No one wants to bring a beer gut to the beach. Adopting a healthy, low-calorie eating plan and getting regular aerobic exercise is the only way to slim down, but ab exercises can give you the tone you want to show off in swimwear. Even as little as a few days a week of ab exercises can sculpt your stomach region, if you get your body fat percentage down low enough for your muscles to show.
5 Kicking Your Way to Strong Abs
Your ab exercises don’t all have to be about appearances. The kickboard exercise helps tighten your tummy and is a functional exercise for when you decide to hit the water. Practice in a pool or out past the waves, if you dare. All you have to do is hold onto a kickboard and start kicking to propel yourself forward. For this to be an ab exercise, keep your body close to the surface of the water. You can also flip over onto your back and perform backstroke kicks.
4 Plank: Don’t Walk it, Hold It
The plank exercise teaches you to suck it in—your stomach that is. It works your abdominals in a unique way through spinal stabilization. By holding a fixed position, your abs work hard to stabilize your spine. A great tip is to think of touching your belly button to your spine while in plank position, which activates deep abdominal muscles and tightens them. Roll out your beach towel and get on all fours. Lower yourself onto your forearms and keep both feet back so that your legs and back are straight like a plank.
3 Lying Leg-Hip Raise
The great thing about a swimsuit is it shows off the entire range of your abdomen, from pelvis to rib cage, which are the two places that the rectus abdominis muscle connects. The RA is the main ab muscle. You don’t usually see the very top or bottom when wearing clothes, but you will at the beach. Therefore, you should do the lying leg-hip raise to give you complete tone. Just lie on your back with your legs straight and then bend your knees as you bring them toward your chest. You’ll actually lift your hips a few inches off the floor before reversing the motion.
2 Bicycle Maneuver for Sexy Sides
Your swimsuit shows off more than just the front of your abdomen, which is why it’s important to work on the obliques. The obliques are the ab muscles on the sides of the waist. The bicycle maneuver is one of the most effective exercises for the obliques and the other abdominal muscles. Simply lie on your back with your hands behind your head, knees bent at right angles and thighs perpendicular to the ground. Crunch your shoulders off the floor and start twisting your upper body side-to-side, as if to touch your elbow to your opposite knee, while extending the other leg straight.
1 V-Up: Beach Ball Style
The V-up is a dynamic ab exercise for the upper and lower abs. Adding a ball adds an extra challenge, plus having to pass a ball back and forth ensures that you don’t cheat by not going through the full range of motion. Simply lie on your back with your arms straight overhead and then sit up as you bring your legs up toward the ceiling. Pass a ball from your hands to your feet, and then lie back down. Sit up again and pass the ball to your hands. Continue to alternate. Use a beach ball or a stability ball.