9 Exercises For A Flat Stomach
8 Moves For A Stronger, Flatter Belly
We could rattle off all the perks of a stronger core, but you probably already know them (OK, we can't help it! Here are two great ones: you'll have an easier time wrestling into your skinny jeans and they up your chances of nailing an awesome tennis serve). But what you probably didn't realize? Even if you're exercising regularly, there's a good chance you’re still going through life with sub-par belly brawn. ()
"Lack of core strength is the number one imbalance that we see with our clients," says trainer Bruce Mack, cofounder of MBSC Thrive Functional Training. "If you don't correct it, you're not only more likely to experience nagging aches and pains—especially in the hips, knees, and low back—but you're also more at risk for injury."
Strengthen your core muscles (and get a flat belly while you're at it) with Mack’s simple, super-effective routine.
1. Diaphragm Breathing
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding 1 heavy weight in each hand (start at about 15 pounds and increase if it feels too light) , arms by your sides. Pinch your shoulder blades together and roll your shoulders away from your ears. Keeping your core tight, slowly start to walk forward, making sure your foot rolls from heel to toe with each step. Continue walking for 45 seconds or about 40 yards, depending on your space. Bend at your knees and carefully lower weights to the ground to protect your back. Do 2 or 3 sets.
2. Active Forearm Plank
Get into a forearm plank position, elbows directly under shoulders, forearms pressing into floor. Hold this position for 30 to 34 seconds, actively pulling your elbows to the toes to really turn on your core muscles. Repeat 2 more times, resting for 20 to 30 seconds between reps.
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