Getting fit is not just about how you look – rather, it’s about improving your heart health, increasing muscle strength and feeling more confident in your body. In addition to these reasons however, many people also secretly (or not-so secretly!) exercise and eat right for vanity reasons. Whether your desire is to fit into your clothes better or show off a slim physique at the beach, toned abs are a sought-after sculpted body part. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get a flat, chiseled belly; rather, you can whittle your middle by doing dynamic abdominal exercises, such as the ones below, consistently. Remember: you also need to engage in regular aerobic-type exercise to burn off fat overlying abdominal muscles as well as nourish your body with nutrient-rich foods!
You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get a flat, chiseled belly; rather, you can whittle your middle by doing dynamic abdominal exercises
1. STABILITY BALL ROLL-INS
Start this exercise in a full push-up position on the floor. Put your feet and shins up on a stability ball. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe. If your legs are higher than your upper body, you may need a shorter stability ball. Contract your abdominal muscles by gently drawing your lower abdominal muscles towards your spine. Next, roll the ball in towards your chest with your feet. Pause for 1-2 seconds before pushing back out to the start position. Repeat, this time rolling your knees in towards your left elbow; roll back-out and follow-up with bringing your knees in towards your right elbow. Rotational movements target the oblique muscles on the sides of your trunk. Continue alternating between centers, left and right rolls for a total of 12-15 reps. Rest and complete 3 sets.
2. STANDING WOOD-CHOP
Start in a standing position with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and a slight bend in the knees. Hold on to a medicine ball with both hands. Contract your abs as you raise the ball up and over to the left, pivoting on your right foot for added trunk rotation. Bring the weight back down low to the right side of your waist. Repeat 10 times on the left before switching to repeat by rotating to the right. Do these movements slowly and with control to avoid using momentum versus your core muscles. Do 3 sets in total.
3. SIDE-PLANK WITH A TWIST
Lie on your right-hand side on the floor, body forming a straight line from head to toe. Raise yourself up so that your elbow is directly underneath your shoulder, forearm resting in front of you. Feet should be stacked so that you are resting on the outside of your right foot. Contract your abs to hold this position for 10-20 seconds. Next, rotate your body by bringing your top arm down and underneath your right side towards the floor, pause and return to side-plank position. Repeat 5-10 times on your right side before switching to repeat on your left.