Exercises for a Flatter Abdomen

Photo Credit: lululemon athetica CC-BY-2.0

Almost everyone wants a flatter belly and defined abdominal muscles. Crunches, planks and many other abdominal exercises can help you achieve flat, strong abdominal muscles. Here are three easy-to-do quick exercises to add to your workout that will help you reach your goal. 
The upper body twist works your obliques as well as your abdominal muscles to help shape and define your waist. Stand up straight with your feet about hip-width apart. Drop your shoulders a couple of inches and look straight ahead to straighten your spine. Interlace your fingers with your palms together. Simultaneously lift your right knee and press it toward the right while twisting your upper body to the left by pushing your arms to the left. Do 10 repetitions on each side for a total of 20 twists. 
Do kick-outs to help strengthen and tone your abdominal muscles as well as your legs and back. Stand up straight with your feet together and stretch your arms out straight from the shoulder on each side. Keep your arms parallel to the floor. Lift your right leg straight up and bring your arms forward toward your foot at the same time. Move your arms in a sweeping motion from the shoulder. Return to the start position and repeat the exercise with your left leg. Do 10 repetitions with each leg for a total of 20 kick-outs.
Stretch-ups will stretch your spine, back and abdominal muscles and help to flatten and strengthen the belly. Stand up straight with your feet together and turn your toes outward slightly. Bring your arms up to chest level with your elbows bent and pointed straight out to each side. Interlace your fingers with the palms pointed toward the floor. Squeeze your abdominal muscles and simultaneously push your arms straight down toward the floor while stretching up as tall as you can standing on your toes. Hold the stretch for 2 to 4 seconds and then lower your heels back to the floor and return your hands to your chest with the elbows bent and forearms parallel to the floor. Do 20 repetitions. 

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