If you want to build a well-defined midsection and an impressive set of abs, hitting your belly at all angles is the way to get there. A strong core not only looks stellar at the beach, but it also plays a crucial role in performing your very best in physical activities you love such as biking, kayaking, golfing, swimming, paddle boarding, and volleyball. It's also a key part of successfully completing tasks and chores like carrying grocery bags, lifting heavy boxes, vacuuming, and mopping. Plus, a tight and toned tummy helps you develop strength in other parts of your body. That's why we're serving up seven of the best exercises that tone your belly at every single angle. As you gear up for beach season and beyond, these moves will come in clutch.
Get excited, because you won't need to dish out extra cash on a pricey gym membership if you don't want to. All of these exercises can be done from the comfort of your own home or wherever you happen to be. They will help strengthen, stabilize, and seriously tone your midsection so you can achieve the abs you've been looking for. Your posture, balance, and overall fitness will improve, too.
We spoke with Tyler Read, the founder of PTPioneer.com and a personal trainer who's been involved in the health and fitness world for the past 15 years, who breaks down the below exercises that tone your belly at every angle. Read typically recommends his clients perform the below exercises within their regular workout three to four times each week. "Collectively, they hit all the major muscle groups in your core to ensure the most well-rounded sculpting in the area," he explains.
Keep reading to learn about your new favorite core-strengthening exercises, and when you're done, don't miss The #1 Standing Ab Workout for a Visibly Toned Six-Pack.
The plank is a simple move that will put your entire core to work. To begin, assume a pushup as you rise to the balls of your feet, but rest both forearms on the floor. Activate your core, and make sure your lower back doesn't dip. Your body should be kept in a straight line as you hold the plank for 30 to 60 seconds.
Next up is the Russian twist. You'll begin this core-strengthening exercise by sitting on the floor on a workout mat. Bend both knees, pull your core in toward your spine, and lean back just a few inches while maintaining a straight back. Hold both hands in front of your chest as you twist your upper body to the left, then to the right to complete one full rep. Continue to twist from side to side.
The bicycle crunch will have you lying down flat on the ground as you press your lower body into it. Place both hands beside your head, then raise your knees toward your chest as if you're pedaling on a bike; you'll crunch the left side of your body up toward your right knee while your left leg remains extended, then repeat on the opposite side.
For mountain climbers, begin in a high plank with your wrists directly below your shoulders. Come up to the balls of your feet as your body forms a straight line. Then, bring your left knee up toward your chest, quickly press it back to a high plank, and repeat the same motion with your right knee. The motion should be similar to "running in place," as Read puts it.
Lie down flat on your back for scissor kicks. Place your hands by your sides or underneath your hips for support. Then, raise both legs off the floor, and alternate moving one up and one down, similar to a scissor.
Reverse crunches will also have you lying flat on your back on the ground. Raise both legs in the air, and slightly bend your knees. Then, roll your back off the floor while bringing your knees toward your head to complete a reverse crunch.
Last but not least, Read recommends dead bugs to close out this list of exercises that tone your belly from every angle. You'll begin by lying flat on your back on the floor. Extend both arms toward the sky, and lift your legs so your knees form 90-degree angles. Then, lower your left arm and right leg simultaneously so they're completely extended and hovering above the floor. Return them to the start position, and repeat the motion with your right arm and left leg.