It’s a fact that zapping abdominal flab isn’t easy. The thought of doing hundreds of crunches daily can only make your desire to have a head-turning stomach seem more difficult. But just because you refuse to put up with crunches doesn’t mean you are no longer entitled to having a to-die-for belly. The fact is there are plenty of exercises for flattening the abdominal area that are just as good as crunches — sometimes even better!
So if you’re geared up to enjoy a flatter belly without doing a single traditional crunch, read on!
Plank with a Twist
Everyone knows that the plank is one of the best exercises for toning the core muscles and dealing with abdominal flab. By adding a little twist — literally! — it’s possible to make planking a little more challenging and several times more effective in flattening your midsection. Begin by getting on the floor and doing the usual planking position. Slowly twist your hips from left to right, making sure that the upper body supported by your forearms and elbow remains still. Tighten your abdominal muscles and exhale while doing a twist to really zap that belly flab.
Abdominal Twist with Weights
This exercise works as wonderfully as the traditional crunches, but there’s really no crunching involved! Get started by lying on the ground. Lift your upper body as well as both your legs off the floor, forming a V shape. Grab a medicine ball or a 5-pound dumbbell, cross your legs and start swiveling your upper body from left to right. Remember to keep your abdominal muscles tight throughout the routine for best results.
Because this particular exercise engages the core muscles, it is highly effective in trimming your midsection. Start by getting on all fours. Have your toes tucked under as if you’re gearing up to sprint, and keep the back neutral. While contracting your abdominal muscles, take both your knees about a couple of inches off the floor. Bring your right knee close to your chin, and then straighten it behind you to do a kick. Repeat for about 8 times in a row then do the same with the other leg. While doing the kick, it’s a good idea to clench your butt muscles.
Scale Pose or Tolasana
This is a popular yoga pose especially for those who like to achieve flatter midsections. Aside from toning and strengthening the core muscles, doing the scale pose is also good for the arms! Get started with this belly- and arm-toning routine by sitting on a yoga or exercise mat with your legs crossed. Place your arms on your sides with both your palms on the mat. Tighten your abdominal and pelvic floor muscles, and then lift your lower body off the mat. Try to maintain the scale pose for 3 breaths, and return to the starting position. Worry not if you can’t seem to lift your lower body because you may leave your feet on the floor and simply lift your butt to do the challenging pose.
Double Toe Hold or V Pose
Another yoga move that helps trim your belly is the double toe hold or v pose. Sit on a yoga or exercise mat with both your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Grab the underside of your thighs and lean back until your arms are almost straight. Lift your lower legs until they are parallel to the mat then let go of your thighs. Straighten the lower legs until they align with your upper legs, and attempt to reach for your toes. Hold the pose for 8 breaths.
The Swan Dive
Get started doing the swan dive by lying flat on your belly. Stretch both your arms overhead and point your toes. Lift your legs and arms about 6 inches off the ground and hold this position for about a second, then take your arms behind you by circling them out to the sides. With your palms facing inward, attempt to reach your toes to get those abdominal muscles stretched. After a second, go back to the starting position. Rest for a while and do 6 to 7 more.
Planking on a Ball
This exercise is more challenging than the usual plank because you have to stabilize your entire body while your legs are propped up on an exercise ball. Start the routine by kneeling before an exercise ball and placing your midsection on top of it. Plant your palms on the ground in front of the exercise ball. Slowly walk them out until the exercise ball is right under your thighs. Hold this position for about half a minute, keeping your abdominal muscles tight.