8 Epic Ab Exercises for a Firm, Flat Stomach

Achieving a flat stomach involves more than just exercising your abs

Crunches, side bends, leg lifts… If you’re tired of doing the same ab exercises over and over again (and perhaps without seeing desired results), well then you’ve come to the right place!

If your goal is to sculpt a firm, flat stomach, first understand one thing: it involves more than just exercising your abs. These moves will help shape and build your abdominal muscles (increasing your core strength in the process), but if you want those muscles to be visible (think, six-pack ab style) then you’ll have to get rid of any extra fat around the area too.

That means you’ll need to implement a combination of cardio and strength training to create a total-body exercise routine. (Bonus points: most of these ab exercises work multiple muscle groups!) One of the most important things to understand about exercise and fat loss, is that you cannot “spot treat” certain areas.

Where your body chooses to store extra fat is highly based on your genetics. In the same sense, you can’t tell your body where to lose fat first. Ab exercises build your ab muscles, but they won’t specifically burn the fat surrounding the area.

So, in addition to including these eight epic ab exercises in your regular workout routine, be sure to incorporate other varied workouts so that you can build muscle and burn fat all over. For each exercise that involves a dumbbell or cable resistance, try starting with a weight that allows you to complete 12 reps, where you feel almost completely fatigued by the last two reps.

Related: Strength Training 101

This list includes five innovative and highly effective ab exercises (I know they are because I tried them all) from Kelvin Gary, NASM certified personal trainer and owner of Body Space Fitness in New York City, as well as three of my own favorite core moves that I picked up while training and working with clients at various gyms.

If you’re ready to sculpt a tight tummy, you'll love these epic ab exercises.

But before you get started, remember one more important thing: your diet plays a huge role in fat storage, too. Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “Abs are built in the gym and revealed in the kitchen” thrown around the gym or online fitness community before? Well it’s true and it means that if you’re after that six-pack aesthetic, you’ll have to be extra attentive to your diet too. 

Related: The Best Ways to Boost Your Metabolism