7 Flat Stomach Workouts You Can Do at Home

Getting a flat stomach is a common fitness goal, and you can achieve it by doing exercises that burn fat, tone your core, and build muscle. Some good exercises for this include planks and leg raises.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the different stomach exercises out there, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered.

Keep reading to find out about a few simple exercises you can do on your own, along with some tips to boost your chances of getting that flat stomach.

7 Flat Stomach Workouts

1. Plank

The plank is a great exercise that targets your core muscles, along with your back, shoulders, hips, and legs. Unlike other core exercises that involve movement, the plank focuses on making your core resist movement by keeping your body still for a certain time. It’s like an anti-core exercise that builds strength and stability, and it can even enhance your strength for exercises like squats and bench press.

Here’s a simple guide on how to do a standard plank:

  1. Place your hands directly under your shoulders, a bit wider than your shoulder width, as if you’re getting ready for a push-up.
  2. Press your toes into the floor and tighten your buttocks to keep your body stable. Make sure your legs are engaged, but avoid locking or overextending your knees.
  3. Keep your neck and spine in a neutral position by looking at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond your hands. Your head should align with your back.
  4. Start by holding the position for 20 seconds. As you become more comfortable, try to hold the plank for as long as you can without sacrificing your form or breath.

2. Side Planks

The side plank is a great exercise to make your side belly muscles stronger, which usually don’t get much attention in regular ab workouts like crunches. In this exercise, you support your body on one arm and the side of one foot while keeping it straight.

If you’re a beginner, it’s a good idea to start with warmups for your side belly muscles and easier versions of side planks before trying the full side plank. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Lie on your side with your legs straight and feet stacked on top of each other. It’s helpful to do this on a soft surface like a yoga mat.
  2. Place your forearm flat on the ground under your shoulder.
  3. Push through your feet and forearm to lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Make sure not to twist your hips.
  4. Hold this position for a few seconds, focusing on squeezing your core muscles. Try to look forward to keep your neck in a neutral position.
  5. Lower yourself back to the floor and repeat this a few times before switching to the other side.

Remember, everyone’s different, so it’s essential to pay attention to how your body feels. You might need to adjust the side plank to fit your needs.

3. Toe Touch

A toe touch is a core exercise where you sit on the floor, stretch out your legs and arms, and reach for your toes. It’s not the same as the gymnastics move with the same name.

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Lie on your back, and raise your legs straight up towards the ceiling.
  2. Stretch your arms forward, keeping them straight and parallel to your legs.
  3. Crunch forward, reaching for your toes with your outstretched arms. Your head, shoulders, and upper back should lift off the ground.
  4. Lower yourself back down and repeat steps 2 and 3. Aim for 8-12 reps and do 3 sets.

This exercise is good for your abs, especially the ‘rectus abdominis’. It’s a great addition to a well-rounded fitness routine!

4. Leg Lifts

Leg lifts are a type of exercise where you use your core muscles to lift your legs. They’re great for strengthening your abs, including the front “six-pack” muscles and the ones on the sides of your body. Here’s a simple guide on how to do leg lifts:

  1. Lie down on the floor or a yoga mat.
  2. Make sure your entire back, from your head to your backside, is firmly pressed against the floor with no gap at your lower back.
  3. Keep your legs together and squeeze them from your inner thighs to your ankles. Your feet and toes can stay relaxed.
  4. Inhale as you slowly lift both legs, aiming to keep them as straight as possible. The goal is to get your legs completely vertical, forming a capital L shape with your body. This might take some practice.
  5. Exhale slowly as you lower your legs until they hover just a few inches above the floor.
  6. Pause and then repeat the exercise. Beginners can start with about 10 repetitions per session or 30 seconds on the clock. As you get stronger, gradually increase the number of reps.

5. Bicycle Crunch

The bicycle crunch is a great exercise for your abs. It works the upper abs, deep abs, and the side muscles called obliques. If you want to strengthen your core, this exercise is perfect. It’s easy for beginners and doesn’t require any equipment. You can do it anywhere as part of your core workout or as an addition to a full-body routine.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lie on your back on a yoga mat, rug, or towel. Press your lower back to the ground, bend your knees, and place your feet on the floor. Put your hands behind your head.
  2. Tighten your core muscles by pulling in your abdomen to stabilize your spine.
  3. Gently hold your head with your hands. Pull your shoulder blades back and slowly lift your knees to about a 90-degree angle, raising your feet off the floor.
  4. Exhale and start a bicycle pedal motion. Bring one knee up toward your armpit while straightening the other leg, keeping both elevated higher than your hips.
  5. Rotate your torso to touch your elbow to the opposite knee as it comes up.
  6. Twist to the other side, bringing that knee toward your armpit and extending the other leg until your elbow touches the alternate knee.
  7. Aim for 12 to 20 repetitions and do three sets.

