Flatten Your Belly with This Killer Ab Workout

Get a tight stomach in just six weeks without doing a single crunch. This may be the easiest workout we’ve ever printed

Flatten Your Belly with This Killer Ab Workout
Flatten Your Belly with This Killer Ab Workout

Get ready to whip off your cover-up: This workout, created exclusively for Women’s Health by Rachel Cosgrove, C.S.C.S., owner of Results Fitness in Newhall, California, combines fat-burning cardio with moves that target your entire core rather than individual muscles (wouldn’t it be great if there was a magical lower abs workout?), so you’ll burn more fat while toning up.

Directions
Do these workout moves three nonconsecutive days a week. Start with the Basic Workout (moves 1-4 at right) to prime your muscles. After three weeks, you’ll be ready to graduate to the Advanced Workout (moves 5-8). For maximum fat burning, perform the exercises as a circuit: Do one set of each move in the order shown, resting for 30 seconds between exercises. Then rest for a minute and repeat the circuit from the beginning.

Melt Your Middle
Follow this interval-training program three times a week after your core workout. It’ll fire up your metabolism and burn off the fat that’s hiding your abs. Intervals are short bursts of maximum-intensity effort—you’re doing it right if you can’t carry on a conversation—separated by periods of easy-pace recovery. In an Australian study, women who cranked out high-intensity interval training three days a week for 15 weeks dropped significantly more weight than those who exercised for the same period of time at a lower intensity.

For this interval workout, remember to include an easy 3- to 5-minute warmup and cooldown. You can run, bike, or use the cardio machine of your choice.

 

Max Effort Easy Pace Reps
Week 1 1 minute 2 minutes 5
Week 2 1 minute 90 seconds 6
Week 3 1 minute 1 minute 8
Week 4 1 minute 1 minute 10
Week 5 75 seconds 1 minute 10
Week 6 90 seconds 1 minute 10

EXERCISE BASIC WORKOUT: PLANK

BASIC WORKOUT: PLANK
BASIC WORKOUT: PLANK

Starting at the top of a push position, bend your elbows and lower yourself down until you can change your weight from your hand to your arm. Your body should form a straight line. Brace your abs (imagine someone is about to punch you in the gut) and hold for 60 seconds. If you can not make it to 60 seconds, hold for 5 to 10 seconds and rest for 5 seconds, continuing for 1 minute. Focus on form: Do not drop your hips or butt lift.

EXERCISE BASIC WORKOUT: SIDE PLANK

BASIC WORKOUT: SIDE PLANK
BASIC WORKOUT: SIDE PLANK

How to do a side plank: Lie on your right side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up with your right arm to your body forms a diagonal line. Rest your left hand on your hip. Brace your abs and hold for 60 seconds. If you can not make it to 60 seconds, hold for 5 to 10 seconds and rest for 5; continue for 1 minute. Make sure your hips and knees to stay on the floor.

EXERCISE BASIC WORKOUT: GLUTE BRIDGE MARCH

BASIC WORKOUT: GLUTE BRIDGE MARCH
BASIC WORKOUT: GLUTE BRIDGE MARCH

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Put the arm on the floor, palms up at shoulder level. Lift your hips so your body forms a straight line from shoulders to your knees (A). Brace your abs and lift your right knee toward your chest (B). Hold for 2 crimes, then lower your right leg. Repeat with the other leg. It was 1 representative. Do 5-10 reps 2 or 3 sets.

EXERCISE BASIC WORKOUT: LUNGE WITH ROTATION

EXERCISE 4 BASIC WORKOUT: LUNGE WITH ROTATION
EXERCISE 4 BASIC WORKOUT: LUNGE WITH ROTATION

Take a 5 to 15 pound dumbbell with both hands. Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms straight out to your (A). Take a large step forward with your left foot and, stretch your abdominal muscles, twist your body to the left to bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form angles your 90 degrees (B). Rotate back to center, pushed out of your left foot, and stood up. Repeat on the other leg. It was 1 representative. 2 or 3 sets of 10-15 reps. Keep your elbows straight but not locked.

EXERCISE ADVANCED WORKOUT: PLANK WITH ARM LIFT

ADVANCED WORKOUT: PLANK WITH ARM LIFT
ADVANCED WORKOUT: PLANK WITH ARM LIFT

Get into the plank position (toes and forearms on the floor, the body is lifted). Your body should form a straight line (A). Brace your abs carefully and change your weight to your right forearm. Extend your left arm in front of you (B) and hold for 3-10 seconds. Slowly bring your arms back. Repeat with the right arm. It was 1 representative. Makes 2 or 3 sets of 5-10 reps, rest for 1 minute between sets.

EXERCISE ADVANCED WORKOUT: SIDE PLANK WITH ROTATION

ADVANCED WORKOUT: SIDE PLANK WITH ROTATION
ADVANCED WORKOUT: SIDE PLANK WITH ROTATION

In a right-side plank position (A), brace your stomach and put his left hand toward the ceiling (B). Slowly lift your left arm under your body and swivel forward until his body almost parallel to the ground (C). Back in the side plank. It was 1 representative. 2 or 3 sets of 5-10 do reps on each side, 1 minute rest in between sets.

EXERCISE ADVANCED WORKOUT: HIP-THIGH RAISE

ADVANCED WORKOUT: HIP-THIGH RAISE
ADVANCED WORKOUT: HIP-THIGH RAISE

Lie on your back, knees bent right and your left leg extended. Put the arm on the floor, palms up at shoulder level with your hips about 2 inches off the floor (A). Raise your hips to form a straight line from shoulder to your left leg (B). Hold for 2 crimes, then return to start. It was 1 representative. Do 10-15 reps on each side. To make it harder, cross your arms over your chest.

EXERCISE ADVANCED WORKOUT: REVERSE LUNGE WITH SINGLE-ARM PRESS

ADVANCED WORKOUT: REVERSE LUNGE WITH SINGLE-ARM PRESS
ADVANCED WORKOUT: REVERSE LUNGE WITH SINGLE-ARM PRESS

Take a 5 to 15 pound dumbbell in your left hand and hold it next to your left shoulder, palms facing in (A). Step back with your left foot and lower your body until your knees are bent 90 degrees (Your left knee should almost touch the floor) while pressing the dumbbell directly over your shoulder without bending or leaning at the waist (B). Losing weight back to the starting position as you push quickly back to stand. It was 1 representative. Makes 10 to 15, then switch sides.