5 Flat Abs Exercises And Diet Tips To Get A Slim Waist

Get the right moves on and keep them up daily to achieve the abs of your dreams.

Reviewed by Dr. Sudhansu Singh, BPT Dr. Sudhansu Singh Dr. Sudhansu SinghBPT facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_icon
Written by , MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist Charushila Biswas MSc (Biotechnology), ISSA Certified Fitness Nutritionist linkedin_icon Experience: 6 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health linkedin_icon Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach Payal Karnik MSc (Biotechnology), Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach linkedin_icon Experience: 2.5 years

Losing belly fat is no easy feat. But adopting the right diet and regularly exercising to get flat abs can help you win this battle. However, it is not going to be an overnight transformation and it may demand lifestyle changes as well as patience, diligence, and consistency in your daily routine. If you are prepared to achieve that slim waist you have always dreamt of, it is time to take charge and target the ab muscles to strengthen and tone them. We are here to share with you some expert tips which will help you through the journey. You may add these to your workout routines or mix things up once in a while by adding physical activities that help burn overall body fat.

Read on to learn about the best waistline exercises and diet tips to get a slim waist. Scroll down!

protip_icon Workout Blueprint: Exercises For Flat Abs
  • Frequency: 5 times a week
  • Benefits: aid weight loss, tone the abs, and strengthen the core.
  • Equipment Needed: Exercise mat, stability ball, and resistance band.
  • Space Required: Small area
  • Assistance Required: Yes, for certain cardio and HIIT exercises.
  • Who Should Avoid: Anyone with a history of back pain, knee injury, spine problems, bone conditions, or has recently undergone surgery.

5 Effective Exercises To Get Flat Abs

Here are some effective core workouts to strengthen and flatten your abs at the same time.

Note: Before starting these stomach slimming exercises, warm-up properly to prevent injuries.

1. Cardio And HIIT

Cardio and HIIT flat abs exercise
Image: Shutterstock

Cardio and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) are a must if you want to burn fat. Ideally, you must aim to shed fat from your overall body. As the body loses fat, it helps the belly slim down as well. Focus on core exercises to tone your muscles, which will make you look slimmer.

Do exercises like jogging, running, rope jumping, box jumps, squat jumps, staircase running, high knees, jumping lunges, burpees, swimming, Zumba, dancing, or play any sport. You may also use equipment like a Swiss ball or resistance bands to make your workout more intense.

A blogger shares her experience of taking up a 30-day squat challenge: “Doing the challenge made me want to work out more. I started using the treadmill at the gym, going to Zumba with a friend, and doing light hikes on the weekends (i).”

2. Reverse Crunch

Reverse crunch flat abs exercise
Image: Shutterstock
How To Do
  1. Lie on the floor with knees bent, arms by your side, fingers pointing towards your heels. Lift your feet off the ground, toes pointing away from your body.
  2. Exhale and slowly lift your hips off the floor, contracting your abs. Your knees now point towards your head. Keep your head and neck on the floor.
  3. Inhale and come back to the starting position. Remember to move in a slow, controlled manner. Do 3 sets of 8-12 reps.

Note: You can try bicycle crunches for a variation after doing reverse crunches.

protip_icon Quick Tip
Perform crunches while sitting on a stability ball for better posture and increased lower back strength. You can also use a resistance band to improve strength and target obliques and deep ab muscles.

3. V Sit-Up

V sit-up flat abs exercise
Image: Shutterstock
How To Do
  1. Lie on a mat and place your arms overhead.
  2. Lift your legs and hands off the floor and come into a sitting position, as shown in the image. Balance your body on your buttocks and tailbone. Keep your arms extended in front, forming a “V” with your upper and lower body.
  3. Keep breathing and slowly get back to the starting position. Do 3 sets of V-sit exercises, 8-12 reps.
protip_icon Trivia
V sit-ups help boost your core strength and focus on your hip flexors, rectus abdominis, external obliques, and internal oblique muscles.