6. Boat Pose

Boat Pose is great for building strong abs and core muscles. Follow these steps to do it:

  1. Start by sitting with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your feet off the floor, keeping your knees bent initially. Your shins should be parallel to the floor, creating a half boat pose.
  3. Be careful not to round your spine as your torso naturally leans back.
  4. If possible, straighten your legs to a 45-degree angle without compromising your upper body’s position. Aim for an upright torso, forming a V shape with your legs.
  5. Roll your shoulders back and extend your arms parallel to the floor, palms facing up.
  6. Try to balance on your sit bones, lifting your chest for better stability. It’s okay if you’re slightly behind the sit bones.
  7. Hold the pose for at least five breaths.
  8. Exhale and release your legs, then inhale as you sit back up.

7. Burpees

Burpees are a great way to get your heart pumping and work multiple muscle groups. They’re like a quick burst of running, but with added benefits for your abs, legs, hips, and glutes. The best part? You don’t need any equipment, and you can do them in a small space.

Let’s break down the steps into seven simple movements:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight, chest out, and arms at your sides.
  2. Bend your knees, pushing them slightly past your toes, and lower your butt. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the floor in front of your feet.
  3. Extend your legs back into a high plank position. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to heels. Lock your arms and keep your head straight.
  4. Bend your elbows and bring your body toward the floor, like the bottom part of a push-up. Keep your body straight and your core tight.
  5. Push back up to the high plank position. Focus on keeping your body straight.
  6. Jump your legs forward, landing with your feet flat on the floor.
  7. Propel yourself upward, reaching your arms toward the ceiling.

Remember to warm up before starting, and you’re good to go!

Additional Tips for a Flat Stomach

If you want a flat stomach with visible abs, focus on toning your entire body and reducing body fat. Making small, simple changes to your daily routine can make a big difference. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Prioritize Sleep: Make sure you get quality sleep each night. A 2018 study found that poor sleep quality can you more hungry and more likely to overeat.

  2. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water. This not only helps flush out toxins but also keeps you feeling full, preventing unhealthy snacking.

  3. Eat the Right Foods: Load your plate with fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Cut down on sugary, salty, and highly processed foods. If you’re prone to bloating, limit intake of beans, gluten, and dairy products.

  4. Regular Physical Activity: Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily. It can be formal workouts or short 5-minute bursts of activity throughout your day. A 2020 study found that doing more than 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week can help prevent gaining weight.

  5. Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting is a weight loss method where you have specific times when you don’t eat. This can create a calorie shortage and hormonal changes that help you shed pounds. Take the 16/8 plan, for instance. You eat within an 8-hour window and avoid food for the other 16 hours each day.

  6. Improve Gut Health: Your gut bacteria can affect your weight. For example, your microbiome influences how food is digested and absorbed, as well as how dietary fats are stored in your body. Fermented foods have high levels of probiotics, also known as ‘healthy bacteria,’ and include items such as yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi, and kombucha.

  7. Resistance Training: Lifting weights and other types of resistance training are great for burning calories and building muscles. When you do intense weightlifting, your body keeps burning fat even after you’ve finished the workout. Experts call this the “afterburn effect.”

  8. Use an Abs Stimulator: Incorporate an abs stimulator into your routine. This device can help engage and strengthen your abdominal muscles. Check out our list of the best abs stimulators

How Long Does It Take to See Results?

Getting a flat stomach varies for each person, mainly based on your body fat percentage.

Some progress may show in a few weeks with regular exercise, but it might take several months to a year for the full results.

Keep in mind, the key is overall health. Make positive changes in your diet and exercise routine for the best outcomes.

The Bottom Line

Getting a flat stomach is doable when you stick to a healthy exercise and lifestyle routine. Visible improvements should kick in within a few weeks to a few months.

Try abs exercises like planks, bicycle crunches, and burpees. Also, cutting calories, staying hydrated, and improving sleep can help shrink belly fat.

The more committed you are, the better chance you have of getting the results you’re aiming for.

If you need more guidance, make an appointment with our online personal training

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