September 27, 2012

The secret to flat abs and a tiny tummy are not found on the floor doing thousands of crunches—trust us! When it comes to a flat belly, diet and cardio are just as important as strength training.

But once you're on the right track with food and fitness, adding in some serious core-kicking moves will certainly help tone and tighten that tummy you've been running/biking/swimming so hard to get.

Some flat-belly moves are meant to give you a 6-pack, others target your inner abdominals to shrink from within, while others engage your lower tummy to reduce the visible bloat.

This move targets your entire core. (Picture a tube around your middle from the front, reaching all the way around to your mid-and-lower back muscles.)

This move also targetes the obliques (those muscles on either side of your "soon-to-be-6-pack"). Bicycles and twisting planks are great workouts for the obliques, but these Straight-Line Side Lifts are a real challenge for those looking to push themselves even further.

The secret is to superglue your legs together and move them as one. You can prop yourself up on your forearm if that's more comfortable. To make sure the lower back is protected, you can also move your legs forward slightly. Focus on using your core to lift and lower your legs instead of relying on the motion of the move itself.

Get to work: Lie on your left side with your legs straight and stacked on top of one another and your feet flexed. Rest your head on your straight left arm. Inhale while lifting both legs off the ground, then exhale while slowly lowering them until they’re about 1 inch off the ground. Do 10–12 reps, then switch sides and repeat to complete 1 set; do 3 sets.

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