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Best Exercises for a Flat Stomach

Getting that toned fit stomach isn’t just a way to look good, but it helps create a stronger overall body.

That’s why this area is called the core. It helps stabilize all the body’s movements, and it’s where all our power comes from. Featured in this list are some of the best exercises to get that trim and flat stomach you want.

HIIT Training

High intensity interval training or HIIT is the ultimate fat burning tool.

Athletes in all sports use a variation of this exercise technique to build explosiveness, endurance, and to strengthen their stomach. There are many individual exercises available in HIIT. Here are some of the best:

    • Burpees: You start from a push up position then move to a hunched squat. Once here you then jump as high as you can, and finally move back in the pushup position. The American College of Sports found that 10 of these movements replicate the metabolism boost that 30-second full sprints have.
    • Mogul Jump: Similar to the push up position, you keep your 2 arms out in front of you, while your knees are below your hips. Then elevate your knees as they’re just above the ground. With your feet together you jump to the right then pause, and finally jump to the left and repeat.

    This fast exercise will have your heart rate pumping at a steady rate.

    A Pub Med study showed that these exercises have:

    “numerous benefits…. Especially weight loss.. are amplified with HIIT”

    HIIT training can be done with several other exercises as long as it’s performed at a sprints pace, and with no stopping. You’re always performing some movement even if it’s not full force.

    Plyometrics

    This form of jump training has you push out as much force as you can for a short period of time. It’s also used by all athletes to help support explosive realistic movements, and of course helping burn fat for a strong core.

    You can set up a box or stable platform to jump on or over, though you can also do it without any equipment.

    The great thing about this exercise is that there are several variations. You can jump side to side, try and jump as high as you can, jump off of and unto an elevated platform, skip from each leg, and much more.

    The University of Tennessee also confirmed that plyometric exercises were beneficial for reducing risk of injuries:

    “strategy for improving neuromuscular attributes that are believed to reduce the risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury”

    Since you can do this exercise anywhere and without equipment, it’s a valuable tool for getting a trim stomach.

    Compound Exercises

    These kinds of exercises work your entire body, and much of its strength relies on the core.

    You’ll often see variations of each of these exercises that help target specific parts of your stomach:

        • Squats: You can perform his exercise with a barbell, dumbbells, or even with just your body weight. This exercise is essential for a flat stomach. One great variation to this is the goblet squat. With a heavy barbell you use both hands to hold it in place as you stay in a squat. It sounds easy but it’ll activate your stomach and cause it to work at a high rate.
        • Deadlifts: Your oblique’s are the abdominals on the sides of your waist that work overtime when you perform this exercise. A proper deadlift clenches the abs to allow for all the power to come from the stomach area. This exercise when done properly and with a good amount of weight can flatten a stomach quickly. This is because abs is known as phasic muscles, which Live Strong.com reports as requiring:

          “thick, strong muscle fibers… that require heavy work to properly train”

        Since the deadlift can be one of the most demanding exercises, it’s a great way to make a stomach trim.

        Though deadlifts need a barbell to properly perform, you can do bodyweight squats if you have no equipment. All athletes practice both of these compound exercises, since they help improve overall muscle strength.

        The impact on flattening a stomach though compound exercises is significant, since all the power comes from the abdominals.

        Isolated Exercises

        There are certain exercises that are intended to target just one muscle group. Some of these same exercises are often not mentioned as an ab workout, but they do require the abdominals to provide stabilization:

        • Dumbbell Row: This exercise requires you to load up weight on one side of your body, which then allows for the stomach to stabilize the entire movement. The more weight you add increases the overall strain on the stomach, which helps tightens it and improve overall appearance.
        • Tricep Pushdown: Using cables you bring down weight, which uses your core as a stabilizing force. With enough weight you should feel a constant tightening sensation in your stomach. This is necessary so you don’t lean forward, which then provides overall stability to promote rock hard abs.
        • Hanging Leg Raise: You make sure to grasp a high hanging bar about shoulder width apart with an overhand grip. You then raise your legs by flexing the hips and knees until they’re completely flexed. After this point you should feel a tightening and slight discomfort in your abs. A set of 12 should be enough to feel a strong burning sensation.
        Sprints

        More so than long distance running, a quick intense session of sprinting is effective for boosting metabolism, burning fat, and helping to tone your entire body.

        Sprints require your entire core to be used since your exerting so much force. The benefits of this exercise is that it’s quick, easy to use, and you can do it without any equipment.