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18 Ab Exercises for a Flat Belly—No Crunches Required!

18 Ab Exercises for a Flat Belly

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It's crunch time! Not that's there's a single crunch in this bunch of ab moves. Instead, we teamed up with Tone House trainer Lauren Williams to showcase some of the best tummy toners out there. (Look at that six-pack! Clearly, she knows what she's doing.)

This diverse group of exercises targets your entire core to help you sculpt a flatter belly. Better yet, you can group them together for maximum payoff in just five minutes—which is way better than cranking out sit-ups for the same amount of time. Just check out our 30-Day Ab Challenge for ideas on how to mix and match the moves. We abs-olutely guarantee it. (Want more? We challenge you to a Plank-Off!)

Lemon Crushers

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Start laying on back, arms and legs extended. Hover arms and legs about two inches off the floor. 
Crunch upwards, bending knees in toward chest and bringing arms forward to reach for calves as you balance on your hips. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position. That's one rep.

Toe Reaches

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A Lie on back, extending legs and arms toward ceiling. Lift head and shoulders off the floor.
B Crunch upwards an inch, reaching fingers toward toes. Lower just an inch. That's one rep.

Mountain Climber Holds

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A Start in a push-up position with arms completely straight and directly beneath shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
B Squeeze abs, lift one foot off the floor, and bring knee up towards chest while keeping body in as straight of a line as possible. Hold for five seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat the movement with opposite leg. That's one rep. 

Plank Up Downs

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A Get in a plank position with hands and feet shoulder-width apart and abs engaged.
B Quickly bend left arm and lower down onto left forearm. Repeat with right arm. Immediately place left hand under shoulder and straighten left arm, pressing body up. Repeat with right arm to return to plank position. That's one rep.

Dead Bugs

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A Lie faceup with arms fully extended along sides. Bring legs to tabletop position, knees bent and lower legs parallel to the floor.
B Brace core and reach left arm up and behind head while right leg straightens but doesn't touch the floor. Return to starting position and repeat on the other side to complete one rep.

Leg Drops

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A Lie on back with legs extended straight toward the ceiling and place hands palms down under the lower back for support.
Slowly lower legs down toward floor, hovering two inches off the floor. Lift legs back to starting position. That's one rep.

Alternating Toe Touches

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A Lie on back with arms and legs extended. 
B Lift right leg as you reach left arm toward it. Return to starting position; repeat on the opposite side to complete one rep. 

Scissors

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A Lie on back with legs extended straight toward the ceiling and place hands palms down under the lower back for support.
B Lower one leg until it hovers an inch or so above the ground, the return to starting position. Repeat on the other side. That's one rep.

Russian Twists

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Sit on the floor with knees and hips bent at 90 degrees, legs lifted and parallel to the ground. Hands should be clasped at heart's center, elbows pointing out.
B Lean back so torso is at a 45-degree angle. Use abs to twist torso as far as you can in one direction before reversing the motion and returning to the starting position to twist in the opposite direction. That's one rep.

Side Plank with Rotation

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Begin in a side plank on your right forearm, feet and hips stacked and left hand on hip. Slowly rotate body to center, lowering left forearm to meet the right on the floor in a plank position. 
Slowly rotate body to a side plank on the opposite side with left forearm on the floor. That's one rep. 

Opposite Arm and Leg Lifts

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A Start in an extended arm plank position, forming a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Brace abs and squeeze glutes, and spread feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
B Lift one arm and the opposite leg off the floor. Hold, then return to starting position and repeat on the opposite side. That's one rep.

Banana Roll

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Lie on back on the floor. Press both hands together overhead and press feet together with legs fully extended. Lift legs off the floor and slowly crunch torso up so only lower back and glutes are touching the floor.
Slowly roll onto side without letting arms or legs touch, transitioning to a side hold. Pause in this position.
C With arms and legs still raised off the floor, continue rolling onto stomach. Hold and roll back to reverse the motion and return to start.

Kneel Chop with Medicine Ball

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A In a kneeling position, hold a medicine ball with both hands at chest height. Keeping chest up, bring the ball to the outside of one knee.
B Twist torso as far as possible, bringing the ball up and above opposite shoulder.
Explosively slam medicine ball to the floor, throwing the ball down. Try to catch it as it bounces. Return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Kneeling Medicine Ball Slam

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A In a kneeling position, hold a medicine ball with both hands at chest height. Keeping chest up, bring the ball to the outside of one knee.
B Twist torso as far as possible, bringing the ball up and above opposite shoulder. Return to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Bicycle Press with Band

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A Loop a resistance band around the top of feet and flex toes. Lie faceup with legs extended on the ground, placing hands behind your head with elbows bent out to the sides. Lift legs, head, and shoulders as you bend right knee and rotate left shoulder toward it, pressing against the resistance band with the left foot.
B Extend right leg as you bend left knee toward chest and rotate shoulder toward it, pressing against the resistance band with the right foot. That's one rep. Continue alternating sides.

Plank Jack with Band

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A Place a resistance band around calves and start in a full plank position with feet together and abs tight.
B Jump feet apart into a wide V, then immediately jump them back together (like a jumping jack).

Side Plank Leg Lifts

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A Lie on side and position yourself on bottom elbow and side of foot. Lift hips in the air, forming a straight line from ankles to shoulders, and brace core.
B While keeping torso stable, raise top leg without bending knee. Do not let hips drop. Return to starting position.

Bicycles

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A Lie faceup with legs extended on the ground, placing hands behind your head with elbows bent out to the sides. Lift legs, head, and shoulders as you bend right knee and rotate left shoulder toward it.
B Extend right leg as you bend left knee toward chest and rotate shoulder toward it. That's one rep. Continue alternating sides.

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