A flat belly is a badge of honor. It’s an outward sign that you keep fit and watch what you eat.
And beyond the vanity aspects, a more chiseled torso makes you stronger and less prone to injury.
That’s because the dozens of muscles between your shoulders and hips are involved in every movement you do.
To create a lean, rock-hard waist you need to start with the right moves, says James Oketch, the manager and chief instructor at The City Gym.
“Choose moves that sculpt your abs while shredding the fat that covers them,” he says. “It’s the perfect one-two punch for a flat belly.”
Start with the following 5 exercises to hammer the dozens of muscles between your shoulders and hips and rev your metabolism at the same time.
If you want to lose your gut, you need to work as many muscles as possible. The burpee does just that.
The explosive exercise, which entails going from a pushup position to a jump and back to a pushup position—hits every muscle from head to toe.
Experts say that 10 fast-paced reps are just as effective at revving your metabolism as a 30-second all-out sprint, so you can burn your belly fat faster than ever before.
Do It: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body until your palms rest on the floor about shoulder-width apart.
Kick your legs backward into a pushup position, perform a pushup, and then quickly reverse the movement and perform a jump when you stand. That’s 1 rep.
Dumbbell Hot-Potato Squat
This cutting-edge fat-loss exercise will get your heart pumping and abs burning in almost no time.
The squat attacks your largest muscle groups like your glutes, quads, and hamstrings, while the dumbbell toss hits your upper body and ramps up your heart rate.
“Plus, holding the weight on just one side of your body increases the demand placed on your core,” says Oketch.
“As the weight changes from side to side, your core muscles are worked from every angle.”
Do It: Grab a medium- to light-weight dumbbell and hold it in the racked position with your elbow bent and the end resting near your shoulder.
Squat down so your quads are parallel to the floor, and then quickly pop up to standing, tossing the dumbbell from one hand to the other in front of your face.
Valslide Leg Curl
This move hits your front and backside at the same time, making it the perfect recipe for a flat belly.
“While the leg curl hammers your glutes, you need to turn on every muscle in your torso to keep your back straight from your shoulders to your knees,” says James Kakande, a gym instructor in Ntinda.
The combination will hit your abs, work your upper back to help fix poor posture, and hammer the large, metabolism-revving muscle groups in your lower body all at the same time.
Do It: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your heels on a pair of Valslides. Lift your hips so your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
Keeping your core tight, extend your legs as far as you can without allowing your back to curve.
Pause, and then using your glutes and hamstring, pull your heels back toward your body until you return to the starting position.
You may associate moguls with cold and snow, but this version will burn a ton of belly fat.
“It trains your abs, lower back, and hips to work together to rotate your body from side to side,” says Kakande.
And the more powerfully you explode off of the floor, the more you’ll elevate your heart rate and work your muscles.
Do It: Get into a table-top position with your hands directly below your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips.
Dig your toes into the floor and elevate your knees so they hover just above the ground.
Keeping your feet together jump them to the left, pause, and then jump them to the right. Repeat for reps or time.