A major part of getting in shape is having the motivation to keep up with your workout routine, and it can be difficult to stay driven when your workout is boring you.
We’ve all heard of the classic crunch move to get a flat stomach, but if you’re like me (or most women), a simple crunch just isn’t cutting it. Besides the flashbacks to high school gym class, the plain crunch doesn’t engage all of the muscles that are needed to burn fat and tone your stomach.
To start off, 10 – 20 reps of the following exercises three times a week will get you on the right track to a flat tummy, while also adding variation from those boring old crunches. As your body becomes stronger, you may increase the amount of reps you do in each set to keep yourself challenged.
- T-Stabilizer: Position yourself on the ground as if you were about to do a push-up. Slowly raise one arm, and tilt your body until that arm is straight up in the air. Once you are creating a T-formation, hold for two seconds, then lower your arm back to the ground. Repeat with the other arm.
- Hip Crossover: Lie on your back, and raise your legs so that your knees are at a 90 degree angle over your hips. Bring your arms straight out from your sides with your palms facing up. Tighten your core, and then lower your legs to one side of your body using controlled movements. Bring your legs as far over to the side as they can go without your shoulder lifting off the ground, and then slowly raise them back to center. Repeat on the other side.
- Shoulder Taps: This twist on the classic plank will add the little push you need to flatten that tummy. Assume the plank position (as if you were about to do a push-up with your arms completely straight). Lift your left arm and touch it to your right shoulder, while keeping your hips stable and even with the ground. Lower your left arm, and repeat with your right arm to your left shoulder.
- Straight-Leg Raise: Lie on your back with your arms down by your side and your legs straight out in front of you. Contract your core, and raise your legs in the air. With control, lower them back to the ground while keeping your lower back flat. For extra support, you may place your hands under your glutes instead of by your side.
- Glute Bridge March: With your feet flat on the floor, lie on your back and bend your knees. Place your arms at shoulder level, palms up. Lift your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Contract your abs, and lift your right knee toward your chest. Hold for two seconds, then lower your right leg. Repeat with your left leg.
You can make these moves more advanced by adding a dumbbell or a resistance band, but remember to listen to your body and never push it too far. Rest and recovery are important parts of getting in shape as well.
Add these moves to your regular cardio and diet routine, and you’ll have a flat belly in no time!