If you’ve been reading my how to get a flat stomach blog series, you will see that I’ve posted a whole variety of exercises targeting the different muscles of your core. This is a great way to build muscle and strengthen your abdominals. But the truth is, to get the best results you need to be doing other exercises too, not just ab exercises.

These are the best exercises to get a flat stomach.

1. Cardio

You’ve heard this before, but no amount of crunching will get you a flat and toned stomach if it is covered by a layer of fat. Ab exercises will NOT spot reduce the fat from your stomach. Diet is a key factor here but so is cardio.

To reduce the body fat from your stomach, you need to reduce your overall body fat. This is done by eat less calories than what your body needs. Doing something simple such as going for a run or a power walk can burn hundreds of calories which help you reduce your body fat. The more intense your cardio, the more calories you burn. HIIT sprinting is one of my favourites.

Also check out my previous blog post on what to eat to get rid of belly fat.

get rid of belly fat

2. Strength training

You might not realise it, but some strength training exercises actually work your abs. Compound strength exercises are those that engage multiple muscles in your body and includes squats, dead lifts, chin ups, push ups, etc. All of these exercises help to strengthen your core, as well as many other benefits! I try to focus my strength training on these types of exercises and avoid exercises that target specific muscles such as biceps and triceps.

how to perform a deadlift3. Ab exercises

I know a lot of very toned fitness people out there who say they don’t do any ab exercises, just strength training. This may work for certain body types. But for myself, I find that I have the most success when I include ab exercises into my training. I don’t crunch for hours. My ab workouts take approximately 10-15 minutes and I do these 3 times per week. See my blog post for my ab workout.

best ab exercises for a flat and toned stomach - medicine ball extensions

Rachael is an Australian born certified personal trainer and nutritionist who holds a Bachelor degree in Science.

After struggling for years to find an exercise and diet program that is tailored to women striving for lean and toned body with no bulk she designed her Lean Legs Program. This program is tailored to each body type and focused on helping women get toned but feminine bodies, without getting bulky.

Her mission is to empower women and help them stay in shape in a healthy and balanced way.

7 Responses

  1. But you advise in your guides not to do Hiit , squats , dead lifts, chin ups
    When I used to do these includes squats, dead lifts, chin ups, push ups, etc I had very tight flat tummy but legs started to get bigger and bigger and I don’t want defined abs Just a flat tummy so what is advised for that please? Thanks

    1. Hi lovely,

      If your legs get bulky easily and you want to avoid building more muscle, the best exercises to avoid are those where you can feel your quads burning. This includes squats, deadlifts, lunges, and overdoing it on the HIIT exercises including burpees, jump lunges, jump squats and box jumps. If you’re an endomorph, I would avoid any types of HIIT but if you’re a mesomorph or ectomorph, it’s okay to do HIIT once a week. :)

      I hope this helps. xx

    1. Hi Delmy, you only have to do ab exercises if you want ab definition :) If you don’t want ab definition, then you don’t have to x

  2. Hi Rachael you are so great!
    im Giorgia and i m italian. Fortunately i understand english so i can do the exercises you propose.

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