Belly Flattening Exercises

There is no magic pill that will counteract the effects of overeating and lack of exercise that lead to excess belly fat. But there are exercises that you can do to tone your abs and burn calories. Exercise is still only half of the equation. Ab exercises will firm weak stomach muscles and adopting an eating plan will help you get rid a big belly.

Lunge Twist

The lunge twist combines a lunge with torso rotation. The twist works the oblique muscles of the abdominals, but the exercise also targets your front thigh muscles, quads, and buttocks, the glutes. The lunge twist burns calories and strengthens your core, contributing to a flatter belly. To perform the lunge twist, stand up straight with your arms touching your sides. The elbows are bent at right angles. Next, step your right foot forward. Bend your knees and lower your left knee toward the floor. Also, twist your torso and arms to the right. Rotate your shoulders back to face straight ahead and then step back so your right foot is next to your left. Repeat the lunge twist by stepping your left foot forward.

Arm Pull-Over Straight-Leg Crunch

The arm pull-over straight-leg crunch takes an abdominal crunch and adds an arm pullover to work the upper body. Dumbbells are used for the pull over to work your upper body and the legs are raised during the straight-leg crunch to work the hip flexors of the lower body. To set up for the exercise, lie on your back with your legs straight. Hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands with your arms alongside your head. Rotate your palms to face each other. Then, lift your legs straight toward the ceiling as you pull your arms up off the floor toward the ceiling. Bring your arms toward your shins. You should feel the arm pullover in your upper back muscles. Lie back down to finish the rep.

Side-Plank Flip

The side-plank flip is a dynamic version of the popular plank exercise. A traditional plank pose works your abs by holding your body in one position, the plank. The side-plank flip has you rotate your body to each side and lift one arm, creating more work for your core to stabilize your body. To do a side-plank flip, begin in plank position with your hands and toes on the floor as if you were going to do a push-up. Keep your arms straight, your legs straight and your hips lifted so your body is in a straight line. Then, lift your right arm off the floor and twist your entire body sideways until your left hand and the outside of your left foot are the only parts of your body touching the floor. Return to center and lift the left arm to hold yourself up with your right hand.

About this Author

Sarka-Jonae Miller has been a freelance writer and editor since 2003. She was a personal trainer for four years with certifications from AFAA and NASM. Miller also worked at 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness and as a mobile trainer. Her career in the fitness industry begin in 2000 as a martial arts, yoga and group exercise instructor. She graduated cum laude from Syracuse University.