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7 Strength Exercises To Tighten & Tone Your Belly From Every Angle

Working your belly at all angles will give you totally shredded abs.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

From cardio to weight training, toning your belly can be a challenge. While you will find many different recommendations online, in general, the best approach to getting a tighter midsection is to perform strength training exercises that target your abdominal area from a variety of angles. So in light of that, we rounded up seven of the best strength exercises to tone your belly from every single angle. Are you ready to get started?

This method hits the abdominals and obliques for a truly complete core workout as opposed to simply performing tons of crunches or ignoring this "problem area" altogether and focusing on cardio instead. While I still recommend doing cardio, lifting weights, and following a healthy nutrition plan, this core-focused bodyweight workout ensures your abdominal muscles get the work they need to be truly shredded.

Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, then continue to the next exercise. Complete a total of three rounds. Keep reading to learn more about the seven best strength exercises to tone your belly from every single angle. And when you're finished, check out The #1 Weekly Workout You Need for Faster Abdominal Fat Loss.

Bicycle Crunches

woman doing bicycle crunches

Bicycle crunches are a dynamic exercise that not only engages your abdominal muscles, but also targets your obliques, helping to tighten and tone your belly from multiple angles.

To perform a bicycle crunch, lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Place your hands lightly on either side of your head; don't pull your neck up. Lift your knees to a 45-degree angle, and slowly go through a bicycle pedal motion with the legs. As you pedal, touch your left elbow to your right knee, then your right elbow to your left knee. Remember, it's all in the rotation of your torso. Keep your breathing relaxed and even throughout the exercise. Repeat for the target repetitions.

Russian Twists

woman doing russian twist exercise

Russian twists are beneficial because they provide a comprehensive workout for the entire midsection. This movement engages the core, obliques, and lower back, offering a full range of motion that helps sculpt and tighten the belly.

To perform a Russian twist, start seated on the floor, with your knees bent and your feet flat. Lean back slightly to engage the core, and lift your feet a few inches off the ground if you can. Clasp your hands together at your chest, and brace your abs. Rotate your upper body to the right, then to the left to complete one rep. As you twist, visualize drawing your lower rib toward your pelvis to further engage your abs. Maintain control and balance throughout the movement; avoid rushing the movement. Repeat for the target repetitions.

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mature muscular man doing planks outdoors in group fitness class

The plank is a versatile core stabilizer that works the transverse abdominis, obliques, and rectus abdominis muscles. This exercise helps tighten your belly and improve overall core strength.

To perform a plank, start in a high pushup position with your hands directly under your shoulders.
Lower onto your forearms while keeping your body in a straight line from head to feet. Keep your gaze on the floor to avoid neck strain. Engage your core, glutes, and thighs. Visualize drawing your lower rib toward your pelvis to enhance ab engagement. Hold this position and ensure to breathe regularly. Avoid shrugging or hunching your shoulders. Repeat for the target time.

Reverse Crunches

reverse crunches

Reverse crunches specifically target the lower abs, an area that can often be challenging to engage.

To perform reverse crunches, lie flat on your back on the floor with your arms by your sides. Bring your knees up toward your chest with your feet together. Use your abs to curl your hips off the floor and toward your chest; then slowly lower them back to the starting position. Throughout this motion, squeeze your abs at the top for about a second to optimize muscle engagement. Repeat for the target repetitions.

Bird Dogs

woman doing bird-dogs

The bird dog is a core-strengthening exercise that targets the abs and also works to improve balance and stability.

To perform a bird dog, start in a tabletop position with your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Extend your right arm in front of you and your left leg behind you, maintaining balance and stability. Bring your extended arm and leg back to the tabletop position, and repeat with the left arm and right leg extended. Engage your core throughout the movement to ensure balance and stability. Repeat for the target repetitions.

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Side Planks

woman side planks

The side plank is an effective workout for the obliques, which helps sculpt the sides of your belly. It also engages the entire core region, promoting overall toning and tightening of the belly.

To perform a side plank, lie on your right side with your legs straight. Support your upper body on your right forearm, with your elbow under the shoulder. Lift your hips off the floor, forming a straight line from your head to your feet. Engage your core, keeping it aligned with the rest of your body. Hold this position while keeping your hips lifted and your core engaged. Remember to breathe evenly throughout the movement. After holding for the target time, switch sides, and repeat the exercise on the left side. Repeat for the target time on each side.

Leg Raises

woman doing leg raises floor workout for washboard abs

Leg raises are a wonderful lower-abdominal exercise that engages the hip flexors, lower abs, and obliques. This exercise provides a comprehensive workout, helping to tone your belly from every angle.

To perform leg raises, lie flat on your back with your legs extended in front of you. Place your hands under your glutes or to your sides for support. Keeping your legs straight, raise them up to the ceiling until your buttocks lift off the floor. Keep your core engaged throughout the movement. Slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position, ensuring your lower back remains flat on the floor. Repeat for the target repetitions.

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