Are you feeling it's time to take better care of your body? Is getting your stomach to lie flat a difficult thing? Don't worry, getting a flat stomach is a difficult thing to achieve for anyone - but it's not impossible.
Most of the exercises that focus on this area involve painful or dulling repetitive movements that become boring very quickly. Instead, you can try these five different exercises that will keep you engaged, as well as help you get that flat stomach you want. You can stick to only doing these exercises, or combine them with your workout routine.
1. “The One Hundred”
Don’t let the name scare you, we’re not doing 100 reps of the same exercise (but if you can manage 100 reps, go for it). This exercise puts a light, steady pressure on your stomach and thighs while exercising your arms and shoulders.
• Begin by lying on your back with your legs pressed against each other, and your arms at the sides of your body.
• Lift your legs at a 45-degree angle while keeping your knees straight.
• Squeeze your stomach muscles and lightly lift your head and arms.
• Now move your arms up and down quickly one hundred times, while breathing steadily.
• If the exercise feels too easy, move your legs close to the ground.
• If it becomes too difficult, bend your knees to a “sitting” position.
2. “The Boat”
A standard exercise that works on your balance as well as your lower stomach muscles while not requiring you to do complex, difficult movements. It’s recommended that you remain in the boat position for the duration of five deep breaths then rest for 30 seconds in a loose state, before going back to the exercise.
• Sit with your back straight, knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
• Hold onto your legs, just above the back of the knee.
• Slightly lean back to put pressure on your stomach muscles and raise your legs by straightening them until your ankles are parallel to the floor.
If this exercise is too easy, there’s an “upgraded” version that works the arm and stomach muscles more intensely.
• Straighten your knees, arms, or both if you can manage.
• Try lifting your hands above your head while keeping your elbows straight.
• When performing the upgraded version, stay in the position for three deep breaths, then go back to your basic form. You can repeat the exercise if you feel you’re up to it.
3. Lowering Your Legs
You may know this as a thigh-exercising workout, but it also works wonders for your stomach muscles and helps tone the lower part of the “six pack” we all want. This is a very easy exercise, and you can control the difficulty level with the angle of your legs.
• Begin by lying down on your back, arms at your sides and your legs straight.
• Without moving your hands or chest, lift your legs while keeping your knees straight, and your feet at a 90-degree angle.
• Once your legs reach a 90-degree angle, lower them slowly while bending your knees a little.
• Do not let your ankles touch the mat. Keep them at most about one inch above the floor, and then repeat the exercise.
• If raising your legs to a 90-degree angle is too hard, raise them as high as you can. Just make sure your back remains straight and flat against the floor.
• Beginners should do two sets of 10-12 repetitions, with a one-minute break between them.
4. The Cross Crawl
This exercise doesn’t require you to literally crawl. It is performed while you’re on your back, taking advantage of the pressure your arms and legs apply on your stomach muscles.
• Lie down on your back and raise your legs at a 90-degree angle, and then bend your knees at a 90-degree angle.
• Raise your hands to a 90-degree angle and you’re at the starting position for this exercise.
• Now lower and straighten your left leg, and lower your right hand (towards your head)
• Repeat with the opposing limbs.
• Make sure not to lower your hands or legs all the way down.
• Beginners should perform 2-3 sets of 16 movements with a one-minute break after every set.
5. “Rising V”
You probably think that this looks a lot like sit-ups, but in this exercise, your legs stay straight, making it easier to get up. The emphasis in this activity is the ending, where you squeeze your stomach muscles while trying to touch your toes. Try it and you’ll see it’s easier and more fun than it looks.
• Lie down on your back with your legs straight and your arms stretched above your head.
• Begin by raising your chest while moving your arms forward. Once your back is no longer touching the ground, raise your legs while keeping them straight.
• Whether you've managed to touch your toes or not, stay in that position for one short breath, and then slowly go back to the starting position.
• This can be a challenging exercise, so beginners may want to start with three sets of ten reps, with a minute of rest between each set.