10 tough core exercises to flatten your belly

 

  1. RESISTED SINGLE-LEG STRETCH

 

How to do:

  • Lie on your back and bend both knees into your chest, feet flexed.
  • Interlace your fingers on top of your right thigh and extend your left leg out parallel to the floor.
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the floor, curling up over the top of your ribcage and looking at your legs.
  • Press your palms against your right thigh while tipping your pelvis to bring your right knee in towards your chest (your hands should add resistance to your leg).
  • Switch legs and press your palms against the left thigh as your right leg extends parallel to the floor. That’s one rep. Do up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions in a row.

 

 

  1. U-BOAT

 

How to do:

  • Sit with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground.
  • Lean back to prop your upper body up on your elbows (your back should remain lifted), palms facing down.
  • Brace your abs in tight and lift your legs into a 90-degree angle (knees should be touching), toes pointed.
  • Slowly bring your legs over to the left (both hips should remain on the ground).
  • Keeping the 90-degree angle with your legs, lower your legs and then lift them up to the right, as if you were tracing a letter ‘U’ with your knees. That’s one rep. Do 20 reps total, alternating sides each time.

 

  1. DONKEY KICKBACKS

 

How to do:

  • Kneel on all fours, toes tucked under, keeping your back neutral.
  • Draw your belly in toward your spine as you contract your abs and lift both knees about 2 inches off the ground.
  • Keeping abs engaged, bring right knee to nose.
  • Then kick right leg straight out behind you.
  • Squeezing your butt; keep lower abs contracted and hips facing the ground to protect your back.
  • Repeat 8 times; switch legs and repeat.

 

 

  1. The T-Plank

 

How to do:

  • Hold your body up in a pushup position, with your legs wider than hip width for more stability.
  • Lift your right arm, holding the weight up, and open your body all the way to the right making a “T” shape with your body. Remain in that position for 10 seconds.
  • Return to your starting position and do the same on left side. That’s one rep. Do 5-10 reps.
  • If you find this exercise too difficult to hold for more than a second or two, put your knee or knees on the ground. As you gain strength, holding the pose for longer periods of time should become much easier.

 

  1. Ana Caban’s belly blaster

 

How to do:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent in toward your chest.
  • Hold 1 (3-pound) dumbbell with both hands.
  • Extend your left leg to 45 degrees, keeping your right knee bent. Lift your head and shoulders and move the dumbbell to the outside of your right knee, pressing into a crunch with a twist.
  • Pull your left leg in to meet your right leg and reach the weight up toward the ceiling, keeping your shoulders and head elevated off the floor. Now repeat step 2, but this time extend your right leg and keep your left knee bent. That’s 1 rep.
  • Do 8 reps 4 times per week, and you should see results in 3 weeks.