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The no. 1 mistake everyone makes is assuming that doing one exercise a lot will get you the results you need. There are a lot of muscles in your midrift, from the transverse abdominal muscles to your obliques so it stands to reason you need to do a lot of exercises to work them all. I have combined static and dynamic moves to give you the best set of tummy toning exercises without having to spend fortunes on home equipment.

No more endless traditional crunching, try some of these exercises for a more diverse and toning workout.

Tummy Toning Exercises

Tummy Toning Exercises

Leg Raises

Exactly as they sound, lie on the your back and lift your legs up to a 90 degree (if you can’t get all the way up due to flexibility then stop whenever your knees start to bend – keep the legs straight). This is one of the tummy toning exercises that is great for hip stability, working abs and also the front of the thighs (bonus!).

Things to remember:

  • Keep your back, neck and bottom touching the floor to protect your spine (don’t arch your back)
  • Keep the movement slow and controlled to get the full effect
  • Don’t bend the knees

Harder Variation =

If you have a workout partner hold onto their ankles and then get them to push your legs away. You must stop your feet from hitting the floor and bring them up again. Make them push harder or softer depending on the difficulty level.

V ups

Lying on your back bring your arms to your feet (or as close as your flexibility will allow). Throughout the set don’t put your arms or feet back to the floor, keep them hovering so as to keep your core engaged.

Things to remember:

  • Keep your legs straight
  • Try to keep feet and arms off the floor throughout the set
  • Avoid straining or craning your neck as you pull up

Russian twist

Starting sitting up, lift your legs off the floor and lean back until you engage your abs and core. Turn to the side and a little back so you feel the stretch and get your external obliques working, turn straight to the other side and repeat.

Things to remember:

  • Turn fully so you are engaging your obliques and stretching your side
  • Don’t go too fast – keep it slow and controlled for a better workout

Easier Variation – Seated Russian twist – keep your legs planted on the floor and just twist in a seated position.

Harder Variation (above) =  Use weights, dumbbells or a medicine ball to make it harder


These are all round exercise but the alternate leg and arm raise variation is a great tummy toner to add to your ab and core workout! Planks have other benefits too so checkout our At Home Plank Workouts.

Things to remember:

  • Lift your arm and leg so that it forms a straight flat back
  • Try to keep your wrists in line or behind your shoulders
  • Tuck your tummy in to engage more of you abs

Easy Variation: If you can’t lift both at once then do it in a round, i.e. right leg, left leg, right arm, left arm.

Reverse crunches

Lie flat on your back and bend your knees using your abs, try to lift your hips off of the floor and hold briefly, then slowly lower back down. This exercise works the lower abs and your external obliques.

Things to remember:

  • Keep it slow and controlled
  • Avoid using your legs as the leverage to lift, you want to work those abs!
  • Avoid going too far over! (it’s not pretty and you end up kneeing your nose – Ouch!)

Harder Variation: Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle instead and lift in micro bursts (so up and down quickly then rest)

Top Tip: Do this exercise in tandem with the V ups, (e.g. 30 seconds reverse crunch, 30 seconds V ups 1 minute rest) to feel the burn

Mountain Climbers

This tummy toning exercises is a great cardio workout for core endurance, with an added bonus of shoulder strengthening! (2 in 1, you’re welcome!). Start in a push up plank position and then bend one knee into your chest, quickly alternate legs until you are working in a swift motion backwards and forwards.

Things to remember:

  • Keep correct plank form to avoid back muscle strain (it also works your abs properly)
  • Keep your bottom down

Make it Easier: Slow down the legs and if necessary jump between the two until you have the rhythm right.

Make it Harder: Bring your knees into opposite elbows so you are crossing against your body, this will also work your internal and external obliques.

Scissor Kicks

Lie on the floor with your arms by your side and raise your legs (slightly bent) off the floor. Cross one leg above the other and then open slightly and cross it below, alternate legs after each so that you work them properly and do this in a fast (but controlled) way. You can support your hips and lower back by placing your hands under your bottom (this can also stop you from moving your arms)

Things to remember:

  • Keep your legs/feet from touching the floor
  • Keep your back planted to the floor to avoid lower back strain
  • Keep your arms still

Make it easier: Lift your legs further off the ground (the rule is, the higher off the ground, the easier it will be because less muscles are engaged)

Psst: This is also a great inner thigh workout

Flutter kicks

These also work the abs and obliques but work in the opposite way to scissor crunches. Rather than moving your legs side to side overlapping, you move your legs up and down. Tuck your hands under your bottom to raise your hips if necessary during this exercise (see below).

Things to remember:

  • Keep your feet off of the floor
  • Keep your core engaged
  • Don’t strain your neck
  • Keep your back pressed against the floor to avoid lower back strain

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