STYLE

20-Minute Tummy Toners

07/09/2010 17:36 | Updated 22 May 2015
Ask most women what they most dislike about their bodies and the answer will probably have something to do with their stomachs, but believe it or not getting a flatter tummy is not as impossible as you may think. Take 20 minutes a day to do some simple exercises and you too could have perfect abs of steel.
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20 minutes to a flat stomach

Achieving a flat stomach takes time and effort but you'll be amazed at what 20 minutes a day can achieve. Follow our tummy toning tips and you can expect to see noticeable results in a matter of weeks...

20 minutes to a flat stomach

Hula hooping is brilliant for toning up your oblique abdominal muscles. Start by standing with one foot in front of the other, then position the hoop above your waist. Keep it spinning for 20 minutes and you can expect to burn 130 calories. Increase the intensity by adding in some creative arm movements (just keep them clear of the hoop) or do 10 squats each time you drop the hoop.

20 minutes to a flat stomach

Exercising on a fitness ball works the deeper core and side abdominal muscles that don't get used when doing standard crunches. Sit on it with your feet flat on the ground and your knees at a 90-degree angle. Lay your hands over your chest and roll back so that the ball rolls forward and fits into the small of your back. Roll the ball in and out keeping the movement smooth.

20 minutes to a flat stomach

If a hard core six-pack is your aim, try the vertical leg crunch. Lie on your back, with your arms by your sides and hands on the floor for support. Extend both legs upwards at about 90-degrees and then lift your hips off the floor, reaching them towards the ceiling. Lower back down – the slower and controlled the movement, the more intense the workout will be. Aim for at least 20 reps.

20 minutes to a flat stomach

For a low-impact way to work the abdominals, try belly dancing. The gentle repetitive motion of hip drops, circles, figure eights, and shimmies exercise the joints and ligaments of the lower back and hip without putting any stress on the body. Expect to burn around 100 calories per 20 minutes. As well as toning the tummy, belly dancing is great for firming up the arms.

20 minutes to a flat stomach

For strength and all-round definition you can't beat the classic bicycle crunch. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and lift both feet off the floor at a 45-degree angle. Then bend your right knee in to touch your left elbow with your left leg hovering off the ground. Now switch sides, extending your right leg and bending your left knee to meet your right elbow.

20 minutes to a flat stomach

For a fun, aerobic workout that burns calories as well as tones, try jumping on a twist board. The rotating board works your oblique abdominal muscles, which is great for slimming down the waist. Up the intensity by using ankle weights, a ball or resistance tubing with the board. If you're new to the twist board, practice the movements on the ground before you start.

20 minutes to a flat stomach

The plank is great for working the deep 'corset' muscles that keep your back strong. Get into the push-up position with your hands under your shoulders and feet together. Look down at the ground with your head in line so that your body forms a straight line. Hold the position for as long as you can, keeping abdominal muscles tight and your breathing regular and even.

20 minutes to a flat stomach

Finally, remember that doing 20 minutes (or more) of aerobic exercise every day is the best way to burn fat. Follow our tummy tips, and once you've lost the excess pounds those toned abs will look better than ever.

20 minutes to a flat stomach

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