10 Ab-Blasting Exercises to Totally Transform Your Waistline
When it comes to shedding extra pounds and toning up, many of my clients often focus on their waistlines to achieve an hourglass figure or sculpted torso. However, it's important to remember that working your abdominal muscle groups alone isn't enough to sculpt a lean waistline. In order to reap the full benefits of ab-blasting exercises, it's essential to incorporate cardio into your routine, eat in a calorie deficit while focusing on lean proteins, and practice metabolism-boosting habits like intermittent fasting.
While spot reduction isn't possible, a targeted workout routine combined with the right diet and lifestyle habits can help strengthen your abdominal muscles, reduce fat, and create a more defined midsection. Here are the 10 ab-blasting exercises I recommend to clients looking to transform their waistlines. Read on to learn all about them, and when you're finished, don't miss out on the 5 Best Bodyweight Exercises To Lose Belly Overhang in 30 Days.
This list of ab-blasting exercises kicks off with the plank. Planks engage the entire core, promoting stability and improving posture, both of which are crucial for losing weight around the midsection. Planks stabilize and strengthen your core by engaging the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, and obliques.
Start in a pushup position, and lower your forearms to the ground. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels. Engage your core, and hold the position for as long as you can. Hold for 30 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds. Complete three rounds.
Bicycle crunches work the obliques and help reduce excess fat around the waist. By targeting the rectus abdominis and obliques, bicycle crunches are a great way to tone, trim, and tighten your midsection.
Lie on your back with your hands behind your head. Lift your shoulders off the ground, and bring your right elbow toward your left knee while extending your right leg. Switch sides, bringing your left elbow toward your right knee. Complete three rounds of 45 seconds.
Russian twists target the obliques and improve rotational core strength, which can aid in weight loss by burning calories and enhancing overall stability. Focusing on rotational core strength can help you achieve a lean, narrow waistline by trimming and tightening your obliques.
Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels on the floor. Lean back slightly, keeping your back straight. Hold a weight or a medicine ball with both hands. Twist your torso to the right, bringing the weight or ball to the outside of your right hip. Return to the center, and then twist to the left. Complete three rounds of 45 seconds.
Leg raises strengthen the lower abdominal muscles, helping to develop that flat stomach many of my clients work toward. Combined with the other exercises on this list, leg raises can help contribute to the appearance of a lean midsection.
Lie flat on your back with your legs straight. Place your hands under your hips for support. Lift your legs off the ground while keeping them straight. Lower them back down without letting them touch the ground. Complete three sets of 20 reps.
Mountain climbers combine cardio and core work, helping you burn calories and develop a strong midsection. Combining cardio with effective targeting of the rectus abdominis and obliques, mountain climbers are one of the most efficient ways to achieve a smaller waistline.
Start in a pushup position with your hands under your shoulders. Bring your right knee toward your chest, then switch and bring your left knee toward your chest. Continue alternating legs at a rapid pace. Complete three rounds of 45 seconds each.
Reverse crunches focus on the lower abs, assisting in toning and sculpting the lower part of the midsection. Similar to leg raises, reverse crunches tighten the lower abdomen and contribute to the overall appearance of a trim waistline.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands by your sides for support. Lift your legs off the ground, and curl your hips off the floor. Lower your hips back down. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Standing Side Crunches
Standing side crunches target the obliques and improve balance and coordination. They also help to narrow your waistline, creating the narrow, lean torso coveted by men and women alike.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Lift your right knee toward your right elbow while bending your torso to the right. Return to the starting position, and repeat on the left side. Alternate sides for 15 reps each. Complete three sets on each side.
V-ups work the entire abdominal region, making them an excellent choice for those aiming to lose weight, trim their waistlines, and strengthen their core.
Lie on your back with your arms extended overhead and your legs straight. Simultaneously lift your legs and upper body off the ground, forming a V-shape with your body. Reach your hands toward your feet. Lower your legs and upper body back down. Repeat for the target repetitions.
Standing Oblique Twists
Standing oblique twists target the obliques and help improve core stability and strength. They also narrow your waistline and flatten your stomach. If you perform them quickly enough, they can be a great cardio exercise.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a weight or medicine ball with both hands. Twist your torso to the right, bringing the weight to the outside of your right hip. Return to the center, and then twist to the left. Alternate sides for 15 repetitions each. Complete three sets.
Hanging Leg Raises
This list of ab-blasting exercises wraps up with the hanging leg raise. Hanging leg raises engage the lower abdominals, challenge your core, and increase stability. For an increased challenge, add ankle weights to up the intensity.
Hang onto a pull-up bar with your legs straight. Lift your legs as high as you can, keeping them straight. Lower your legs back down without swinging. Complete three sets of 12 reps.