For many women, the abs are a real problem area and, sadly, much as we might wish there were a miracle pill or machine to magically get us into shape, the unfortunate truth is that such a thing just doesn’t exist. The best route to a toned midsection is a solid, old fashioned work out, and to help you get the best out of yours, I’ve done some research and put together a list of 13 exercises for losing stomach fat fast.
1 The Exercise Ball Beginner’s Crunch
Start sitting upright on top of the inflatable exercise ball, feet flat on the floor, knees in line with your hips. From this position, inhale, engage your abs and lean back so that your body is behind the vertical; take care that you use your stomach muscles here and not those supporting your lower back. Hold for a few seconds before returning to the upright position. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
2 The Basic Bicycle
While the average crunch focuses on the top of your abs, this one will work the hard-to-reach lower portion as well. Lie on you back with your shoulders, hips and pelvis in neutral position. Place your hands behind your head, ready to crunch. Engage you abs (not your back!) and bring your knees up to around 45 degrees. Slowly begin to pedal with your feet, as you would a bicycle and, at the same time, bring your elbow up to meet the opposite knee (right elbow touches left knee, then left elbow touches right knee). Continue through 1 -3 sets, each of 12 – 16 reps.
3 The Oblique Crunch
This manoeuvre alters the ordinary ‘sit-up’ so that it targets the oblique muscles for a narrower, more defined waistline. Lie flat on your back, body in neutral, knees bent and feet in line with your hips. Drop your knees to one side, keeping your shoulders and upper back in contact with the floor. Place hands behind your head and bring your shoulders up taking care that you’re completing the movement using your abdominal muscles and not compensating with any others. Hold the crunch for a few seconds and return to neutral keeping your knees on the floor; do 6-8 reps like this before switching to the other side. Continue through 1-3 sets.
4 The Face-down Knee Lift
This is a great, effective exercise, and a refreshing alternative to the conventional crunch. It’s important to get the technique right; don’t be tempted to cheat and punch your butt into the air. Get onto the floor as if you’re about to do a series of push ups; hands beneath your shoulders, neck in neutral, balanced on your toes. Keeping your abs firm and your hips completely flat, bring one knee up to your chest, hold for a couple of seconds and return to the original position. Do about 12-16 reps, alternating knees, through 1-3 sets.
5 The Exercise Ball Lift
This is another great way to work out your lower abs. The more ‘stops’ you introduce on your way up and down with the ball, the more challenging the exercise becomes. Lie with flat on the floor with the exercise ball between your feet. With your shoulders and neck still in neutral, lift your feet and grip the ball. Slowly raise the ball into the air and hold just as your legs approach the vertical. Just as slowly, lower the ball back to the floor, without letting go. As usual, do between 1 and 3 sets of 12-16 reps each.
6 The Plank
This is a straightforward strength exercise which works the entire front of your midsection. Arrange yourself sideways on the floor so that you’re balancing on your locked arm and the side foot, facing out in front you. Keep your hips raised as high as you can off the ground and simply hold the position for half a minute; repeat once on the other side.
7 The Ball Roll
Rest your feet on an exercise ball and place your hands directly below your shoulders as if you’re about to do a push up. Keep your abs engaged and your back straight. Maintaining control of the ball, slowly draw both of your knees up to your chest (or as close as you can get them) before, equally as slowly, returning your starting position with your legs straight. Do between 1 and 3 sets of 12 -16 reps.
Of all the exercises out there you can do for your abs, believe it or not, walking is probably the best. Why? Well, you naturally have ab definition underneath the layers of visceral fat on your stomach. Walking is one of the best ways to lose the belly fat, to reveal the abs you have underneath. All the abdominal crunches in the world won't do you any good if you can't see those abs!
Along with walking, running is also another prime way to shed fat fast to reveal the muscles you already have underneath your outer layers of skin. Just because you're thin doesn't mean you'll naturally have abs. Sometimes, it takes cardio like walking and running to reveal the true muscles, which we call our abs, underneath your belly. Just 30-45 minutes of walking or running is a great way to get to your goal of losing stomach fat faster.
10 Leg Lifts
One of my favorite ab exercises to get flat abs fast are leg lifts. Lay on your back with your feet straight out in front of you. One at a time, lift your legs and tighten your abs as you do. You just lift each leg straight up in the air, to a 90 degree angle with the floor. It will look like your legs are forming an L from the side. Lower back down and repeat 30 times per leg. Do three sets on each leg. These are really easy to do. Just be sure as you lift each leg you contract your abs to get the full effect.
11 Pilates Twist
Another one of my favorite ab exercises is the Pilates twist. This move is also pretty simple, yet very effective. Lay on your side and then prop your head up with your hand. Lift your hip off the floor, so you're holding your whole body up on your side with just the arm underneath your head and your feet. Reach up with your other arm towards the sky, and twist to tuck it underneath your body. Do these twists 30 times per side, being sure to contract your abs as you tuck underneath on each side.
12 Tuck and Lift
Another one of my favorite ab exercises is to do the "tuck and lift", which is used by many bodybuilders looking to get cut abs fast. Lay on your back and tuck your hands under your butt. Lift your feet off the floor at the same time, holding them together to form a 90 degree angle with the floor, in the shape of an L. You should feel your abs starting to contract and burn at this point. Then, lower back down and repeat up to 15 times if you can, leaving your hands underneath your butt. This is hard to do, yet it will give you ripped abs fast.
13 Jumping Rope
Another exercise that sheds stomach fat fast is jumping rope, which is why you see so many bodybuilders and exercise enthusiasts doing this one. Jump rope for up to 5 minutes per day if you can. If you can't, work up to 2 minutes, and progress from there. Jumping rope is a great form of cardio, especially if you don't have access to a good walking and running trail or a treadmill.
For the best results, you’ll need to be sure to do most of these exercises, along with the cardio recommended. You'll also need to eat a healthy, balanced diet, that contains less starchy and sugary foods, and plenty of vegetables and protein. This way, you’ll shed excess weight and tone up all at the same time. That concludes my list of 13 exercises for losing stomach fat fast; do you have any suggestions of your own to make?