The No-Pain Way to a Flat Belly

Feel the burn? Apologies to Jane Fonda (who looks amazing), but we'd rather not. These moves tighten your tummy without the torture.

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It's a revolutionary idea—you can flatten your belly without any of that clenching, burning, "Ugh! More reps?" dread we associate with traditional crunches and sit-ups. For a mini tummy-toning session, try one or two of these moves from Stephanie Levinson, an instructor at Equinox fitness in New York and the creator of the Slim Body Fitness apps. Or do them all together for a full workout. Stick to it and your jeans should zip easier in a month or two.

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For Best Results: "Focus on tightening your abs and drawing them in, while being careful not to hold your breath," Levinson says.

Kneeling Reach

Works your side abs; stretches your hips, back, and shoulders

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Get started: Kneel with left leg behind you on the floor and right leg forward, knee bent 90 degrees and in line with ankle. Extend right arm directly over shoulder while pointing left arm straight down.

Next: Keeping hips still, reach toward floor with left hand while bending torso to left, stretching the right side of your body (as shown above). Use your side abs to return to center. Do 12 reps; switch sides and repeat.

Kick it up: Hold a light dumbbell in your upper hand.

Spiderman Plank

Works the front of your abs, as well as your deep core and side abs

Stand with legs together a few feet away from the wall. Lean forward 45 degrees, placing hands on wall at shoulder height, arms parallel to the floor. As shown above, slowly bring left knee out to side and up to about hip height, keeping hands in place and abs tight. Lower leg and repeat for 12 reps. Switch sides.

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Kick it up: Add a push-up when your leg is out to the side.

Shifting Plank

Works your deep core, shoulders, and legs

Begin on the floor with your elbows directly under your shoulders, legs extended behind you, forming a straight line from head to heels. Slowly shift forward a few inches (pictured below), keeping your abs tight and body in a straight line. Continue shifting back and forth for 30 seconds.


Works the front of your abs, as well as your side abs, hips, and thighs

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A: Stand with feet hip-distance apart, hands on hips. Extend right hand up, fist facing forward.

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B: Lift left knee up and across body while bending right arm and lowering elbow toward left knee. Lower and repeat for 15 reps. Switch sides.


Works the front of your abs, as well as your side abs and shoulders; stretches hamstrings

A:  Stand tall with feet wider than shoulder-distance apart, arms out to sides.

B:  Bending forward from waist, bring right hand down toward left toes (don't worry if you can't reach your foot), extending left hand behind you while tightening your abs. Stand back up and repeat, this time touching left arm toward right toes. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds.

Kick it up: Switch sides as quickly as possible.

Rotating Punch

Works your side abs, arms, and back

A:  Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and arms in fighting position.

B:  Punch left hand in front of right shoulder, twisting torso to the right and keeping arm parallel to floor. Quickly retract hand and punch right hand in front of left shoulder while rotating torso to the left. Continue switching sides rapidly for 30 to 60 seconds, tightening your abs as you rotate.

This story originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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