Sculpt your abs and blast away the belly flab that covers them with these moves
These 12 exercises target the stubborn belly fat you’ve been hoping to burn away.
When you’re looking to get fit, one of the first places guys target is the belly.
That’s smart. Sure, people can get hung up on their appearance when they carry weight in their gut — but the fat you carry in your belly is more insidious than other types, making your focus on the stomach well founded. Belly fat, aka visceral fat, has been linked to conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
Once you shed those pounds and flatten your belly, you’ll be able to move better, too. Strengthening those core muscles will only help you with everything else you’re trying to do in the gym, and outside of it, too.
Start honing your stomach with the following 12 exercises to hammer the dozens of muscles between your shoulders and hips and rev your metabolism at the same time.
1. Hollow Body Hold
Hollow body holds are a go-to exercise for gymnasts, who are pound-for-pound among the strongest athletes in the world. The move is a staple of their training, for good reason: It’s a major core blaster.
Think of the hollow body hold as the inversion of a plank. Rather than bracing yourself against the ground and letting gravity do the work, you’re flipped around, fighting against the force to keep yourself in position.
DO IT: Lay down, pressing your lower back into the ground. Hinge at the hips to tuck your knees into your chest while also raising your shoulders off the ground, reaching forward with your arms.
Extend your legs straight out and hold in position, stretching your arms back behind your head and squeezing your core to maintain your posture. For beginners, keep your arms pointed forward to make the move less difficult. Hold for 30 seconds to start, then ramp up to a minute or more once you develop the core strength.