Moves for a toned tummy

As we age, our stomachs are often the hardest area to maintain.

Woman with great abs

We enlisted personal trainer Nat Carter to show us which exercises can help you get a taut, toned tummy.

Is your tummy more flab than fab? Well, you’re not alone: Many women cite their stomachs as their least favourite body part. The good news is, with a bit of hard work and dedication, you can get the tight tummy you’ve always wanted.

Sydney-based personal trainer Nat Carter says if you want to tone your stomach, it’s important to work your whole body. The best part? That means no more sit ups! Natalie says they are not only dated, but there are so many moves that are way more effective.

She shares her top moves that target your core and help to build rock-solid abdominal muscles.

Plank

Nat says: Ditch the lame, tired and ineffective ab crunch and do planks instead. Your stomach has muscles similar to the workings of a corset, so if you want that streamlined look, start including planks in your regime.

How to do it:

  1. Balance on your elbows and toes.
  2. Pull your belly button up to your spine and tuck your pelvis under so your body in one straight line. Make sure your head is over your hands and your hips stay up the whole time.
  3. Hold for 45 seconds to start with and then build it up as you get stronger. Repeat 3-4 times.

Hot tip: If you start to feel pain in your lower body, it’s probably because your body is no longer straight. Check your navel is drawn in and your hips are tucked under.

Core crawls

Nat says: You may not have signed up for the army but you’re about to get a taste of the experience! This powerhouse exercise uses your whole body and you’ll also feel your heart rate increase, which is always a good thing.

How to do it:

  1. Start in a plank position on the ground.
  2. Using your hands and feet, crawl for 25 metres. Keep your butt and hips low the whole time.
  3. Rest for 30-45 seconds.
  4. Repeat 3-4 times.

Hot tip: Increase the amount of sets as you get fitter.

Do you want to boost your core muscles? Check out how to tone up with Pilates >>

Lower ab heel taps

Nat says: This is one of the best exercises you can do for your lower abs. Why? It effectively helps correct the typical “sway back” or “banana back” posture that most people have (especially if you sit at a desk all day long).

How to do it:

  1. Lie down on your back. Relax your upper back and lift your bent knees off the ground.
  2. Press your lower back into the floor by rotating your pelvis. (Use your hand as a guide: Place it in the small of your back and try to squash it with your lower back. Keep your hand there until you get the hang of the exercise).
  3. With your navel pulled in, slowly lower one heel down to the ground. You may think you can do it easily, but your hand will give you feedback: If it’s not getting squashed, you need to rotate your pelvis and draw your navel in more.
  4. Alternate your legs until you’ve done 20 reps.
  5. Repeat three times.

Hot tip: Try to make sure each rep is perfect. If need be, just work up to doing 20, focusing on your technique. Remember, we want quality not quantity!

Up next: More ways to tighten your tummy at any age >>

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