4. Plank With Opposite Arm And Leg Raise

Stomach flat abs exercises
Image: Shutterstock
How To Do
  1. Get into a push-up position, with your body supported on your palms and toes and the back straight and aligned with your head and neck.
  2. Lower yourself onto your forearms, keeping the rest of the position unchanged. Curl your fists inwards and ensure that the upper arms are at 90 degrees with the lower arms, and the elbows are directly under your shoulders.
  3. Lift your right leg off the floor and extend it straight out, parallel to the floor.
  4. Putting your weight on your left foot and right arm, lift your left arm and extend it in front of you with the fingers pointing forward.
  5. Keep your extended leg, arm, and back straight throughout, using your core to maintain balance.
  6. Hold for 10 seconds and come back to the plank position. Repeat on the other side. Do 3 sets of 8 reps.

Note: If you are looking to spice up your workout routine and want to try pilates for abs, you can try doing the bird dog exercise.

 5. Thread The Needle

Thread the needle flat abs exercise
Image: Shutterstock
How To Do
  1. Get into a modified side plank position, lying on your left side, propped up on your left forearm, with the wrist directly under the shoulder.
  2. Keep your knees bent and lower legs folded back, with the right leg resting over the left. Let your right arm rest on your right hip. Keep your hips off the ground.
  3. Extend the right arm straight overhead. Look up at your arm. Ensure a straight line from the right fingertips to the left elbow.
  4. Bring your right arm down and under your left armpit, as though you are threading a needle. Feel the twist in your sides and abs and not in your shoulders or neck.
  5. Come back to the starting position. Do 8 reps on this side and repeat on the other. Complete 3 sets.

Note: If you are trying oblique exercises for the first time, be careful and take it slow.

Do these exercises for 30 minutes every day, and you will start to see a difference in two weeks’ time. However, you should also be careful about what you eat. Here are 5 easy diet tips to get a flat belly.

5 Easy Flat Abs Diet Tips

1. Avoid Processed Foods and Added Sugar

Choose whole fruits over juices, fresh over canned, and water over soft drinks. Consume bakery staples like cakes and cookies in moderation.

Canned and packaged foods contain a lot of sodium and very less fiber and nutrients. Excess sodium retains more water, puffing up your belly. Stay away from sugar substitutes as well; they are only partially digested by your body.

2. Control Alcohol Intake

Alcohol inhibits fat oxidationi  The process of breaking down fatty acids. (1). This means that frequent alcohol consumption can lead to higher body fat in the long term.

When you drink, the liver works overtime to burn alcohol instead of fat, giving rise to terms like ‘Beer Belly’ or ‘Beer Gut.’ Also, one tends to underestimate the calories in alcohol, making it easy to overdrink.

3. Go For Flat Abs-Friendly Foods

Flat abs-friendly foods deal with the causes of belly fat, like balancing your gut bacteria, reducing gas, and preventing constipation, and contain healthy fats. Whole grains, lean protein, eggs, leafy vegetables, almonds, and green tea are toppers in this list.

Get your dose of omega 3-fatty acids from fatty fish or capsules. A well-prepared cup of green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants that claim to reduce belly fat.

4. Eat At The Right Time

The trick is never to stuff your tummy or starve. Eat something within half an hour of waking up and have a breakfast that contains whole grains and protein. Go for a filling lunch and a light dinner at least three hours before bedtime. Eat two snacks – one mid-morning and one at tea time.

Having small, balanced meals does not lead to tummy bulge and keeps your metabolismi  The chemical reactions in the body's cells that convert food into energy, which our bodies require to function correctly. up and running. The best part is that your body never goes into starvation mode, which is when it feels the need to store everything as fat.

5. Space Out Foods That Cause Bloating

Do not eat multiple servings of gassy foods in a single day since it may lead to bloating and belly bulge. The common foods in this list are broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, dried beans, and lentils.

These are very healthy and have good fiber, so do not omit them. Space them out across your meals throughout the week.

Why Losing Belly Fat Is Important

People with abdominal fat or a large midriff are 2.75 times more at the risk of heart disease, even if they are within a healthy weight range (2).

