How to tone your stomach and tighten your tummy
Wondering how to tone your stomach? You're not alone: Many women (and men, for that matter) dream of flaunting a tighter, flatter tum like @barrefaeli, above.
You may picture yourself rocking a crop top, or a belly button ring such as Blomdahl Skin Friendly Jewellery - Navel Jewellery. Or you may just want to look a bit sleeker in a fabulous, figure-hugging dress.
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But we all know these scenarios aren't going to happen magically. If you want to change your body shape and get a more toned stomach, you need to put in some effort when it comes to diet and exercise (#thestruggleisreal).
Here are five stomach-toning exercises you can do two to three times a week, to help you on your way to enviable abs.
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1) Regular crunches
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Rest your arms at your side, palms down. Tuck your chin into your chest and slowly curl your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor, and lift your arms so that you’re reaching for your knees. Hold for a second then slowly move back down to your starting position. Repeat this 10 times to tone stomach.
2) Leg drop
Lie on your back with your feet pointed toward the ceiling (so your body makes an L-shape). Slowly lower both legs until they’re in line with your body and you’re lying almost flat. Don’t let your feet touch the ground; make sure your legs are just above it. Slowly raise your legs back to your starting position. Repeat this 10 times.
3) The plank
Lie face down on the floor with your legs extended and your body propped up by your forearms. Lift your body so that you are now propped up by your forearms and the balls of your feet – don’t put your bum in the air, your body should be straight. Contract your stomach muscles and hold for 30 seconds (or for as long as you can, to tone your stomach fast!)
4) Scissor kicks
Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your legs extended. Don’t let your feet touch the ground, hold them a few centimetres off the floor. Raise your right leg about 30 centimetres, then slowly bring it down to meet your left. then repeat with your left leg., Repeat this 10 times for each leg moving alternately between the two legs.
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5) Hip lift
Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and point your feet toward the ceiling (so your body makes an L-shape). Slowly lift your bum off the floor, keeping your legs straight as if you’re pushing your feet toward the ceiling. Slowly lower your bum back to the floor. Repeat this 10 times.
Editor's note: Keep in mind that doing only these stomach-toning exercises isn’t going to give you the results you’re after. They need to be done in conjunction with regular cardio workouts (about three to five times a week, with each session being a minimum of 30 minutes) and a healthy diet (including avoiding foods that contain large amounts of salt and fat, which cause you to become bloated more often). bh also recommends firming body products such as Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil and Thalgo Stomach and Waist Sculptor, to help firm your skin and help you show off those abs.
Do you do any ab exercises? What body part would you like to tone and firm?