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Workouts for Flatter Abs
This abs workout, designed by Angela Corcoran, a personal trainer at Equinox in New York City and professor of exercise physiology at Queens College in Flushing, New York, will help you build a stronger core by targeting different abdominal muscles, boosting your metabolism, and burning belly fat.
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Waist Whittler 2: T-Bends
Hold a light, 3- to 5-pound weight in each hand (or use two cans of soup).
Keeping your arms straight, extend them out to your sides so your body forms the letter "T." This is your starting position.
Keep your knees straight as you hinge slightly at the hips and reach your right arm toward the ground. Return to starting upright position. Reach your left arm toward the ground and return to starting upright position to complete one rep. Be sure to keep your hips straight and centered as you perform this "teeter-totter" motion to each side.
Work up to 20 reps.
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Waist Whittler 3: Weighted Twists
Place a 3- to 5-pound weight (or a large book) on a hip-height chair or table.
Stand in front of the surface with your back to the object. Twist your entire torso to your left, pick up the weight, then twist in the opposite direction and put the object back on the table. For a small object, like a weight, use just one hand. For a large object, like a book, use both hands. Reverse directions to complete one rep.
Be sure to stay upright and keep your hips facing forward to properly challenge your core muscles. During the exercise keep your hips resting lightly against the table or chair to make sure you're rotating from the spine and targeting your obliques.
Do 15 to 20 reps.
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Belly Blaster 1: Negative Sit-Up
Start by sitting on the floor with your feet flat on the ground, knees bent and pointed toward the ceiling. Fold your arms in front of your chest. This is your starting position.
Slowly roll back and lower yourself to the ground, one vertebra at a time. The toughest part will be the second half of the exercise, when your lower back is already on the ground and you're rolling the rest of your spine down.
Return to starting position without using your hands.
Complete 3 sets of 15 slow reps.
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Belly Blaster 2: Floor Twist
This variation on "Weighted Twists" works the center of your core, too.
Stand with your back to a hip-height table, with a 3- to 5-pound weight on the floor in front of you. This is your starting position. Keep your knees slightly bent and your back flat as you tilt forward from the hips to pick up the weight.
As you come up, twist to your right and place the weight on the table behind you, then rotate to the left to retrieve the object from the table.
Return to center, then bend forward and place the weight on the floor. Lift the weight again, this time twisting to the left to set it on the table and rotating to the right to pick it up before returning it to the floor to complete one rep.
Do 15 to 20 reps.
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Belly Blaster 3: Modified Leg Extension
Sit on the edge of a sturdy chair with your arms behind you. Hold on to the sides of the chair for support. Slowly pull your knees into your chest.
Extend your legs straight out in front of you, letting them hover just above the ground for a few seconds. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your toes, and your feet and legs should not touch the ground at any point during the exercise.
Bring your knees back in to your chest to complete one rep.
Work up to 15 reps.
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Bonus Move: Side Crunch
Lie on the ground as if you were going to do a typical sit-up, then let your knees fall to the right with your chin, chest, and torso still facing the ceiling.
With arms bent and hands gently behind your head, lift your upper body and shoulders off the ground as high as you can. Be careful not to let knees come off the ground or you'll disengage the abs.
Do 15 reps, then flip your knees to the other side and repeat.
Work up to 3 sets on each side.
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