If there are many reasons for wanting a flat stomach, the solutions to get it can be counted on the fingers of one hand. A healthy lifestyle, a good rebalancing of food as well as a regular sports training represent the winning combo of a belly with a slender silhouette. On this last point, Sarah Plamont, graduate sports coach behind the eponymous Instagram account, reveals the right exercises to include in our sports routine.
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The right workout for a flat stomach
To work this part of the body, three main categories of exercises exist according to the coach. In pole position, the abs (hey, yes!); then the sheathing (oh, no!) and finally the breathing exercises (ah, good?). Zoom in on the most popular movements.
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Work the abdominals
Considered the most basic abs, crunches are not negligible when it comes to building the abdominal strap.
How to do ? You lie on your back, legs bent and feet hip-width apart. We bring our heels closer to the buttocks and we place our hands on the temples. While inhaling, we go back up slightly lifting the shoulders from the ground. Warning: keep the chin off the chest so as not to pull on the neck.
Evolution of crunches, sit-ups request the muscles a little more since they require more amplitude. The level goes up!
How to do ? We lie on our back like a crunch. The only difference ? We place our arms along the ears and completely lift the bust off the ground.
The leg lift
With this exercise where only the legs will be in motion, we strengthen the lower abs.
How to do ? We lie on our backs, we place our hands on the ground on either side of the pelvis. We take off and lift our two straight legs (semi-stretched, for those who lack flexibility). Warning: we ensure that the lumbar are well placed on the ground and we control the descent.
The perfect mix between sit-ups and leg raises, wallet abs – or Jack Knife in English – promise to work all of our chocolate bars as they are commonly called.
How to do ? We lie on the ground, arms and legs outstretched. We then raise all of our members to the sky. The best ? Let our hands touch our feet. Then, we release slowly to return to the initial position.
The Russian twist
In terms of abdominals, it is important not to neglect the obliques. The Russian twist – among others – is there to make them work.
How to do ? We sit on the floor. The knees are bent and they are raised to plus or minus 90 ° (the goal being that the feet no longer touch the ground). We tilt the bust slightly backwards and then pass our two hands on either side of the bust.
To intensify? We can use a weight (more or less heavy depending on each person) or simply take a bottle of water in our hands.
Include sheathing in our workouts
The most basic of the core exercises yet! The board uses many muscles: the deep abs but also the back muscles and the muscles of the arms and shoulders. Ultra-complete, we love it (or not).
How to do ? We lie down facing the ground then we put ourselves on the elbows (below the shoulders) and the toes, making sure to align the pelvis (neither too high nor too low).
To intensify? We can use what is called dynamic sheathing. For this, several variants exist: touching his shoulders one after the other; climb up with outstretched arms and come down on the elbows or take side steps and come back to the middle.
The side plank
The classic board twists in the lateral version to work the obliques in depth.
How to do ? We lie on the left side (or right, anyway we will have to do both). We lift the upper body by resting on the forearm (the right is stretched above us) and on the edge of the foot. We take care to respect the bust, pelvis and legs alignment.
To intensify? We can practice a lift of the upper leg or go with his free arm to look for an imaginary object between our support arm and our chest. Ouch, it stings.
The climber, also called a “mountain climber”, is a complete core exercise.
How to do ? We put ourselves in a sheathing position with, here, the arms then we raise the knees to the chest, alternating the left leg and the right leg. Be careful to keep your back straight.
What about hypopressive abs?
To have a toned stomach, a new method is talking about it: hypopressive abs. Exit the traditional abs, here, we work our muscles without much effort. Also called “vacuum” or “stomach vacuum”, these exercises designate, in fact, a breathing technique. Widely used in yoga and Pilates, they consist of contracting the transverse abdominal muscle, a deep muscle in the abdominal strap, through special breathing.
How to do ? You lie on your back, arms at your sides, knees bent hip-width apart, feet very parallel. Then, we take a deep breath while inflating the belly, then we exhale while pulling in the belly as if the navel were sucked in by the ground. Finally, we block our breathing. Then repeat the exercise.
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Professional advice for a toned belly
The best way to work your stomach well is to combine all these exercises. We like to work them in circuit. In other words, we accumulate 4 to 5 exercises and we perform them in series.
Here, the coach performs a circuit of 4 exercises:
- Bust rotation
- Lateral contraction
- Mountain climber
- Jack Knife
A circuit to be linked 4 times for a fast and efficient 20-minute workout: the exercises are performed for 45 seconds for 15 seconds of recovery. Between each circuit, we allow ourselves 1 minute of rest. Most ? “Pair them with cardio exercises to have an ultra-complete action,” says Sarah Plamont. At the rate of 2 to 3 sessions per week (without forgetting the days of rest and a good diet), the results promise to be visible in just one or two months. So, shall we go for it?