3 Exercises to Tone Your Abs

by BusyMama on January 1, 2013

Ever heard the saying abs are made in the kitchen? Totally true. To see your abs, you have to be eating to lose weight. However, if you don’t have the muscle there to pop out, then you won’t see the six pack because… there isn’t one! Abs are like every other muscle – you want them to develop, you have to add resistance.  And like every other muscle, you should not work them every single day.

If your New Year’s Resolution is to get six pack abs or at least some visible ab definition, here are three exercises to tone and flatten that belly.  I also recommend doing these along with some planking so you strengthen and tighten up that transverse abdominus (your innermost core muscle).  That’s the muscle that pulls in your waistline so you don’t look bulky!  We want to look toned not bulky, right? Plus, planks you can do everyday.  Time yourself so you can keep track of how long to hold your next plank!

What you’re going to need: a mat or carpet to lie on, ankle weights (start light!) and clothing you can move in easily. 

Start with at least a five minute warm-up.  Really important to have your muscles warmed up so you get the most out of these exercises!

Then, we start with the first exercise: the single leg lift. This might be familiar if you’ve ever done pilates!  This is a great oblique (the lines down the sides of your tummy) and lower abs workout. Lie down on the floor on your side.  Angle your legs slightly in front of you so you’re in a pike position – this helps for stability.  Your body should not be in a straight line.  Making sure to engage your core, (think sucking in your belly to fit into some tight jeans!), lift the top leg up and slowly lower it down.  Repeat 10 times. Rest for 30 seconds, repeat for 10 more times.  Then, switch legs.

tummy toning

The next exercise requires you standing up.  Engage your core and place your hands on the floor.  If you aren’t able to reach the floor, you can use a bench, chair, barbell, yoga block… whatever you can reach and feel stable.  One leg is planted firmly on the floor with a bent knee. The other leg wears the ankle weight and you’re going to crunch that leg into your body then out behind you.  Flexing your gluts (your butt muscles) will help you with stability and also help you tone that badunk-a-dunk.  Do 10 reps with one leg, rest for 30 seconds in child’s pose, 10 more reps with the same leg and then repeat with the other leg.

 

work out abs

Last one – this is an old school flat belly exercise called the ‘In & Out’.  You’re going to sit in a ‘V-Sit’ position with your hands behind you for support.  Engage your core and pull your knees into your chest, then lower them to the floor.  Do 10 reps, rest, then 10 more reps.  If your lower back starts to hurt at all, you can put a pillow behind you for support or use a back-jack chair.
lose belly fat

Comment and let me know how these workouts went!  Also, what is your favorite way to work your abs?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura @ Mommy Run Fast January 2, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Those are great exercises! I forgot about the in and out one… haven’t done that in a long time, I’ll add it back this week. Every time I’m on your site, I am just in awe of your header. What an inspirational mama you are!

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BusyMama January 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Thanks Laura!!! I had forgotten all about In & Out’s too until I started doing this weight lifting program and they use them a lot. Decided to add ankle weights and wowwwww they sure take it up a notch!

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Tina @ Best Body Fitness January 3, 2013 at 11:47 am

What great ideas! Love how they work the overall core and stability of other muscles too in some of them. The ankle weights no doubt up the ante!

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BusyMama January 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Oh gosh, they really do! The weights definitely increase the burn factor 10 fold!

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Elizabeth @ My Neon Running Shoes January 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Thanks for posting this! I’ve been looking for some ways to incorporate core work… this is perfect.

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Ana January 14, 2013 at 12:56 am

Great exercises :) I can wait to try those with some weights

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dumbbell exerecises, dumbbell workouts, dumbbell workout, dumbell exercises, best dumbbell exercises, full body dumbbell workout,fat stomach exercises, flat-stomach-exercises.com,flat stomach exercises March 6, 2013 at 10:26 pm

Amazing things here. I’m very satisfied to look your article. Thank you a lot and I am looking forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

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elmie March 11, 2013 at 3:01 am

tnx laura ;-)

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