How to get a toned stomach

Target stubborn belly fat

How to get toned abs

Unfortunately, there's no quick solution to getting abs or achieving a perfectly toned stomach. It takes hard work, dedication and a healthy lifestyle.
And surprisingly, it isn’t ab exercises that you should be starting with. Up your cardio and adopt a healthy diet to shed fat first. It's only when you begin to lose fat around your tummy that ab exercises become more important in toning your midriff. Both bodyweight and weighted exercises have their benefits so try including a mix of the two in your exercise routine.

Ab exercise at home

Leg raise with hip thrust

This is a great exercise for targeting your lower abdominal muscles. But it can also double as a bum toning exercise - tensing your bum as you thrust will engage your glutes too. The leg raise can be done with no equipment, a kettlebell or a bench. The choice is yours.

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Step 1

Lie flat on your back holding the kettlebell behind you with both hands. Start with your legs held together, slightly off the floor. Bend your knees into your chest, then extend your legs towards the ceiling.

Step 2

Thrust your hips so that your bum leaves the floor and your legs go towards the ceiling. Tuck your knees back into your chest and return to the starting position. Repeat.

Russian twist

Engage all of your core muscles, including the obliques (the muscles down your sides) with the russian twist. Get the most out of the exercise by using a medicine ball or kettlebell, but it can be done with no equipment if you'd prefer.

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Step 1

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and ankles together (for higher difficulty, raise your feet a few inches off the ground and lean back slightly). Hold the kettlebell or medicine ball with both hands and twist your arms to one side.

Step 2

Hold the kettlebell or medicine ball so that it’s close to, or completely, touching the floor, engaging your core as you do so. Pause briefly, then twist to the other side and repeat the previous steps.

Michael Jennings, Men's Health fitness editor, says:
Your torso and thighs should form a V-shape to ensure it’s your abs doing the work.

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