The Best and Most Effective Flat Stomach Exercises

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The most popular flat stomach exercises are crunches, with a lot of different varieties that can help you strengthen and define your abdominal muscles. These crunches can also be done with other exercises that develop your back and thigh muscles as well, since these muscles work hand in hand in giving you and your body proper posture and stability.

One of the varieties of crunches is the ‘long arm crunch'. The traditional crunch would have your arms lying on your chest or resting near your temples. The long arm crunch would have you extending your arms straight out behind the head wit your hands clasped, with your arms next to your ears. Aside from the arm and hand positions, the rest of the routine is the same as your traditional crunches. Flex your abdominal muscles and lift your upper torso from the floor. Remember that the key in doing proper crunches is to feel your abdomen flexing, and not your neck. Putting too much pressure on your neck will not only strain your neck, but will not help you achieve the results you are looking for either.

The vertical leg crunch is another effective exercise that can help you develop your abdominal muscles. Lie on the floor with your legs straight up. Cross your knees and place your arms behind your head for balance and support. Flex your abs to lift your upper body off the floor towards your legs. Again, make sure that you avoid straining your neck, especially since this exercise uses the arms behind your neck for support.

You can also try doing vertical crunches, which you can easily shift to after doing the vertical leg crunch. Still lying on the floor, place your hands on the floor and bring in your knees towards your chest, placing it at a 90 degree angle. You can either put your feet together, or keep them crossed. Contract your abdominal muscles and curl your hips off the floor, making your legs reach out towards the ceiling. Make sure you lift your hips by flexing your abdominal muscles and not by putting pressure on your back or creating momentum using your legs.

For additional variation, you can also use an exercise ball to develop and give definition to your abdominal muscles. Lie on the ball, making sure that it is positioned at your lower back. Cross your arms over your chest. Flex your abs and lift your upper body off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage towards your hips. Release and stretch your abdomen, laying your back on the ball again. The key here is keeping the ball stable, making sure that it doesn't roll as losing control of the exercise ball would put additional unnecessary strain on your back, hips and legs.

These are but a few of the flat stomach exercises that you can do to develop your abdominal muscles. With discipline, time and effort, these flat stomach exercises will surely give you the abs that you want before you know it.
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