Women's Midriff Exercises

Stay active throughout the day to help burn more calories.

Stay active throughout the day to help burn more calories.

Whether it's for bikini season or for purely fitness reasons, toning your midriff requires a dual-pronged approach that includes calorie burning and strength training. In order to achieve a flat, toned stomach, you'll need to shave the layers of fat first. Perform at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio exercise -- for example, running, aerobic dancing or swimming -- every week to burn the calories, and add two days of strength training exercises to build and tone the underlying muscle.

Crunches

Lie on a yoga mat or other comfortable surface.

Bend your knees and place the soles of your feet directly on the floor.

Tilt your pelvis toward your chest and press your lower back into the ground.

Touch your fingertips lightly to the back of your neck and let your elbows fall away from each other.

Engage your core muscles by drawing your belly button in toward your spine.

Curl your upper torso, shoulders and head off the mat.

Pulse your abdominal muscles for one count at the top of the crunch.

Lower yourself back down.

Perform 12 to 15 reps, working your way to three sets.

Front Plank

Position yourself on all fours with your wrists directly under your shoulders.

Step back with one foot and then the other, until your legs are fully extended.

Balance on your toes in a high pushup position.

Press into your palms firmly.

Engage your core muscles by drawing your belly button in toward your spine. Contract the thigh muscles and lift your hips up. Do not let your hips sag toward the floor. Do not raise your hips higher than your back.

Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute.

Drop your knees to the floor to safely come out of the pose.

Alternate Arm and Leg Raises

Position yourself on all fours, wrists aligned under your shoulders and knees under your hips. The tops of your feet are on the floor.

Engage your core muscles, drawing the belly button back.

Extend your right arm in front of your body at shoulder height, while simultaneously extending your left leg behind you at hip height.

Lower your arm and leg and repeat with the left arm and right leg.

Perform three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions.

Dolphin Plank Pose

Position yourself on all fours, wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.

Lower your forearms to the ground and clasp your hands together in a fist. Your elbows should align under your shoulders.

Step back with both feet and balance on your toes.

Engage the core muscles and lift the hips up, so the back of the body creates one long line.

Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute.

Tip

  • For the best results, eat a healthy diet that cuts out excess fats, sugars and processed foods. Instead, choose healthy fruits and veggies, lean proteins, whole grains and low-fat dairy products.

Warning

  • Speak to your doctor before starting a new exercise program.
 

About the Author

Nicole Carlin is a registered yoga teacher. Her writing has been published in yoga and dance teacher training manuals for POP Fizz Academy. Carlin received a Masters of Arts in gender studies from Birkbeck University in London and a Bachelors of Arts in psychology from Temple University, Philadelphia.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images