Move over, Spanx! There’s more than one way to smooth and firm the belly before a big night out. It’s all about appearances – and if you can make your tummy look flatter with a few quick exercises and some extra hydration, do it! When you work out, you leave the gym glowing (or red in the face) because of added blood flow. If you train the arms, the arms appear larger and more toned for hours after the workout. That’s exactly the same idea in action, just applied to your abs. This mini ab workout will help your stomach look flatter in less than 10 minutes.
But first, water. Fill your cup! You want to make sure you’re hydrated so your digestive system can properly function at a snappy pace. Drinking water will not make you bloat! Add some citrus for flavor to help you get your ounces down. In the morning, you can also add some fiber to your drink to jumpstart your guts.
Time to move! Since you’re probably at home still trying to figure out what to wear, the next few exercises were selected so you could complete them at home – no time to lose. Do each of these moves for 30 seconds and repeat for three total sets, resting 1 minute in between sets. Let's get started on these tummy tightening moves!
1. Woodchopper: This classic ab grinder is functional to the core. The resistance travels across the abdominal wall and through the obliques as if you're performing a standing power crunch with a big stretch at the end. Set your feet under the shoulders and use a ball or throw pillow to steer the chop. Feel a deep crunch and twist at the bottom and a full extension at the top on the other side. After 15 seconds, switch sides. Check it out here.
2. Squat with Twist: Using your legs during ab-isolation exercises will boost the blood flow tenfold. Step into your squat stance and place your hands behind your head. Squat as low as you can at first, then as you push out of it, rise and twist so the opposite knee and elbow pull toward each other. At this time, exhale. Untwist as your drop into your squat again. Alternate sides and make the twist bigger each time! Click here to learn more.
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3. Elevated Plank Walk: Find a step, box or sturdy chair and try this one. Place the feet in the center of the surface you choose. As you walk the hands toward the feet, think of lifting up your hips like someone is pulling you up from the hip hinge. Draw the navel into the spine and hold your position once you get as close as you possibly can to the feet. Release and walk it out. Click here for step-by-step photos.
4. Pike with Gliders: No gliders? No problem! Use some fuzzy socks or wash cloths on smooth surfaces or try paper plates on carpet. Very similar to your elevated plank walk, you'll be moving from a suspension plank into a pike. This time, your hands stay planted and you slide your feet underneath you. Control this with your core. You might only get a few reps in, but work is work! Check it out here.
5. Boxer Slide: To accentuate the waistline, isolate your obliques. The boxer slide really lets you dig in deep with side crunches from a standing position. Drop into a plié or squat, whichever you prefer, and move the arms into your fighting position (fists by the face and elbows into the body). Drop to one side as low as you can without lifting the weight out of your opposing leg. Stay square. Stay grounded. Here's more info.
6. Pilates Hundreds: Draw the abdominals together with proper breathing. Lying on your back, place your hands at your side, palms down, and lift them off the ground as the shoulders peel from the floor. At the same time, lift the legs. Bringing the legs higher will make it easier on the abdominals. Push the lower back into the floor and pump the arms at your side. Exhale for five pumps, then inhale for five pumps. With each exhale, push the belly button into the floor more, creating a flat belly. Click here for more photos.
>> Can't stop, won't stop: 50 Core-Sculpting Moves (No Crunches!)