Side plank can help to tone your obliques.
Flattening your stomach requires losing belly fat. Though fat cannot be spot reduced from any one area, committing to a comprehensive fitness program that contains a healthy diet, cardiovascular exercise and strength training can help burn fat throughout your entire body, including your stomach. Incorporating exercises that build abdominal muscle, such as crunches and side planks, can help to flatten your waist and give your stomach and obliques a taut and toned appearance.1.
Complete at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular activity per week, such as jogging, cycling or using the elliptical trainer. Spread the sessions out over three to five days. Work out at a moderate intensity where you break a sweat and raise your heart rate yet you are still able to carry on a conversation. Choose an activity that you enjoy, which can help you to stick with your fitness program and reach your goals of losing belly fat. Consider playing a sport like tennis or soccer if you do not enjoy traditional gym cardio exercises.2.
Target your abs with toning and strengthening exercises. The American Council on Exercise named bicycle crunches, stability ball crunches and vertical leg crunches -- with your legs in the air and feet pointing toward the ceiling -- as some of the most effective abdominal exercises. Train your obliques with side planks, side bends and the oblique - or crossover - crunch. Perform abdominal exercises at least three days per week. Include two to three exercises per session. Aim for three sets each of 12 to 15 repetitions.3.
Strengthen the rest of the muscles on your body with resistance training. Strength training helps build lean muscle mass, which can boost your metabolism and help to burn your belly fat. Complete two full-body strength-training sessions per week. Target the largest muscle groups on your body to maximize lean muscle mass, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, chest and back. Examples include squats and lunges for the legs and glutes, bench presses for the chest and lat pulldowns for your back. Include two to three exercises per muscle group, consisting of three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.4.
Eliminate junk food from your diet and increase fiber intake. Foods that contain added sugars, like soda, cookies and candy, can add to belly fat. Fiber can help to reduce visceral fat, which is the fat that sits in your abdomen and surrounds your organs. Opt for fresh whole fruit rather than fruit juice and eat fresh vegetables at every meal. Limit your food choices to healthy lean meats, mono and polyunsaturated fats and whole-grains, the latter of which also contains fiber.
- Consult with a physician before starting a new exercise program. Talk with your doctor about any health concerns you may have due to fat in the abdominal area.