Four exercises for a crop top-ready tummy

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Exercise and fitness expert Lisa Raleigh gives us her top tips on getting the flat, tones stomach you’ve always wanted:

Flattening your stomach means working from the inside out. In addition to cleaning up what you eat, your focus must be on your Transverse Abdominus – your deepest core muscle. This muscle compresses the abdominal wall, acts like a corset, draws the belly button closer to the spine and is the body’s most important core stabilizer.

Note: Traditional crunches and ab exercises have their place, but they only target your six-pack muscles – not the all-important Transverse Abdominus that lies under them! Your six-pack muscles easily overpower the weaker internal muscles, which can actually cause your abdominal wall to bulge out if your form isn’t perfect – not the effect you’re looking for.

Here are four moves to strengthen your core from the inside out and help you sculpt a flat and toned tummy.

The Modified Hundred


Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground and arms at your sides. Take a deep breath and pull your stomach muscles in towards your spine. As you exhale, gently lift your head and neck off the floor, reaching your arms straight forward towards your legs. Pause for a few seconds then take another deep breath and gently lower yourself back to the ground. Aim for 3 sets of 6-12 reps, depending on your fitness levels.

The Flat-Belly Fly


Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet pointing forward. With one hand on the ground and the other pressed against your stomach, slowly open legs as far as you can. Work to keep your stomach pulled in towards your spine. Hold for a moment, then slowly draw your legs together again. Aim for 3 sets of 6-12 reps, depending on your fitness levels.

Plank with Leg Lift


Drop down to your forearms, rise onto your toes and keep your head in line with your spine. Slowly lift one leg up into the air, hold for a moment then lower it back down to the ground. Aim for 3 sets of 6-12 reps, alternating legs as you go.

Side Plank


Lie on your side with your upper body propped on one arm, and your leg on the same side bent to 90 degrees. Keeping your arm strong, slowly lift your torso up into the air. Hold for a moment then lower yourself back down to the ground. Aim for 3 sets of 6-12 reps, performing an equal number of reps on either side.
*Make this move more challenging by straightening both legs and lifting your whole body off the ground.

Lisa Raleigh
Fitness Trend Influencer, Wellness Activist, TV personality, Author, Lifestyle and Wellness Expert | | Facebook | @LisaRaleighSA – Twitter | LisaRaleighTV – YouTube

Other articles you may be interested in:
Lisa’s 20-minute workout
Lisa Raleigh’s healthy snack ideas
Holiday fitness ideas
10 Tips to boost your energy levels
Why do I feel nauseous after training?

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  1. Feli0017 CHEYANAND

    I actually need to start exercising because my wedding is coming up, I want to tone up and have that healthy glow!

    10 months ago •

  1. Parbie

    Planks are one of my favorite exercises. They really work and you feel the burn within 5 seconds! Wall sits are good too, prefferably a 30 seconds wall sit after doing planks.

    12 months ago •

  1. DIVA

    I think I can manage these moves, and I love the plank.

    1 year ago •

  1. DIVA

    I think I can manage these moves, Thanks Lisa

    1 year ago •

  1. Carly Andrews

    Great excercises to get me moving in the new year, after party season.

    1 year ago •

  1. Tessa Davies

    Are there any variations for the Plank with Leg Lift? I doubt my mom could do that just yet!

    2 years ago •

  1. kristenwepener

    Really nice! The burn after ab exercises always make me feel good about my workout!

    2 years ago •

  1. steffy.m17

    Just in time for summer. I have tried variations of these before but the exercises her look so much more intense

    2 years ago •

  1. Salmaa Moosa

    Just what I’ve been looking for! Need a flat tummy again :(

    2 years ago •

  1. Sheethal Dajee

    Going to give these a bash but I’m sure that I will have to do a couple of hundred to see some results.

    2 years ago •

  1. Yolanda Mkati

    Great tips. Now I need to get my lazy self to do these, December is around the corner :)

    2 years ago •


    Really great tips. I wish I could get a wash board tummy without exercising haha.

    2 years ago •

  1. Tanya Lawrence

    Thanks, lovely simple exercises and I would love to go the beach in my two piece swimming costume.

    2 years ago •

  1. Esme Van Jaarsveld

    OMG I need to really start doing these exercises to get me crop top ready <3

    2 years ago •

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