10 Exercises for a Perfect-10 Flat Belly

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Searching for the magic formula for a firm stomach? Read up.

Let’s face it: Standard abs exercises like sit-ups and crunches are a little archaic and extremely mundane—not to mention, no amount of crunches or ab moves will turn your stomach into J. Lo’s. A lot more goes into what your stomach looks like besides muscles themselves (see: genetics, diet, body shape, etc.). And, while we’ve been to covet six-pack abs, you can be strong and fit and love your body without them.

That said, everyone can benefit from a stronger midsection—which, yes, might result in a more firm stomach. If you want to build a strong core (and get all the non-aesthetic benefits that come with it) consider these tips and unique abs exercises that’ll help you get there.

7 Tips for a Firm Stomach

Before you get started, top trainers, instructors and sports-medicine doctors are doing some firm stomach mythbusting:

1. Choose Variety Over Reps

For best results, mix up the order of your abs moves during each workout, and change your routine every three to four weeks. (This 12-minute at-home firm stomach routine is another option to toss into the rotation.) “Alternating your workout is more important than cranking out 100 crunches every day,” says Michele Olson, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Auburn University Montgomery. “Perform 15 to 20 reps of each exercise, then move on.”

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