Trapped under the fatty layer of your belly are three major abdominal muscle groups, eager to get taut and toned. With the right exercises and diet, anyone – young or old – can get a washboard stomach, says biokineticist Pea Blaauw of Cape Town.
If you do our series of exercises every day you’ll see, and feel, a difference within a month. Keep up the hard work for 12 weeks, combine it with a healthy diet and your friends will be impressed with the result.
For a fabulous, flat tummy in 30 days Do two sets of 15 repetitions of four of these abdominal muscle exercises daily. Vary your choice of exercises so you do at least one set of each every week.
The secret is to do each exercise in a controlled manner and to concentrate on using your stomach muscles to move your upper body.
Remember Exercise goes hand in hand with a healthy diet. You can tone your arms, flatten your stomach and tighten your buttocks but if your muscles are covered in a layer of fat, you’ll still look flabby and shapeless.
- Abdominal curls
Curl your upper body up until your shoulder blades are off the ground. It’s a small movement. Keep your feet flat on the floor and try not to lift your head with your hands.
You can start doing the exercise on the floor and after a week or two move on to a big gym ball with your body horizontal and your feet flat on the floor.
- Abdominal Crunches
Use your abdominal muscles to lift your upper body and shoulders closer to your legs. Don’t arch your back as you lift your upper body.
You can start by doing the exercise on the floor and after a week or two move on to a big gym ball with your body horizontal and your feet flat on the floor.
- Boxing exercise
Hold your arms like a boxer and punch the air as you bring your upper body into the crunch. You can punch to the front, to the side or straight up into the air with each crunch.
- Oblique crunches
Contract your abdominals and move your elbow towards your opposite knee. Hold for five seconds and lower slowly to the starting position. Keep your lower back pressed against the floor.
Lie on the floor and pull your knees to your chest. Hold on to something fixed. Use your abdominal muscles to lift your buttocks and lower back off the floor.
- Fingers to toes
Keep your arms straight while you lift your fingers towards your toes. Move your upper body towards your knees and keep your stomach muscles contracted. Keep your chin off your chest.
- Russian twist
Hold a small gym ball with both hands. Rest your shoulders and neck on a big ball, with your feet flat and your body horizontal. Turn your arms slowly to the left, back to the middle and then to the right.