your ankle with your left hand on your knee and pull it in tight.
Next, lift up your left leg from the floor until it’s at a 45 degree angle.
Keep switching legs back and forth and you’ll really feel the difference!
3. Sitting Twist
This one will stretch out your sides no question! You’ll be doing half crunches here which will engage your whole core (3).
First, sit down on the floor with your legs straight in front of you and keep them tightly together. Lean back from your hips until you’re 45 degrees of the floor.
Keep your stomach tight and flexed as you take your arms and bring them over your head, then twist your torso to the left and put your left arm down on the floor. Keep your right arm over your head during this exercise and hold it for 3 seconds.
Then, repeat it, switching direction and arms. Come back to the middle position and remember to keep your abs flexed!
4. Straight Leg Towel Stretch
Looking for something new out of the general routine? This is it. Looking for flat abs in no time at all. This is still it.
Lie down on the floor and wrap a towel around the middle of your left foot. Keep your right knee bent with your right foot flat on the floor.
Next, hold the towel with both hands and extend your left leg straight out. Remember to keep your left foot flexed.
Here’s where the ab workout comes in. Use your hands to “walk” up the towel as you lift up your shoulders and your head off the floor. When you go as far as you can go – hold for two seconds and then slowly walk back down the towel until you’re back on the floor. Remember not to tuck your chin into your chest or tilt your head back, keep it facing forward.
Do this 6 to 8 times, then switch legs.
5. Twisting Squats
Put a new flavor on squats – and get a full body workout while you’re at it.
Stand up straight, keep your feet shoulder width apart, and put your arms straight out in front of you at your shoulder level.
Next, bend your knees 90 degrees and squat down. Rotate your torso until it’s twisted to the left.
Come upwards out of the squat and then back down, this time rotating your torso to the right.
Remember, your knees should be staying right over your toes the entire time – you want to keep your weight on the front of your feet, not the back. Your knees should face forward for the entire exercise.
6. Synchronized Leg and Arm Raises
If you want to greatly improve your core while also massively improving your balance, this exercise is for you.
Get down on all fours and keep your knees directly under your hips while you keep your hands directly under your shoulders.
Next, lift up your right arm to your shoulder level, while at the same time lifting your left leg up to hip level.
Hold that pose for two seconds – and remember to reach forward with your arm and back with your leg to really get the most out of the stretch. Slowly lower to the ground, then repeat on the opposite side.
7. Plank It Up
Planking is an amazing way to get a toned, sexy core. It’s one of the most effective exercises in any regimen.
First, get down on the floor in pushup position. Keep your arms straight and your palms directly underneath your shoulders.
Remember to keep your head in a straight line with your spine, all the way down to your feet. Clench your abs as hard as you can and hold for 30 seconds.
As you get better at this, increase the time you hold the position and watch how quickly you get stunning results.
8. Leg Lifts With Breath Control
You don’t need anything extra to do this exercise – just the determination to finish and get the sleek, toned, sexy stomach you’ve always wanted.
Start by sitting up straight – keep your hands at your sides and bend your knees so they’re close to your chest.
Next, lie down on your back, keeping your knees bent. You want your palms to be flat on the floor.
Breathe out forcefully and lift up your shoulders and your head off of the mat. Reach forward as far as you can with your fingertips and move your arms up and down 6 inches.
You should be inhaling for a period of 5 pumps, and then exhaling for a period of 5 pumps, making sure your chin is tucked in towards your chest. Do 100 pumps – you should take 10 full breaths during that time.
Remember, your lower back should be pressed into the floor as much as you can, with the lower part of your abs tucked in towards your spine. That way, you’ll keep your core working for the entire exercise.
9. Upwards Sideways Crunches
You’ll be working on your balance during this exercise too – while it works your obliques and hips at the same time it shapes your core.
First, kneel down on the floor and lean all your weight onto your left side, balancing yourself with your left palm.
Next, slowly unbend your right knee and extend your right leg, and point your toe away from you. Put your right hand on the back of your head and have your elbow point directly up towards the ceiling.
Lift up your right leg to hip level and extend your right arm in the same direction, pointing in the same direction as your toe.
Turn your head until you’re looking in the same direction as your hand, and flex your rib cage so that the right side of it gets closer to your hip. Lower your leg back down and repeat, then switch sides.
