Good Exercises for Toning Your Tummy this Winter

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Who doesn’t love hot cocoa, Thanksgiving leftovers, and Santa’s cookies? It’s what the holidays are all about! All of those sweets and heavy meals can leave you feeling bloated and tight in your jeans. Manage your midline with some good exercises for toning down your tummy during the cold winter months.

Choose 2-3 of these exercises to do once a day for 3 minutes. After getting a good burn in, you won’t feel as stuffed, and you’ll be more confident in those holiday outfits.

  1.    Planks: This is a basic movement that requires great core stabilization. You’ll start to feel it burn, not only through your abs, but in your shoulders and glutes as well. You begin by laying face down on the floor. Hold yourself parallel to the floor with only your forearms and your toes touching the ground. Make sure not to let your belly sag, or for your butt to arch too high. You want to keep everything tight and straight. For beginners, try holding this position for 15 secs. Gradually work your way up to 1 minute or more. Believe me—it’ll be the longest 15 seconds of your life.
  2.    Russian Twists: An ab workout staple. This exercise targets all of the muscle groups by doing one movement. You begin by sitting on the ground. Bring your legs up and pick your feet off the floor. The only part of your body that should be touching the floor is your tailbone. Once you are here, twist your body from side to side, and move your arms as if you were picking up something from your side and bringing it to the other side. Once you get more confident in this movement, you can use a weight to pick up from side to side. Don’t forget to breathe through it!
  3.    Mountain Climbers: This not only will target the hard to reach lower abs, but it will also give you a great cardio burst to burn fat everywhere. You can start in a pushup position, or with your hands on a box for extra support. Raise on leg up at a time, tucking your knee close to your chest. Quickly move your feet back and forth to your chest. It’ll look like running in place while looking at the ground.
  4.    Leg Raises: Make sure to always include leg raises in your ab workout routine. It’s difficult, no doubt, but will give you amazing results. This hits the deepest muscles in the abs. Find a comfortable spot on the floor and lay face up. Let your arms rest to your side, keep your feet together, and raise your legs as high as you can. Keep your legs straight and your lower back pressed firmly to the floor. For beginners, you can start out by only lowering your legs a few inches and get closer to the ground as you build up strength.
  5.    Cross Crunches: Cross crunches, or “the bicycle,” will hit the side obliques like never before. This workout is done by laying on your back face up, and both feet up. One knee is bent towards your chest, and the other is extended out straight. You’ll rotate your legs back and forth as if you were riding a bicycle. Keep your arms bent with your hands on your head. Raise your torso and twist to touch your elbow to the opposite knee. As you pump your legs, keep rotating your torso to touch an elbow to knee every time.

Start off with slow but steady repetitions to build up strength. After a week, you can start to do more and more giving you faster results. Get into a routine of doing a quick 3 minute ab workout before you shower to help you stay on track.

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