We all want a trimmed waistline, isn’t it? Well, getting a flat belly is not an easy task. It is important to work on your core muscles which is one of the steps to remove belly fat. Exercises keep your metabolism operating at peak efficiency an helps your cause of attaining the desired result.
The belly fat comprises of two different types of fatty tissues – visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is stored directly below your skin whereas visceral fat is much harder to identify as it’s stored around your internal organs in your abdominal region, including your liver, pancreas and intestines. High visceral fat storage has also been linked to breast cancer, colorectal cancer stroke, Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Your overall nutrition intake and your food habits is an important factor that will also help you determine how you get a flat belly. Here are some of the ab exercises that can help you for the same.
#1 Reverse Crunches
Reverse crunches will help you to increase ab strength and targets your lower abdomen. This exercise also helps in maintaining the lower back stability. It engages the lower layers of your abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis giving you a flat belly.
Step 1: Lie down on the floor in a traditional crunch position, your feet bent at your knees and hands under your head or extend them at your sides.
Step 2: Press your lower back into the floor and lift your feet off of the ground. Keep your knees together, bent at 90-degree angles
Step 3: Using your core, pull your knees to your chest.
Step 4: Return to the starting position without touching your feet on the floor.
Important Tips: Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps each. You can make the exercise harder by lifting your head and shoulders with legs. To avoid injury do not arch your back.
Next Up: V-Ups
V-up exercise target the abdominal muscles and help in toning down the obliques. This exercise utilises your upper body weight to isolate the core to strengthen it. It also helps to work on your back muscles and also the quadriceps and hamstrings at the same time. It is important to warm up before doing this exercise as it will prevent you from strains and injuries.
Step 1: Begin by laying flat on the floor or mat. Hold for as long as possible. Repeat this move as many times as you can for one minute.
Step 2: Now slowly raise the arms to meet the knees, forming a V.
Step 3: Tighten your abdominal muscles, and rely on your core strength to keep you balanced in this position. Hold for as long as you can.
Important Tip: Do this exercise non-stop for 60 seconds. It is important to maintain a good core position and a strong spine while performing this exercise.
Next Up: Rolling Planks
#3 Rolling Planks
It is important to master the basic plank exercise before moving to rolling plank which is a more complex variation. In addition to working up the core muscles, the rolling plank also builds up your shoulder and back strength.
Step 1: Start in high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders, fingers pointing forward.
Step 2: Now place the top of your feet on the middle of the foam roller. Keep your body in a straight diagonal line.
Step 3: Next slide your body up with the help of the foam roller and tighten your core.
Step 4: Return back to the neutral or starting position and repeat the exercise.
Important Tip: Do 3 sets of 15-20 reps each. Remember not to arch your back while performing the exercise. Always keep the elbow in line with the shoulders.
Next Up: Toe Touch Crunches
#4 Toe Touch Crunches
The toe touch exercise fully engages the abdominal muscles and helps in strengthening your core. This exercise also helps to improve your posture, flexibility and balance. It is one of the best exercises to burn belly fat.
Step 1: Lie on your back and reach your arms behind you with both your hands straight.
Step 2: Now lift your head and shoulder off the ground and touch your toes with the help of your hands making a “U” shape.
Step 3: You need to lift your pelvis slightly off the ground so your toes move toward your fingers. Return to the starting position.
Important Tips: Do 2 sets of 15-20 reps each. For more difficulty, try holding a weight or medicine ball and perform the same motion.
Next Up: Kettlebell Swing
#5 Kettlebell Swing
The kettlebell swing is an amazing exercise which targets your core. The swing motion helps your abs to contract immediately and provides the much-needed strength. Apart from the abdominal muscles it also helps in building biceps, calves and your deltoid muscles.
Step 1: Stand with your feet a little more than hip-width apart with the kettlebell resting on the floor.
Step 2: Bend your knees slightly and press your butt back to stabilise your body.
Step 3: Now grasp (palms facing downwards) the kettlebell handle with both hands and swing it as if trying to hit your butt with it.
Step 4: Thrust your hips forward, straighten knees and squeeze glutes to swing the kettlebell through legs up to chest height. Next swing the weight down to complete one rep.
Important Tips: Do 3 sets of 15-18 reps each. Keep your arms and wrists straight throughout. Keep your weight on the heels and prevent your spine from rounding.
Next Up: Dumbbell Woodchop
#6 Dumbbell Woodchop
The dumbbell woodchop is an excellent dumbbell exercise that helps you work on your obliques and upper abs. It also helps in body coordination and improves the flexibility of the spine.
Step 1: Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell with both hands on one side in a squat position. This is the starting position.
Step 2: Keeping your arms straight move the dumbbell from one side to the highest point away from your body over your opposite shoulder. You should twist your body as if chopping wood.
Step 3: Slowly twist your body and bend your knees to return back to the starting position. Do the reps and then switch sides.
Important Tips: Do 2 sets of 10-15 reps on each side. If you are a beginner then do not start with a weight that is too heavy. Keep your abdominal muscles and back muscles tight throughout the exercise to add stability.