Good Housekeeping

3 Moves to Tighter Abs Can't stand crunches? This trio of tummy toners is way more effective.

Attention, all you busy ladies! There’s a faster, more effective way to tighten your tummy: Give up crunches and sit-ups. Those traditional ab exercises only engage a fraction of the muscles that make up your core. To maximize your toning potential and burn calories in the process, try La’s routine, designed to help you target everything. (You’ll notice there’s not a crunch in the bunch!)

For best results, do the circuit two to three times, three times per week, and add 20 minutes of cardio most days.

just3moves-plank-pike-mdnMove #1: Plank Pike

What it works: Abs, shoulders, and back

This ab flattener improves balance and posture. Start in plank position with forearms on floor and legs extended behind you, creating a straight line from head to toe. Raise hips until your body forms an inverted “V.” Return to plank for one to two breaths. Do 15 reps. Finish with a 30-second plank. To hard? Drop to your knees for a slighter easier move. Just don’t forget to keep your navel in with your abs engaged.

just3moves-side-plan-ups-mdnMove #2: Side Plank-Ups

What it works: Abs and shoulders

Start on your right side with legs stacked with your knees bent 90 degrees. Prop yourself up on your right forearm and lift hips until they’re in line with the rest of your body. Lower and lift hips for 15 reps. Switch sides; repeat. Remember to keep your supporting elbow directly beneath your shoulder. For a slightly harder move, straighten your legs.

just3moves-mountain-climber-mdnMove #3: Mountain Climbers

What it works: Abs and legs; counts as cardio

Start in plank position. Engage abs and quickly alternate bringing right and left knees toward chest (as shown). Keep it up for 45 seconds. To help, count 1-2, 1-2, 1-2 to help you find a rhythm. If this is too hard, try the move with your hands on a bench or platform.

Watch Latreal demonstrate the moves:

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