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The 6 Best Exercises for Toning Your Stomach in 2022, Trainer Says

Add these effective core exercises into your workout routine.
FACT CHECKED BY Faye Brennan

If your fitness goal this year is to have a flatter and more toned stomach, you should be focusing on living a healthy and active lifestyle. This means eating a diet high in lean protein and vegetables while being in a calorie deficit, and also fitting strength training and aerobic work into your fitness routine. Doing all of these things will help you lose body fat, which will alsolead to achieving a flatter stomach.

What's more, you'll want to incorporate exercises for your core, since building core strength will help improve your workout performance and give you that toned look you desire. Unfortunately, many people tend to go about core training in the wrong way—by doing endless sets of situps and crunches.

Instead, you want to pick movements that train the various functions of your abs. Your abs work to keep your spine straight and prevent your lower back from arching too much backward (known as anti-extension). Your abs also help you swivel around your spine (rotation) while preventing too much flexing and twisting of the spine (lateral stability), and offer you the ability to flex the spine sideways (lateral bending). Finally, your abs allow you to flex your upper back (spinal flexion).

Your workout program should incorporate movements that train these movement patterns. Here are a few effective core exercises to add to your routine in order to have a toned stomach in 2022. And next, don't miss my 5 Best Pieces of Gym Equipment to Have at Home.

1

Decline Bench Leg Raise

decline bench leg raises
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start by positioning your back on a decline bench so that your arms are holding the handle (behind and above your head) and your legs are resting flat on the surface. Begin the movement by keeping your legs straight and lifting them up toward your head until they're perpendicular to the floor. Then, kick your legs up as high as you can toward the ceiling so that your backside lifts up from the bench. Flex your abs hard at the top, then lower slowly under control while maintaining tension in your core. Return to the starting position before performing another rep. Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps total.

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2

Janda Situp

janda situps
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Position yourself so that you're lying flat on your back on the ground with your knees bent and your heels pressing against a sturdy surface for resistance. Perform a sit-up while digging your heels toward you, flexing your hamstrings. As you come up, flex your abs as hard as you can, exhaling all of your air. Lower yourself slowly (under control) before performing another rep. Do 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Related: Secret Exercise Tricks for Getting Flatter Abs Faster

3

Landmine Rotations

landmine rotations ab exercise
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Start the movement by putting a barbell inside a landmine attachment (if you don't have one, just place it on the end of a sturdy surface). Grip the end of the barbell with both hands and hold it out in front of you with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your core tight, rotate the bar toward one side of your body while pivoting both feet toward that direction. Leading with your hips and shoulders, rotate the bar to the opposite side, maintaining tension in your core. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

Related: Brie Larson Reveals Her Exact Ab Workout

4

Ab Wheel Rollout

ab wheel rollouts
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Get into a kneeling position on the ground with your hands holding the ab wheel. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, extend your body forward toward the ground, leading with your arms and hips, as far as you can while maintaining tension in your abs. Then, return back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Related: Mark Wahlberg Reveals His Exact Ab Workout

5

Stability Ball Stir the Pot

stability ball stir the pot ab exercise
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Get into a plank position by placing your forearms on a stability ball and extending your feet out wide on the ground. Keeping your core tight and your glutes squeezed, begin swirling the ball in a counterclockwise motion, then clockwise, and finally forward and back. As you're moving the ball with your forearms, be sure that your torso stays completely straight while maintaining tension in your abs. Aim for 3 sets of 8-10 reps in each direction.

Related: Secret Effects of Lifting Weights Just Once Per Week, Science Says.

6

Side Plank with Hip Lift

side plank ab exercise
Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.

Begin by setting yourself up on the ground, against a wall, with your heels, butt, and shoulders touching the wall and your forearm holding you up. Make sure your shoulders are in line with your wrist and feet are stacked on top of one another. Keeping your core tight and glutes squeezed, tilt and flex your hips straight up and down, maintaining tension in your obliques. Do 3 sets of 10 reps on each side.

And there you have it! This effective workout will help you achieve a flatter stomach in 2022 when done consistently over time.

For more, check out The #1 Best Workout to Shrink Abdominal Fat, Says Science.

Tim Liu, C.S.C.S.
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles Read more
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