Abs Workout: The Fastest Way to Lose Belly Fat

We all want a toned, flat stomach. No surprise there. But since many women are still relying on crunches to get it, we want to make one thing clear: Crunching is not the most effective abs workout. “Crunches work only the muscles on the front and sides of your abdomen, but it’s important to target all the muscles of the core to get more defined abs—including lower back, hips, and upper thighs,” says Lou Schuler, co-author of The New Rules of Lifting for Abs.

“Core exercises like the plank help train muscles to stabilise the spine and pelvis so you can avoid back pain and improve posture”, Schuler says. “They also burn more calories than crunches because they work more muscles.”

Trade crunches for these three super-effective abs exercises from The New Rules of Lifting for Abs and you’ll be on your way to a perfectly toned, flatter tummy.

The Best Abs Exercises: Side Plank


Why it works: This abs exercise is more challenging than a traditional plank because you’re supporting your entire body weight on two points of contact instead of four. As a result, you must work your core harder to stay stabilised.

How to do it:

  • Lie on your left side with your elbow directly beneath your shoulder and legs stacked. Place your right hand on your left shoulder or on your right hip.
  • Brace your abs and lift your hips off the floor until you’re balancing on your forearm and feet so that your body forms a diagonal line. Hold for 30 to 45 seconds. If you can’t hold that long, stay up as long as you can and then repeat until you’ve held for 30 seconds total. Switch sides and repeat.

More great stabilisation moves The standard plank and the anti-rotation hold.

The Best Abs Exercises: Walkout from Pushup Position


Why it works: This abs exercise involves full-body movement, such as using the arms and legs, while incorporating resistance to strengthen your entire core.

How to do it:

  • Start in pushup position with hands two inches wider than your shoulders.
  • Walk hands out as far as possible, then walk back. Do 10-12 reps.

Make it harder: Lift one leg before you walk your hands out and back.

The Best Abs Exercises: Alligator Drag


Why it works: This abs exercise uses your entire core to keep your body stabilised and burns additional calories by adding movement (dragging yourself along the floor). It mixes cardio, stability, and strength training to get you fast results.

How to do it:

  • Find a stretch of floor that allows you to go forward 10 to 20 yards, and grab anything that will slide over the surface with minimal friction. Dinner plates or plastic bags work on a carpeted floor, while towels work on wood or tile.
  • Start in pushup position with your feet on the slides, towels, or plates.
  • Walk yourself forward with your hands to the end of your runway (aim for at least 10 yards). Rest for 60 to 90 seconds (or as long as you need to recover) and repeat the alligator walk back to where you started. That’s one set. Repeat one more time.

 Forearm Planks


Why it works: This variation, also one of the most common ways to perform a plank, is slightly easier than holding the body up with just the hands.

How to do it:

  • Start off in the push-up position. Place your forearms on the ground in a way that both your elbows and fists placed on the ground flat
  • Contract your core in, gently get the toes curled and lengthen your spine. Try to be as parallel to the ground as you can.
  • Flex the abs muscles and feel a squeeze in your glute muscles. Stay stable in this position and you will feel the burn in your core muscles.
  • Time yourself, stay in the position for 20-30 seconds and do 3-4 reps daily.