You might crank out superficial crunches until you’re red in the face, and your neck is about to snap. However, hundreds of crunches will not give you the results you are looking for when it comes to getting a flat and toned abdominal area. A simple combination of total-core exercises and just enough fat-burning cardio will target the proper areas and help you get that tightly toned mid-section.

Below is a core exercise sequence consisting of four moves which you can use as a stand-alone, mini core workout – Or you might combine it with any other abdominal workout routine you currently follow.

Here are 4 core exercises targeting the entire abdominal area and back muscles:

1 – Oblique Reverse Crunch on Incline

Lying on an incline bench (feet toward bottom – head up top) – grab the top of the bench with both hands. Breathing out – slowly bring both knees up toward your right elbow – ‘rolling’ your low and middle back off the padded bench. Then slowly return to start position (breathing in) – so your hips touch the bench – and repeat the move – going toward the left elbow with the knees on this repetition.

2 – Slow Sit-Up, On Incline w/ Sight Rotation

On an incline bench (using a very slight incline only) – with feet anchored – and a slight bend in the knees, lay back until your shoulder blades touch the bench and then slowly curl back up – breathing out on the way up – and turn toward one foot and touch it with both hands. Then repeat the same move – but reach to the other foot on the next repetition – alternating with each rep.

3 – Twisting Plank, Elbow to Knee

Assume the traditional plank position – keeping your body off the ground by supporting yourself on your forearms and toes. Then as you breath out – bring your left knee up toward your right chest area, with a slight body twist. Then go back to the start position and repeat on the other side. Repeat for a total of 16 reps – 8 on each side.

4 – Core Rotation w/ Band, High to Low Variation

Attach a resistance band to the top of a doorway. Step away from the door, standing sideways (you’ll do one set on each side – so it doesn’t matter which side you face) so there is some tension built up in the band. Then take the band handle from up high to down low – on the opposite side of your body – toward the ground – breathing out on the way down. Then come back up to start – breathing in on the way up – and repeat for 10 reps. then turn around and do the other side.

If you need to focus on only these core movements – and you need to increase the intensity of the workout – you can do that in several ways…

A – You can go through the circuit more than once – maybe 2, 3 or even 4 times – depending on your ability.

B – You can increase the number of repetitions in each exercise.

C – You can increase the reps and the number of times you go through the sequence.

D – You can also combine this with a simple but effective fat-loss cardio exercise sequence – and alternate between the two. Jumping rope, step up and downs, jumping jacks, full body up-downs are all good cardio choices for this.

NOTE: Before starting an exercise program, of any nature, it is highly recommended you get your doctor’s clearance first. Better safe than sorry.

If you have clearance to exercise – then give this core workout a try. After you master this – you’ll need to seek out other core and abdominal exercise sequences which are properly balanced, targeted and effective.

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