The fat stored in your belly region is more dangerous than the fat stored in the hip and thigh regions (3). It increases bad LDL cholesterol, messes with your blood sugar, and increases your blood pressure and risk of a heart attack (4), (5). Also, a flat tummy can make you look slimmer, more proportionate, taller, and more attractive.

Men tend to hold excess fat in their bellies, and women are more prone to store it in their hips and thighs – protection offered by hormones. However, menopausei  The time that marks the end of a woman's menstrual cycle that usually occurs around 50 years of age. removes this protection, making women equally vulnerable (6). Your body shape will also change accordingly.

Other reasons include more calorie intake, mainly from processed foods, alcohol, trans fats, and bloating due to gassy foods.

Infographic: 5 Exercises To Get Flat Abs

While getting flat abs may seem like a dream, with the right set of exercises, you can achieve it in due course of time. To help you on your fitness journey, we have curated a list of 5 effective exercises that you can include in your workout routine to help you burn fat and tone the abdominal muscles efficiently. Check out the infographic below to know more!

5 exercises to get flat abs (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Flat abs exercises not only help lose that stubborn belly fat but also make your core muscles stronger. Cardio, crunches, planks, sit-ups, and threading the needle are some of the various abdominal exercises that can help you lose fat, tone the abs, and get a strong core. Complementing this with a balanced diet with no junk or processed food is important to see a difference in the fat reduction. Doing these just for 30 minutes every day would show you effective results in about a fortnight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get a flat belly by exercising at home?

Yes, you can get a flat belly at home. You can do lower ab workouts like mountain climbers, flutter kicks, or crunches and upper ab exercises like Russian twists, dead bug, and hollow hold to lose belly fat. Here is a list of superfoods for weight loss and a few more belly exercises with pictures.

How soon can I get a flat belly post-pregnancy?

Be patient. Talk to your doctor about when to start exercising vigorously. Start with yoga and stretching and then move on to light cardio like walking. Once you feel confident, you can start with cardio, HIITi  An exercise form entailing short bursts of intense exercise with brief rest periods until you reach exhaustion. , and other belly tummy toning exercises. You can also do exercises for diastasis recti. Within 4-5 months, you can start seeing results.

Does drinking hot water with lemon burn belly fat?

There is no scientific evidence to prove it, but drinking warm water with the juice of half a lime seems to help shed overall body fat.

Does sleeping on your stomach flatten it?

No, sleeping on your stomach will not flatten it.

How long does it take to lose stomach fat?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and sleeping well, you can start to notice changes and lose belly fat in as little as 2 weeks.

Why are my abs not getting toned?

Factors such as consuming unhealthy food may contribute to a high percentage of body fat. This may make it difficult to see your abs. Making positive changes to your lifestyle will make it easy to cut down your body fat percentage between 10% to 18%. This will make your abs more toned and visible.

Key Takeaways

  • Indulge in cardio and intensive workouts to shed fat from your overall body and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Do jogging, running, and rope jumping to make your workouts more intense.
  • Perform reverse crunches, planks, v sit-ups to gain flat abs.
  • To maintain good health, avoid processed foods and alcohol consumption.


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Alcohol Consumption and Obesity: An Update, Current Obesity Reports, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  2. Localization of fat depots and cardiovascular risk, Lipids in Health and Disease, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6138918/
  3. A review of the association between abdominal fat distribution, health outcome measures, and modifiable risk factors, American Journal of Health Promotion, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  4. Abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome: exercise as medicine? BMC Sports Science, Medicine & Rehabilitation, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  5. Intra-abdominal fat accumulation is a hypertension risk factor in young adulthood, Medicine, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
  6. Body fat distribution in pre-and post-menopausal women: metabolic and anthropometric variables, The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Sudhansu Singh is a Physiotherapist, Sports and Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, and Neuro Physiotherapist with 8 years of experience. He is a member of the Federation of Indian Manual Therapists (FIMT) and an active member of the Delhi Council of Physiotherapy and FIMT Australia Association.

Read full bio of Dr. Sudhansu Singh