The weather is warming up, and for many people, that means it is time to work on that little bulge that has been taking up residence around the midsection since Thanksgiving. These several exercises can help you shed that excess turkey weight and flatten out that stomach in time for beach season. As with any workout routine, be sure to consult a professional before beginning and always warm up properly to avoid injury.
Plank For this stomach exercise, you will need to lie on a flat surface, such as the floor. You will be lying in your stomach, so you may want to use a mat or towel to cushion your knees. Prop your upper body up on your forearms so that your elbows make a ninety degree angle and are positioned directly below your shoulders. Now lift your body up off the floor so that your lower body is supported by your toes, while your upper body remains supported by your elbows. Your body should basically be a straight line, with no arch or drooping through your back. Hold this position for twenty seconds, then lower your body back to the floor. One repetition is sufficient.
Side Plank This stomach exercise is a variation on the previous one, and begins in the same starting position. Once you are positioned properly, roll to your right side, keeping your torso supported with your right forearm. You will have to raise your hips and roll your feet so that your left foot is on top of your right. As in the plank, your body will be a straight line, but this time you will be on one side. Place your left hand on your hip and hold the plank position for five seconds. Return to start and repeat on the left side.
Ball Roll If you just quickly glanced at the title, you may have gone to find a ball before reading on. If you did, you can go put it away, because in this stomach exercise, you are the ball! First, sit on the floor and hug your knees to your chest. Roll back slightly so you are balancing on your tail bone and your feet are off the floor, toes pointing downward. Pull your abdominals inward while rolling onto your lower back and the upper part of your butt. Contract your abdominals and pull yourself back to the starting position. Loosening your arms up may help if you find this exercise too difficult at first.
Standing Crossover As the name implies, you will need to stand up for this stomach exercise. Position your feet a few inches apart. Put your arms out to the sides and bend your elbows at a ninety degree angle so your fingertips are pointing to the ceiling and your palm are facing forward. Contract your abdominals and lift your right knee toward your left elbow, while at the same time bringing your left elbow down toward your right knee. Touch the two joints together, pause, then return to start. Switch sides and repeat for an entire set.