4 best exercises to get a flat stomach fast.

abs blog Aug 31, 2021
Sophia McDermott

By Sophia McDermott, Lifestyle Coach & Fitness Expert. 

Pretty much all of us want a perfectly flat stomach and its believed that crunches and crunches alone are the answer. I don't know about you but the idea of doing endless crunches bores me to tears. Due to the fitness industry and a lot of misconception they think that endless crunches are the answer to achieve that look for flat abs. But have you seen those guys with six packs but the gut sort of thick and sticks out? That’s because they haven't worked enough of their deep inner core muscles such as the transverse abs that support the spine. And here’s the kicker, crunches work only one aspect of your abs anyhow. So by doing only crunches can lead to muscular imbalances and incomplete abs, basically. 

Flat Abs Exercise 1
The Abs, the main muscles:

To get tight abs with a thin waist when you are standing sideways with the nice v shape and outlines on the side you need to work your whole core. The core is comprised of many different muscle groups that move in different ways but to simplify the most obvious are the Rectus Abdominis the outer layer that we see as the six pack, the Transverse Abdominals the inner layer which works to support the spine and the Obliques which are more on the sides of the stomach which assist in rotation or twisting. Working all these aspects is important for having that tone look but also for having a balanced, functional core. 

Transverse Abs.

My focus today is on the transverse abs that support the spine and help suck the tummy in. In particular, after having a baby, its’ these muscles that I focus on when working with new mothers to get their tummy’s flat again. These muscles contract around the spine, squeezing in the centre and flaring out at the top and the bottom like an internal corset. 

Let’s put the Transverse abs to work.

Here are a few amazing exercises to get your abs in shape and for getting that flat stomach. For new mothers out there, these are the exercises that you want to work your way up to since some of them are quite challenging. 


These plank based exercises work your whole core particularly your transverse abs if you are bracing and adopting the correct posture throughout the movement. It’s very important when performing these exercises that you continue to breathe throughout. Because the muscles expand at the top, they put pressure on your diaphragm making it harder to breath. Most of us, if unaware, will hold our breath. I recommend inhaling and exhaling as deeply as possible while maintaining this plank position. 


Flat Abs Exercise 2
Rollouts on the Physio ball on knees:

-Maintain a straight shape from knees to head. 

-Draw your belly button into your spine. Start by placing your forearms on the ball and drop your chest on your arms. Slowly extend your arms rolling the ball out, keep a straight shape through your mid section and then roll the ball back in. 

Aim to do this movement 10 times. 

Flat Abs Exercise 3
Plank holds with toe taps.

-Maintain a straight shape from feet to head.  (keep your butt down)

-Draw your belly button into your spine.

-Keep your shoulders in line with your elbows.

- bring one leg out to the side and tap the floor and bring your foot back in line, Switch legs. 

Aim to do this movement 10 times each side. 

Flat Abs Exercise 4
Plank hold with single leg hip extensions
(super advance)

-Maintain a straight shape from feet to head.  (keep your butt down)

-Draw your belly button into your spine.

-Keep your shoulders in line with your elbows.

-Bend one leg and do small pulses trying to raise your knee about 3 inches higher and bring your foot to the roof.  

-Keep your hips square, do not tilt to try to raise your knee. 

Have a read of an article I wrote that explains how the core works in more detail. Here I show some other awesome exercises that target the whole core!!!  Core Training: Why You Need It and How to Get It Into Your Workout