A feminine look means a small waist and a flat belly. Both of them may be obtained through healthy diet and stomach-flattening exercises. If the flat belly diet mostly consists of eating specific foods and limited amounts of calories, the top 3 exercises that work best for a perfect clepsydra figure include:
The Traditional Crunches
Crunches are a perfect option of exercises for a flat belly, because they work the entire abdominal region without any equipment.
How to do the abdominal crunches:
- Lie on your back with your back pressed flat against the floor. Bent your knees bent with your feet flat on the floor.
- Place your fingertips behind your neck.
- Pull your chest up towards the ceiling. Lift through the chest until you feel a contraction in your abdominal muscles, and then lower yourself back down. Your abs do all the work, not the neck or your legs.
To work all groups of abdominal muscles, you will have to lower your legs to either side and repeat the motions.
How often should the crunches be repeated: 2-3 sets of 10-15 crunches in each position, 3 times per week.
The Bicycle Maneuver
The bicycle moves target the rectus abdominis (the ‘six pack’) and the obliques (the waist). These exercises, the same as the crunches, can help you remodel your abdomen without any additional costs, because all you need is a mat to lie on your back.
How to do the Bicycle exercises:
- Lie face up on your mat and place lightly your hands behind your head.
- Bring the knees in to the chest.
- Lift the shoulder blades off the floor. Do not pull on the neck.
- Bring the right elbow towards the left knee as you straighten the right leg.
- Switch sides, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee.
How often should the bicycle exercises be repeated:1-3 sets of 12-16 reps, 3 times a week.
The Ball Crunches
These exercises are an excellent tool to strengthen the abs, especially the rectus abdominis. They are a bit more effective than crunches on the floor, because you cannot cheat using your legs. On the ball, the abs do more work, but you still involve the entire body to help stabilize you throughout the movement. The crunches performed on a stability ball (fitness ball) boost the activation of abdominal muscles by 24 to 38 percent over crunches done without a ball.
How to do ball crunches:
- Positioning the ball under the lower back, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your tights should be parallel to the floor.
- Place the arms behind your head.
- Contract your abs to lift your torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips.
- As you curl up, the ball shouldn’t roll.
- Lower back down, getting a stretch in the abs.
How often should the ball crunches be repeated:1-3 sets of 12-16 reps, 3 times a week.
Equipment: fitness ball
These abdominal exercises are not recommended for people with severe back problems and for pregnant women.