Updated: Apr 2
Just about everyone wants a flatter tummy, but only improving your diet and losing weight isn’t always going to get you there. You also need to do specific workouts that target the right areas and tone flabby skin.
The following home workouts are perfect for anyone wanting a flatter, more toned tummy, but better than that, they can be performed just about anywhere. All you need is a bit of space, a yoga mat (optional) and water bottle. Personally, I like to involve my kids in this workout for heaps of giggles. Let them be not just your motivation, but your mini drill sergeants! Yep, I give mine that special power to push me harder than I might push myself.
You may be familiar with the standard plank from yoga or Pilates. The variations of the plank make it a great exercise for all ages and abilities, but also for raising your heart rate and burning fat. Performing this move you will work the muscles of your core, arms and legs.
I'll be honest, the side plank isn’t the easiest move to pull off, but with a little practice (and giggles) you'll master good form and be able to reap the benefits. The more often you do it, the stronger you will become around the entire girdle, or torso area. Even mucking about in a practice session, you are working the core muscles that burn fat and flatten your tummy, so keep at this one!
How To Do The Exercise | Sets: 1-2 with 5-15 Repetitions
The side plank is done by lying on one side and resting on your elbow or an extended arm. Place your opposite hand on your other shoulder or on the hip. Hold this position for a few seconds, then switch to the other side. The aim is to be able to hold this position for 10-30 seconds before switching sides. Breathe. Do not be discouraged if you find this challenging; keep at it aiming to beat your PB each time you do the exercise. Breathe deeply and really focus on your form. It's almost as if you were a plank of wood; the better hold your form straight the more deeply you will work the muscles.
TRAINER'S TIP: The side plank is a great one to master. From here, you can add in leg lifts, side reaches and ab crunches; even weights.
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This will have you and the kids doing more laughing than exercise. It's not exactly a plank, but it does work just as many muscles and is perfect for melting that baby belly. As you perform this exercise, you will working out your entire core, plus you'll work on your upper and lower body muscles at the same time. You do need a good amount of ground space, as you are going to be moving ahead of you, so get outside in the backyard, on a tiled patio or even down your hallway.
How To Do The Exercise | Sets: 1-2 with 10-25 Repetitions
You will need something to help you slide across the floor, like a plastic bag, paper plates or your gym towel. To perform drop into a full pushup position with hands on the ground, and resting on your toes. Place the plastic/plates/towel securely under your feet. You are going to walk using just your hand and slide forward, then "walk" backward.
It's helpful to pretend you have no use of your legs, this is core engagement and an upper body workout but it's very taxing on the body. Start forward, dragging your feet (which should slide easily across the ground) for up to a few car lengths (or ad afar as you can go). Then, push backward really engaging the core as you slide yourself back to the starting position.
TRAINER'S TIP: Using sliders under your feet or hands is a great way to exercise on flat surfaces in ways that engage the core and challenge your stabiliser muscles.
Think of a gymnast as you practice this one. This move is similar to a plank but with a few modifications that help to work more muscles.
The reverse plank is sometimes referred to as a "plank hover". Instead of facing the ground or side, you do this plank facing up. It is a great move to try in sequence with other forms of the plank to get a balanced, full body workout.
How To Do The Exercise | Sets: 1-2 with 5-15 Repetitions
Start by sitting on the ground with your feet facing forward, legs outstretched. Put your hands on the ground at your sides and try to lift your body up to where your hips are a little bit off the ground. Keep your feet on the floor and lift your hips as high as you can maintaining straight legs. The move looks kind of like a backward pushup or high plank.
Hold the position, hips off the floor, for a few seconds and then release. Try this for a few repetitions, then working up to 15 or more as you get stronger.
TRAINER'S TIP: Good form is key so don't add more repetitions until you can nail each lift perfectly. Even do a few reps perfectly is more effective at burning fat and tiring muscles than banging off a heap with sloppy form. Always se sure to engage the right target muscles and with care.
After you have tried the above exercises and become familiar with them, create a mini workout yo do while on the road, holidays or just when you are short on time. Add in some other exercise that you love to make a full circuit of between 8-10 exercises and see how often you can beat you PB (personal best). A simple timer on your iphone can make the above suggestions into an simple interval workout. Time yourself and up the intensity.
HEALTH COACH TIP: Try adding the above suggestions to your current lifestyle. I always recommend that clients choose physical activities that they actually enjoy doing. This gives you more chance of sticking with it and seeing success.
Put it into action. ...what are you going to try from this article?
Wishing you health + happiness,
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