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The Best Abdominal Exercises for a Flat Tummy

By Genevieve Cunningham

Nice abs are one of the most sought after muscle groups in the body. We all like the look of strong, defined abdominal muscles. Unfortunately, these are also among the hardest to sculpt. So many people resort to thousands of crunches in order to gain abs, but if you want that flattened sculpted appearance, crunches are the last thing you should be doing! To get closer to the abs of your dreams, check out these exercises that will help mold your abs and flatten them out.


This is a classic ab exercise that really works. Planks can be done on your front or on either side. The most common is done on the front, which works the abdominal muscles as a whole. You’ll start by lying flat on the ground, legs together and hands at your shoulders as if you were going to do a push-up. When you’re ready, you’ll lift up onto your hands and toes and hold the position. Make sure the back is straight and that you’re pulling the belly button to your spine. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, rest, and repeat.

Leg Lifts

Leg lifts are an excellent way to work the lower abs, which just happen to be the most difficult to flatten. Start by lying on your back with your arms at your sides and legs together. When you’re ready, lift the legs about 6 inches from the ground and hold. Keep the lower spine on the ground as you do this (don’t arch your back) and keep the legs straight. Hold for 30 seconds to a minute, rest, and repeat.

Bird Dogs

Bird dogs are great because while you’re doing them, you don’t really feel the impact on your abs. But afterward, you can definitely tell that the abs have been worked! Start on your hands and knees with a flat back. Now lift your right leg and left arm, straightening them both in opposite directions. Hold for a few seconds, pull them both back toward your middle (elbow to knee), and then reach them out again. Do a set of 10 before switching to the other side.

When we work the abs, we are all working towards strength, a flat appearance, and a bit of stability. But in order to reach these abdominal goals, it’s important to use the proper exercises. Use these moves as a starting point, and you’ll have the abs you’ve been searching for before you know it.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lafayette, La.

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