Getting your stomach flat and nice is a dream-come-true for any fitness enthusiast. The good news is, you can tone your stomach pretty fast if you know the right exercises and eat clean. In this article, you can find some of the best moves that will give you a six-pack in no time!
Are you already preparing for summer as early as March? Or do you prefer to keep your body in shape all year round? No matter which option you choose, a flat and nicely toned stomach is the ultimate goal for many. So, why don’t we all have six-packs if people find them so attractive?
Sadly, you can spend hours in the gym every day of the week and still have no visible results when it comes to your abdomen. It means you’ve adopted the wrong approach! To help you with the task, we’ve gathered the most effective abs and core routine exercises that sum up to a complex approach by targeting your abdominal esthetics from different directions. Also, we’ll uncover the secret ingredient to how to tone your stomach that makes all the difference on your way to a flat tummy.
How Fast Can I Tone My Tummy?
The time needed is a very subjective matter. The main obstacle to overcome is lowering your fat percentage. The higher it is for you, the longer it’ll take to show off your perfect abs.
When it comes to long-term goals, body recomposition is the surest way to go. Quick diets are often damaging for your health and will return all you’ve lost plus some more in a matter of weeks. Gradually changing your body composition will reveal your already pretty impressive abs. Surprised? Then check our body composition 101 to learn more about how your body works and looks.
Ideally, if your fat percentage is in the healthy range of around 21-30% for women and 8-19% for men, you can reach visible progress in a short time. Of course, it will not be a six-pack yet, but your stomach will look nice.
Are the Workouts Enough?
Working those abs and core is an essential but not the only thing required for a flat belly. There are three main components of a perfectly-toned stomach:
- abs and core-focused exercises
- healthy diet
Only when you combine the three ways to loose stomach fat together, you get the perfect results. Commitment and consistency will lead you to success.
Now, let’s take a look at the most effective exercises to tone stomach to include in your workout plan.
The Most Effective Exercises
A plank mainly targets your core but also engages shoulders, triceps, and quadriceps.
How to do:
- Lower to the mat on all fours.
- Lower on your elbows with forearms down on the floor.
- Extend your legs back and stand on your toes.
- Place your body in a straight line from head to toe and hold.
You can with a 30-second and go beyond that for as long as you can hold. This standard plank also has a few variants that include a high plan (using your hands instead of elbows), a side plank (aside turn on your right hand and foot, then the left), etc.
Tips: a safe and effective plank needs to be completely straight. Keep a neutral spine and tuck in your pelvis slightly. Engage your abdominal muscles.
Let’s learn to do this side stomach workout exercise as it is an effective exercise that targets your obliques perfectly.
How to do:
- Lie on your right side. Legs straight, one above the other.
- Bend the right elbow directly under your shoulder, forearm flat on the floor.
- As you rise, place your body in a straight line and push into your right hoot.
- Hold for 30 seconds and change sides.
Tips: Keep the spine straight, move your shoulders down, do not lower your hips.
This type of crunches mainly engages the rectus abdominis and secondary – external oblique.
How to do:
- Lie down to the mat.
- Bend your knees and hold the feet slightly above the ground.
- Swing your knees towards the chest while raising the feet high above you.
- Return to point #2.
Tips: make sure that you raise your glutes off the floor when doing this crunch. An option for beginners – put your hand under the booty.
Flutter kicks mainly engage the lower rectus abdominal muscles and target your hip flexors which makes them the best exercise to tone stomach for fitness multitasking. Yay!
How to do:
- Lie down on your back. Legs and hands straight.
- Engage your core muscle and lift legs off the floor, just a bit.
- Working on a small range, bring the right foot slightly higher, then switch to the left foot higher while lowering the right to the initial position off the floor.
- Flutter in this way for 30 seconds.
Tips: Keep your toes pointed, press your lower back to the floor and keep it in this position; place your hand under the butt for support if needed.
Let’s target our obliques next with this crunch. Rectus abdominal muscles are still engaged.
How to do:
- Lie on back with knees bent.
- Roll both of your knees to one side of the floor. Hands go to shoulders.
- Curl up towards your hips.
- Hold for a breath and lower back to the floor.
- Do it 20 times and change sides.
Tips: Be slow and precise, don’t overextend your neck.
Hanging Leg Lift
If you think that abs workouts can be done only on the floor, you miss a lot of exercises. Such leg lifts target an extensive set of muscles: rectus abdominis, rectus femoris, tensor fasciae latae, pectineus, and adductor longus.
How to do:
- Hand on the bar, so your legs don’t touch the ground.
- Tilt your pelvis backward, just a bit.
- Engage your core muscles and raise your legs in front of you, keep them straight.
- Ideally, raise them to 90 degrees, parallel to the ground.
- Hold for a breath and lower them.
- Repeat 20 times.
Tips: Keep the movement controlled – do not swing and sway with your whole body, lower the leg slowly in a controlled motion.