8 Incredible Ab Exercises for a Flat, Toned Tummy

If you ask any bodybuilder or health expert what the most common muscle group people want to target is, the majority would probably indicate that the stomach muscles are the most often focused on.

For those on the hunt for a great set of abs, exercises targeting the rectus abdominis and the transverse abdominis muscles are essential, along with cardio to help burn the layer of fat which “hides” the results of your hard work.

With an increased focus on a defined, flat stomach among both beginners and veterans alike, there are no shortage of ab-centric exercises to help you shrink your waistline and keep fat off, which can make things overwhelming for some.

However, the exercises below will surely be of use to anyone looking to focus on losing fat and strengthening their core muscles, so use them to help you find the right workout that suits your particular needs.

Adding any of these exercises to your fitness regimen will help in your quest to achieve the flat and defined stomach you’re looking for.

#1: Lunges

While not often the exercise that comes to mind when considering workouts that target the abdominal muscles, lunges are a great over-all body workout that help tone the core muscles as well as the rest of the body.

Loved by beginners for being an approachable, easy, and effective exercise, lunges get results and get you warmed up for more strenuous workouts.

Weights or a kettlebell can be added to boost this simple exercise for even more benefits.


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#2: Captain’s Chair

Also known as an “elevated pull up chair,” this unique method is quickly growing in popularity, as users attest to its results as well as its ease on the back in comparison to traditional crunches and sit-ups.

This exercise also works muscles in the upper body and hips, and is widely regarded as one of the best ways to add definition to your abs and core.


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#3: Criss Cross Crunch

Also known as a “bicycle crunch,” this cool technique works all the abdominal muscles by cycling the legs in a way similar to riding a bike.

A strong, toned core will be the result of this workout, which can strain the neck if not done correctly.

For the best results, do this exercise in 3 sets of around 12-15 reps each, making sure to keep your head supported to avoid straining the neck.


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#4: Pilates

Another method not immediately associated with working the abs, Pilates is actually a proven way to sculpt your core while improving overall body health.

With a variety of different exercises, including machine training and classes, this is a highly popular workout technique for both its unquestionable results, and its low-impact requirements.

Using repetition to hone muscle, Pilates is also known for being easy on joints.


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#5: Boxing

A great total-body workout, boxing and sparring builds strong core muscles through jabbing motions, and is a great way to build a strong overall midsection.

With many options available, including classes focusing specifically on fitness over sparring, getting into the ring provides a unique and effective alternative to more traditional exercises.


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#6: Plank Poses

A technique stemming from yoga, plank poses are widely adaptable, and have seen increased popularity among gym classes as users swear by the results.

These exercises build the core by using the stomach muscles to raise the body from a lying pose, which is then held for as long as possible.


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#7: Sit-Ups

Similar to a “crunch” but with a wider range of motion and working a larger group of muscles, sit-ups are perhaps the exercise most commonly associated with working the abs.

While more modern exercises have caused this technique to see a drop in popularity, its proven effectiveness makes it a go-to for anyone looking to shred belly fat and build a strong core.


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#8: Stability Board

Stability boards, also known as “balance boards,” are an interesting way to turn regular exercises such as pushups or squats into ab-building workouts.

This method is also gaining in popularity in gyms across the world, with many now offering classes and one-on-one instruction in properly utilizing this technique.


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