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5 easy stomach toning exercises

by Christine Borg

Getting a toned stomach is easier than you think. It just requires a little work and a few minutes a day. Open Colleges Certificate III Fitness student, Christine Borg, talks us through her top 5 exercises for fast, effective results.

I’m going to take you through 5 simple ab exercises that you can do in 20 minutes a day with no equipment necessary.

Try performing 3 sets of each exercise for 1 minute at a time, with a rest interval of about 40 seconds. Always remember quality over quantity.

The basic crunch

This works the top part of your abdominal muscles.

  • Lie on your back, with your hands either crossed over your chest (recommended) or behind your head (don’t be tempted to pull your head forward with your hands as this can put unwanted strain on your neck).
  • Place your knees shoulder-width apart and feet flat on the floor.
  • Push your back into the ground so there is no bend in the arch of your back. Try to maintain this position throughout the crunch.
  • Breathe out and raise your shoulders off the ground, pulling your chest to your knees.
  • Breathe in, gently lower your chest and shoulders to the ground.

The reverse crunch

This works the lower part of the abdominal muscles.

  • Lie on your back, with your palms facing down and close by your side.
  • Raise your feet off the ground keeping your knees together.
  • Push your back into the ground so there is no bend in the arch of your back.
  • Breathe out, lift and squeeze your butt up and off the ground. Try pushing your body weight into your hands to assist in the up phase of the exercise.
  • Breathe in, gently lower your butt back to the starting position.

Toe taps

This works the muscles at the sides of your abdominals.

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • While placing your hands by your sides, reach your left hand to your left toes.
  • Return back to the middle and then reach your right hand to your right toes.
  • Breathe out while performing the reach phase and breathe in as you return to the starting phase.

Bicycle crunches

This exercise incorporates all the above in one move for an ab overload!

  • Lie on your back with your hands just touching your ears.
  • Your knees should be bent at 90 degrees.
  • Breathe out, bring your left knee and right elbow together.
  • Breathe in, return to the centre and repeat on the other side.

The Plank

I saved the best to last. Feel the burn!

  • While on your tummy prop yourself up on your elbows and toes, or knees for a simpler version.
  • Elbows and feet should be shoulder width apart. From head to toe you should be in one straight, strong line (hence the name plank).
  • Engage those tummy muscles. Do not sway your back or stick your butt in the air.
  • Now just hang in there and sweat it out! There is no movement to this exercise. Feel the burn and stay super strong for as long as possible. Don’t forget to breathe.

All the above exercises engage the whole entire tummy region. That’s all there is to it. Stick to these five fab ab workouts each day and the results will speak for themselves!

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