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Lose Belly Fat & Get Instant Abs With 5 Exercises Trainers Swear By

These exercises work all the right muscle groups to give you a full set of shredded abs.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Let's face it: We'd all like a shredded set of washboard abs. However, for most of us, achieving the classic six-pack with a V-taper midsection is a challenge. Whether you've tried hours of cardio or every crash diet in the books, you're probably familiar with the struggle to sculpt a great set of abdominals. If this rings true for you, we have some good news to share. With just a few simple ab exercises performed a few times per week, a sustainable healthy diet for fat loss, and an overall set of solid lifestyle habits, you can lose belly fat and get instant abs.

The trick is to make sure you target your abs with exercises that hit your rectus abdominus, transverse abdominis, and obliques. The following routine consists of five ab exercises that collectively work all of these muscle groups for a full set of shredded abs. Perform each exercise for 15 repetitions or sets of 30-second holds on the isometric movements. Rest for 60 seconds between sets, and perform the workout three times per week.

Keep reading for five of the best exercises to lose belly fat and get instant abs. And for more fitness inspiration, check out Simple Yet Effective Exercises for Instant Abs That Trainers Love.


woman doing a forearm plank

The plank is a great isometric core exercise that helps to strengthen the entire abdominal region, lower back, and glutes when performed properly. You can increase the difficulty by elevating your feet or extending the duration of the hold.

To perform a plank, begin with your forearms flat on the ground, your elbows directly below your shoulders, and your feet hip-width distance apart. Engage your core and glutes, keeping your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. Maintain a neutral spine by looking down at the floor and tucking your chin slightly. Hold this position, ensuring that your hips do not sag or rise, for the target time.

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Bicycle Crunches

women doing bicycle crunches

Bicycle crunches target the entire abdominal region. The cross-body nature of the exercise is great for providing a different stimulus from the classic abdominal crunch, hitting your obliques and transverse abdominal muscles more effectively.

To perform a bicycle crunch, lie flat on your back with your hands behind your head and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Engage your abs, drawing your lower rib toward your pelvis, and lift your head, shoulders, and feet off the ground. Twist your torso to bring your right elbow toward your left knee while extending your right leg. Alternate sides by bringing your left elbow toward your right knee and extending your left leg. Repeat for the target repetitions on both sides for a total of 30 reps per set, alternating as if pedaling a bicycle.

Russian Twists

woman demonstrating Russian twists

Russian twists are great for hitting your obliques. They also help open up your back, improving mobility and range of motion in your spine while keeping everything strong and healthy.

To perform a Russian twist, sit on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat. Optional: Hold a weight or medicine ball with both hands in front of your chest. Lean back slightly, keep your back straight, and lift your feet off the ground. Engage your core, and twist your torso to the right, touching the weight to the ground beside your right hip. Twist your torso to the left, touching the weight to the ground beside your left hip. Repeat for target repetitions.

Leg Raises

lying leg raise exercise to melt lower belly fat

Leg raises are next up in our favorite exercises to lose belly fat and get instant abs. This move targets the lower abdominal muscles, which can be difficult to engage with other exercises. Leg raises are a must for getting a solid V-shred in your lower ab region.

To perform a leg raise, lie on your back with your legs straight and your hands placed under your glutes for support. Engage your core, drawing your lower rib toward your pelvis. Slowly raise your legs toward the ceiling, keeping them straight and maintaining contact between your lower back and the ground. Lower your legs back to the starting position, stopping just before your heels touch the ground. Repeat for the target repetitions.

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Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers exercise

Mountain climbers hit your hip flexors and abdominal muscles extremely effectively. They also give a nice metabolism boost due to the explosive nature of the exercise when performed in that manner. Keep in mind that you should only perform them explosively if you do not have lower back issues and are comfortable with the movement.

To perform mountain climbers, begin in a pushup position with your hands placed shoulder-width distance apart and your feet hip-width distance apart. Engage your core, maintaining a neutral spine and a braced position throughout the exercise. Drive your right knee toward your chest while keeping your left leg extended and your foot on the ground. Quickly switch legs, driving your left knee toward your chest while extending your right leg back. Repeat the motion, alternating for target repetitions on both sides.

Tyler Read
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler