If you’ve always wished for a flat stomach, you’re definitely not alone! It’s a common reason for taking up yoga, running, or any form of exercise.
While you might just want to look fit, remember that a healthy waistline is also important for great health. Having a flatter belly can actually lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.1
I’m guessing we all look for easy exercises to banish that tummy. But you don’t necessarily need to hit the gym to make it happen. Try these seven convenient belly-blasting exercises in the comfort of your own home.
This classic workout is done on the floor. If you feel uncomfortable, use a towel or yoga mat to protect your back.
To start one crunch, cross your hands on your chest. Bend your knees and keep your feet flat on the floor. Use your stomach muscles to lift your shoulders up, making sure your lower back is still touching the floor. Try to keep your eyes on the ceiling. Don’t look forward, as this can cause neck strain. Ease back down the floor to finish one crunch.
2. Twisted Crunch
Start in the same position as the normal crunch. Place your hands behind your neck. Using your stomach, twist your body so that your right shoulder moves toward your left knee. This knee should also be lifted up during this move.
Repeat in the opposite direction – lifting the left shoulder and right knee – to complete a rep.
3. Crunch Chop
While on your back, place your legs next to each other and lift them up to make a 90-degree angle. Stretch your arms over your head and cup your hands together.
To do one rep, separate your legs into a “V” shape. At the same time, work your stomach muscles to lift your body up, bringing your arms in between your legs. Keep your hands together during the entire move. Return to the starting position to finish a single rep.
4. Leg Lift
Lay on your back and extend your legs. Cross them at the feet. Lift them up at the same time, creating a 90 degree angle. Finish one rep by slowly lowering your legs back down, but make sure they don’t touch the floor. Lift them back up to complete one rep.
Kneel down and extend your body forward, placing your palms on the floor. The palms should be parallel to your shoulders. Extend your legs behind you and lift the rest of your body up so that your body is straight. Pretend your back is, well, a plank!
If you’re a beginner, hold the position for 3 to 5 breaths. You can increase this count as you build up muscle. Drop your knees down to finish one rep.
6. Side Plank
Lay on your left side and place your legs one on top of another. Extend them so that your body is perfectly straight.
To start a side plank, prop yourself up on your left arm. Your left elbow should be parallel to your left shoulder. Lift your hip and knees off the floor in one motion. Hold this position for 3 to 5 breaths using your stomach muscles to support you. Gently drop your hip and knees back to the floor to complete one rep.
Sets: 3 on each side
To avoid injury, do a quick warm up before starting these exercises. Make sure your workout space is free of random objects and furniture.
Most importantly, work at your own pace and be patient with yourself. The journey to a flat stomach will be worth it!
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Waist Size Matters, hsph.harvard.edu|