Tone Your Belly with Crunches, Planks and Your Bicycle
Once you have lost your belly fat, it is time to start working on toning muscles around your middle. While there are numerous different exercises that target the belly area, these three are the tried, true and get results:
- The Bicycle
The nice thing about these exercises is that none of them require any equipment. However, you can use a yoga or exercise mat to make you more comfortable.
Tone Your Belly with Crunches
Crunches are similar to sit-ups, but not as stressful on the back and neck. To start, lie on your back on the floor (or a mat if you have one) with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor shoulder width apart. Keep your hands across your chest or locked behind your head.
Inhale and lift your head and shoulders by tightening your abs so that your shoulder blades are just off of the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, exhale and slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position. Do as many crunches as you can right now with an eventual goal of two sets of 10 to 20 crunches per set.
Tone Your Belly with Planks
There are several variations of the plank; the one explained here is the full plank. Start by lying on the floor face down; your forearms, elbows, hands and stomach should touch the floor. Tighten your abs and lift your body off the floor. Only your forearms, elbows and feet should now touch the floor.
While in this position, your body should be in a straight line from your shoulders to your feet; avoid the tendency to raise your buttocks or to arch your back. This defeats the purpose of doing planks.
Hold this pose for 10 to 30 seconds. Relax and slowly drop to the starting position. Work up to the point where you can hold the pose for a full minute. Do as many repetitions as you can.
Tone Your Belly with Your Bicycle
The starting position is to lie on your back with your fingers locked behind your head and legs bent at the knees. Now lift your left shoulder blade off of the floor, twist slightly and bring your right knee up toward your left elbow. At the same time, straighten your left leg. Now switch sides by straightening your right leg, bending your left leg, and bringing the right elbow up to the left knee. Keep alternate sides in a pedaling (bicycling) motion. Strive to complete 8 to 12 repetitions.
While there are several more exercises that target the abdominal muscles, these three will get you well on your way to having 6-pack abs and looking great. Start working your abs today so you’ll be ready to show them off in a bikini or short top this summer.
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