By Sacha Obaid
Whether or not you’ve chosen a procedure like a tummy tuck or liposuction to sculpt the shape of your midsection, exercise is crucial. The abdominal area is one of the hardest parts of the body to tone because it’s difficult to isolate many of the muscles there.
Of course, during recovery from surgery, it’s best to start exercising very gradually to prevent injury. Follow your surgeon’s instructions when it comes to resuming flat tummy exercises, and take it easy—your body’s still healing, so you’re likely to tire more quickly than you’re used to.
Once you’ve been cleared for exercise by your plastic surgeon, here are five workouts you can easily find online. They are all designed to help you isolate and engage your abdominal muscles to tighten your tummy and develop your core strength—and many of them don’t require a gym or any equipment at all!
If their cost has kept you from buying professional workout videos in the past, you’ll love the BeFiT channel on YouTube. It’s packed full of exercise and nutrition videos from professional trainers and nutritionists, including Jillian Michaels.
Benefit from her tough, no-nonsense attitude in your own home as you blast your abs with great flat tummy exercises. This workout is designed to target all the muscles in the abdominal area and also includes plenty of cardio. You’ll definitely feel the burn when you choose this workout video!
Another YouTube gem, this video isn’t as cardio-heavy as the Jillian Michaels workout, but it will get your abs tight with a series of nine exercises in a quick, five-to-eight-minute workout. The line-up includes windmills, crunches, planks, leg drops, and flutter kicks to target all of your core muscles.
SparkPeople® is a fabulous free health resource, with hundreds of exercise demonstrations and workout routines available and all coached by professional trainers.
This five-minute beginner workout is performed on an exercise ball and is a great introduction to both core exercises and ball exercises. While it’s great for beginners, it can also be adapted if you’re at a more advanced fitness level—just increase the number of reps of each flat tummy exercises!
This routine from SparkPeople® coach Nicole is of moderate length and is a seated workout, so it’s ideal for people with limited mobility or those who are unable to perform standing core exercises for other reasons. This no-impact workout is tough enough to make your abs work hard, but, as with most SparkPeople exercise videos, it’s easy to modify if you’re at a more beginner level or are just resuming exercise after a tummy tuck.
This workout is definitely not for the faint-of-heart. Bodybuilder Brad Gaines demonstrates 12 ab exercises for intermediate-level viewers. Most of the exercises in this video require gym equipment, or at least an exercise ball, and a reasonable level of physical fitness. If you already have a pretty strong set of abs and are looking for something to take you to the next level, this might be it—but as some of these moves are complicated, it’s a good idea to work with a trainer to ensure proper form.
Work out safely and effectively.
Don’t forget, whether you’re a beginner or an expert at exercising, it’s important to work out with good form to prevent muscle injuries. When doing flat tummy exercises, keep your abs engaged to prevent back injury; this will also help maximize the benefit you get from your workouts!