10 Exercises for Flatter Abs

14 10 2011

By SELF Editors

Self

Mix and match any (or all) of our fun firmers to make your middle little in no time.

Your trainer Lisa Wheeler, national creative manager of group fitness for Equinox in New York City, designed these moves.

You’ll need A hand towel and a 5- to 8-pound weight

The plan Take five minutes (even two minutes here, three there) most days to perform your fave combo of the chiselers. Try one set of 8 reps of all 10 moves, or pick a few and do two sets of 12 reps.

Trimming Tap

works abs, obliques, shoulders, butt, thighs

Start in side plank, left palm on floor, right arm extended to ceiling, hips lifted, feet stacked. Hold plank as you tap right foot in front of left, then behind, for 1 rep. Do reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Perfect Pike

works abs, shoulders, butt, thighs

Start in plank with a folded towel under toes. Engage abs as you lift hips and slide feet toward hands, keeping legs straight, so body forms an inverted V. Return to start for 1 rep. Repeat.

Sizzling Swing

works abs, shoulders, triceps

Start in reverse plank: wrists under shoulders, fingers forward, legs extended. Drop hips and swing them back between arms, sliding heels and keeping legs straight. Return to start for 1 rep. Repeat.

Whittling Walk

works abs, shoulders, biceps

Start in plank, then bend elbows to bring forearms to floor; move right hand to left elbow and left hand to right elbow. Lift right arm over left, placing it in front of left on floor, as you walk toes 1 step forward. Repeat with left arm, then reverse move to return to start, for 1 rep. Repeat.

Get-Lean Lift

works abs, shoulders, butt, legs

Start in plank, then lift hips, coming into Downward Dog, as you raise left leg to ceiling and bend left knee behind you, foot flexed. Return to plank. Switch sides to complete 1 rep. Repeat.

Sculpting Sweep

works abs, obliques, shoulders, biceps

Start in plank with a folded towel under toes. Engage abs as you slide knees toward outside of right elbow, then slide feet back to plank. Switch sides to complete 1 rep. Repeat.

Side Slimmer

works abs, obliques, shoulders, butt, thighs

Start in side plank, left palm on floor, hips lifted and feet stacked, right arm reaching past ear to create a straight line from ankles to wrist. Bring right knee and right elbow toward each other. Return to start for 1 rep. Do reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Rear Raiser

works abs, shoulders, biceps, butt, legs

Start in plank with forearms on floor, a weight behind bent right knee, foot flexed. Tap right knee to floor, then return to start for 1 rep. Do reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Play It Straight

works abs, shoulders, back

Crouch with knees bent under chest, heels lifted, arms extended, palms on floor, to start. Press forward into plank; hold for 1 count. Return to start for 1 rep. Repeat.

Waist Cincher

works abs, obliques

Start on left side, left forearm and hip on floor, feet stacked, right hand holding dumbbell on right hip (as shown). Lift hips to create a straight line from feet to head, keeping dumbbell at hip. Return to start for 1 rep. Repeat.

Basic Plank Pointers

  • Keep feet hip-width apart. Make it easier: Spread legs slightly wider.
  • Place wrists directly beneath shoulders with elbows soft, fingers pointed forward.
  • Be sure shoulders are pressed down and relaxed—no shrugging.
  • Form a straight line with back from head to heels. Remind yourself: Flat’s where it’s at.
  • Head aligns with spine, and neck is long. Focus a few inches in front of hands to adjust your position naturally.

SELF  gives you great advice on being healthy, happy, slimmer, fitter and less stressed.

Join the SELF Healthy Cities Goal on Active.com Trainer. We’ll add weekly goals to log and members of the healthiest city will get a free online training plan.

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