7 Waist-Slimming Ab Exercises

Workout by Elisabeth Halfpapp

Fitness Magazine

Get an amazing ab rehab stat. This routine from better-belly specialist Elisabeth Halfpapp, a founder of Exhale Mind Body Spa in New York City, combines seven exercises that will work your midsection, including the transversus abdominis, 360 degrees — “which is the key for slimming your waist.” Both our testers experienced roomier waistbands (our apple-shaped tester lost an inch; our new mom lost two) after a month by doing three-times-a-week sessions. Now it’s your turn to be firm, flat, fab!

Side Plank-Up

Targets: Rectus and transversus abdominis, obliques, and inner thighs

  • Lie on left side on floor with legs stacked and a rolled-up towel between thighs, propping torso on left elbow so that left forearm is perpendicular to torso. Make it easier: Stagger feet so that side of right foot is on floor in front of left foot for a wider base of support.
  • Lift hips so that body forms a straight line from head to toe and squeeze towel between thighs. Hold for 1 count, then lower.
  • Do 10 reps. Switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.

Round Back

Targets: Rectus and transversus abdominis

  • Sit on a folded towel on floor with shoulder blades against a wall and knees bent, feet flat; make sure back is rounded. Place hands on floor near hips, fingertips pressed into floor.
  • Squeeze abs and lift feet off floor, bring knees toward chest, then straighten legs so toes point toward ceiling. Do 10 pulses: Bring legs 1 inch closer to wall, then move them back 1 inch. Make it easier: Keep left foot on floor and bring extended right leg toward you by grasping right calf with both hands. Hold for 30 seconds; switch legs and repeat.
  • Do 3 sets.

Fly Up

Target: Rectus abdominis

  • Sit on a folded towel on floor, lean back to rest on elbows and place feet together on a wall in front of you so that knees are bent about 90 degrees.
  • Extend legs up, keeping feet against wall, then press rounded lower back into floor and squeeze abs as you lift arms to reach toward feet, elbows soft. Make it harder: Press feet into wall as you reach.
  • Do 20 pulses: Curl torso up 1 inch, then lower 1 inch.
  • Do 3 sets, hugging knees to chest to rest between sets.

Pelvic Scoop

Targets: Lower back, rectus and transversus abdominis, obliques, and butt

  • Lie faceup on floor with back resting on folded towel, knees bent and feet flat on floor, arms by sides.
  • Cross right ankle onto left thigh just above knee so bent right knee points out to side; flex left foot so only heel rests on floor.
  • Rounding lower back and squeezing abs, lift hips off floor so pelvis tilts up toward ribs. Curl pelvis as far as you can without arching back; pull abs in to lift rather than press through left heel. Lower to floor.
  • Do 10 reps, holding the lift for 10 seconds on the final one. Switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.

C-Curve

Targets: Rectus and transversus abdominis, quads, inner thighs, and calves

  • Stand facing a wall with legs together, squeezing rolled-up towel between thighs.
  • With knees slightly bent, hinge forward at hips to place palms on wall, arms extended, so that back is nearly parallel to floor.
  • Squeeze abs and towel as you rise onto toes, then do 20 pulses: Lower hips 1 inch, then raise them 1 inch. Make it harder: Start with knees bent 90 degrees so that hips are closer to knee level, then pulse.
  • Do 3 sets.

Flat Back

Targets: Rectus and transversus abdominis

  • Sit on floor with lower back against a wall, knees slightly bent and feet planted wider than shoulder-width apart. Place hands on floor between legs and squeeze abs.
  • Press into floor with fingertips and lift feet about 6 inches. Make it easier: Lift and lower left foot; then repeat with right to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

Twisted Curl

Targets: Rectus and transversus abdominis and obliques

  • Sit on a folded towel on floor with knees bent and feet flat on floor, then lean back to rest on elbows.
  • Press rounded lower back into floor, squeeze abs and curl torso up toward left, lifting arms so that both hands grasp outside of left thigh.
  • Maintaining curl, release hands so that both hover to outside of thigh and do 20 pulses: Curl torso up toward left by 1 inch, then lower 1 inch. Make it easier: Keep hands on thigh for pulses. Make it harder: Raise arms overhead for pulses.
  • Switch sides and repeat. Do 3 sets.

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