10. Chair Assisted Abdominal Crunches
You’re going to need a chair for this one – both to do the exercise, then collapse into afterwards.
Sit down on the edge of a stable chair and put your hands on the front edge with you, facing forwards. Next, clench your abs hard and lift up your toes a few inches off the floor while you lift your butt off the chair at the same time.
Keep yourself in that position for as long as you can – try 5 seconds to start, and extend it as you get better at it.
Slowly lower yourself back into the chair, then do it again. Try to do it for a full minute.
The Best Ab Exercises For Your Workout
- The Forward Snake
- Upwards Facing Bent Knee Stretch
- Sitting Twist
- Straight Leg Towel Stretch
- Twisting Squats
- Synchronized Leg and Arm Raises
- Plank It Up
- Leg Lifts With Breath Control
- Upwards Sideways Crunches
- Chair Assisted Abdominal Crunches
I am going to pass these along to my health and wellness friends on Facebook!
The leg and arm raises IS great for balance. I also noticed that not only did my core get a good workout, my butt was getting very toned!
Best ab exercises would be different for everyone. These are good, but they might not produce the same results for each person that uses them. As long as we all know that, we should be in good shape!
I usually do these exercises in the morning. It helps to wake me up and I feel great the rest of the day. Not to mention that the fat has been falling from my body quite fast!
I like the feel I have muscles in my nice back when my abs are worked out. You can really tell that you are working on a core muscle group!
I think I just saw a video or a headline stating that someone did a 20 minute plank? That is crazy for your body and it really shows discipline.
Breathing while exercising has always been something that I struggled with. Then I saw a personal trainer and they were able to coach me into some normal breathing exercises, and it makes a big difference.
When I started to work on my abs about 6 months ago, I felt the best success that I had came when I did the sitting twists and the planking. They work your entire body, especially your abs.
I have been working on my abs and my love handles for a long time. I see SOME results, but there is something that is just taking too long about it. What can I do differently?
Abs exercises are plentiful, that is what I like about them. There are very few things that you can do that will NOT work that muscle group!
Of all the muscles that I work on toning, the abs are the easiest for me. My legs and upper thigh on the other hand, not the same story.
The Upwards Facing Bent Knee Stretch sounds like something that would land me in the hospital.
I use this one as part of my routine when I am training for a marathon. It seems to stretch out my legs real well!
I would like to have abs like that! How long will I have to do these exercises before I start to see the difference?
What you call the Forward Snake seems like a lot of hard work just for an ab exercise. Is there an easier version of that one specifically?
I think you should try the original, or at least work up to it. There are NO easy things when you get involved in exercising to lose weight.
Knowing that I will be attending a beach wedding next summer, now is the time to tone the body and abs are the first thing on my list. Thanks for the exercise ideas!
I used to have rock hard abs and once that happened, I sort of just stopped worrying about them. Now they are getting a bit soft again and it might be time to try some of these ab exercises to see what happens!
I have been a fitness trainer for about 10 years now and I can say that these are GREAT exercises for your abs. It is a hard area of the body to work on, but once you get a routine down, you are going to look great and be happy!
Abs are easy to workout when you follow tips like this! Thanks for sharing them!
That is what they all say. Too bad everyone is a little different and might not experience the same results.
Breath control is always been a pain in the butt for me. I know it helps with working out and I generally start out with a good breathing pattern, but then I catch myself getting away from the pattern. Is that a bad thing?
I like knowing that I can get a good set of abs doing these types of exercises, but what do I do to simply maintain them?
Just keep up with your diet and workout your abs at least one time per week to keep them in shape!
I have found that most of the “twisting” exercises are really good for your abs. I have been doing those types of exercises for a few months now and my love handles AND abs look great!
I have found the same. Get those love handles to disappear in just a few weeks with the sitting twist and things like that.
Planks are the worst thing that I have ever been taught when it comes to ab exercises. However, as I say that, I must mention that they are also the most effective. I have watched videos of people doing them for up to 20 minutes. I cannot believe that!!
The two of these that have given me the best results are the Sitting Twist and the Plank. They will work all of your body at one time, it is amazing!
That sitting twist is great for the love handles.
They are my favorite exercise to do after I get up and before I get to my coffee for the day.