Exercise Tips for a Flat Stomach

The abs are made up of three types of muscles: the rectus abdominus, or six-pack muscle that runs along the front of your stomach; the obliques, which run along the side of your torso; and the transverse abdominus, which wraps around your waist. Training your recutus abdominus will give you a toned, flat stomach, training your obliques will make your sides sleek and toned, while training your transverse abdominus will decrease your waist size and improve your posture. Training these muscles will give you a toned, flat stomach.

Plank Ski Jumps

Planks challenge all your core muscles, especially your transverse abdominus, the muscular corset that supports your spine and flattens your stomach. Lie facedown on the floor, resting on your elbows. Rise onto your toes as you lift your body so that your body forms a straight line, with your hips low and your abs braced. Keeping your abs engaged and your hips low, jump both feet about a foot (30 cm) to the right, then jump back to center. Repeat on the left side to complete one rep. Perform two sets of 15 reps.

Toe Taps

Toe taps challenge the lower half of your rectus abdominus, toning the lower abs to flatten your stomach. Lie face up on the floor, with your hips and knees bent 90 degrees in table top position. Engage your abdominals by pulling your belly button to your spine, and extend your right leg to tap your toe to the ground, then return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side to complete one rep. Perform three sets of 50 reps as quickly as you can while maintaining control of your movement.

Bicycle Crunch

Bicycle crunches target all of your abdominal muscles to flatten your stomach quickly. Lie on your back with your legs in table top position. Pull your belly button to your spine, bring your hands behind your head to support your neck, and squeeze your abdominals to raise your shoulder blades off the ground. Extend your right leg until it is one foot (30 cm) off the ground as you bring your left leg in toward your chest. Crunch your abs to bring your right elbow to touch your left knee. Repeat on the other side, extending your left leg and twisting to touch your left elbow to your right knee to complete one rep. Perform three sets of 15 reps.

About this Author

Louise Tremblay recently finished an M.Sc. in molecular and cellular biology in Ontario, Canada, with years of cancer research experience. She has experience writing articles and Web content on science, heath and fitness, diet and personal wellness.