5 Effective Exercises for a Flatter Belly

There’s more to a flat belly than boring old sit-ups!

While the key to losing belly fat is combining healthy nutrition and physical activity, the idea of endless crunches and sit-ups may seem monotonous at best. And the truth is, limiting your abdominal workouts to only crunches and sit-ups actually limits the progress you’ll make in the battle of the bulge. Let’s take a closer look as to why, and what alternative exercises you should incorporate for better belly results.

Stomach, abdomen, belly, tummy–different names for your “6-pack”

Your abdomen is the part of your body between your chest and pelvis. The muscles in your abdomen help you breathe, provide flexibility and movement, protect your inner organs, and support your spine and posture (along with your back).

 

The major muscle in the front of your abdomen is the rectus abdominus that runs vertically from your pelvis to your sternum. Known as the “abdominals” or “abs”, this is a paired muscle that is on either side of your abdominal wall.

 

Your obliques are the muscles on your sides that help you turn side to side. Toning these muscles can reduce the appearance of love handles and give you a shapelier waist.

 

Sit-ups and crunches engage the muscles in an up and down motion, working only your rectus abdominus. When you incorporate other exercises that target your obliques and abs from other angles, the result is a more sculpted midsection and abs.

Aim for a slim, sculpted stomach with these exercises – at home or on the go!

1. Pike and extend

 

  • Lie face up on an exercise mat with your legs extended up over your hips, arms overhead
  • Crunch up and reach your hands toward your feet
  • Keep your legs straight and bring your arms back overhead as you lower your upper back and left leg toward the floor
  • Crunch up and lift your left leg over your hips and reach your hands to your toes.
  • Switch legs and repeat for 20 reps, alternating sides

2. Standing side crunch

 

  • Stand on your left leg with your left arm extended out to the side at shoulder height
  • Lift your right foot a few inches off the floor to your side
  • Put your right hand behind your head, with your elbow bent out to the side at shoulder level
  • Lift your right knee toward your right elbow
  • Perform 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat

3. Hip lifts

 

  • Lie on the floor with your arms by your sides
  • Place your palms down and lift your legs over your hips at 90 degrees, feet flexed
  • Lift your hips off the floor using your core ab muscles and reach your legs toward the ceiling
  • Return to starting position and repeat 15 times

4. Lunge and twist

 

  • Stand with both feet together
  • Lunge back with your left leg, bending your knees 90 degrees and reach your left hand to your right foot
  • Stand up and lift your left knee in front of you to hip height
  • Bring your fists to your chest and bend your elbows out to your sides as you twist left
  • Twist to your center, lunge your left leg back, and repeat
  • Perform 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat

5. Inner thigh crunch lift

 

  • Lie on your back with legs extended in a wide split, your toes pointing up and your hands lightly resting on the back of your head
  • Rotate your right leg out, drop your toe to face outward, and raise your leg
  • Use your inner thigh to lower leg and return to your starting position
  • Perform 30-40 reps, then repeat on your other side

Stay tuned for additional exercises targeting other body parts in upcoming issues!

Exercise does wonders for your mind, body, and spirit, and making it a part of your weight loss journey keeps you fighting fit and feeling great. Nutrition is also an essential component of any weight loss program. Dr. Nina Coletta and her staff can design a nutrition and exercise program that suits your physical strengths and your budget. Future topics will provide exercises for your legs, arms, glutes, and more.

 

If you have been seeking professional coaching to guide you through the challenges of adopting an exercise routine or the struggles of weight loss, contact the office of Dr. Coletta at 954-452-4590 or through our online contact form.

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