What are the Best Tips for Tummy Toning?

Marjorie McAtee
Marjorie McAtee
A person with a small amount of belly fat.
A person with a small amount of belly fat.

Tummy toning can be of immense benefit to overall fitness. Toning core muscles may help to improve overall strength and endurance, while improving balance. Tummy toning requires a full fitness regiment of diet, aerobic exercise, and strength training. Experts generally recommend isolating all four abdominal muscle groups with specific exercises intended to tone them.

An anatomical illustration showing many muscles in the upper body, including most of the abdominal or tummy muscles.
An anatomical illustration showing many muscles in the upper body, including most of the abdominal or tummy muscles.

Fitness experts generally recommend eliminating excess body weight when toning abdominal muscles. Professionals generally recommend removing excess body fat through a combination of diet and aerobic exercise. A healthy diet may help to keep weight off by lowering the total number of calories consumed. A healthy diet also typically minimizes the amount of fat and sugar consumed, which can help keep weight at a healthy level. Aerobic exercises, such as jogging or cycling, can help the body to burn excess body fat and return to a healthy weight.

Abdominal exercises can build muscle, but do not have much affect on fat content.
Abdominal exercises can build muscle, but do not have much affect on fat content.

Strength training is considered an important element of any tummy toning regimen. Weight training exercises that focus on the shoulders, arms, back, and hips can also help to improve core strength. The muscles of the back and hips usually help to stabilize the spine, improving posture. When the spine is more stable and posture is good, abdominal muscles are generally more likely to remain toned. Toning the muscles of the legs is also considered beneficial to tummy toning.

Jogging can burn fat and help tone the tummy.
Jogging can burn fat and help tone the tummy.

Exercises designed to isolate the muscles of the abdomen are often of great benefit in tummy toning. It's generally recommended that these exercises be used not alone, but in combination with a well-rounded fitness regimen. Bicycle crunches, which activate the muscles of the lower and upper abdomen simultaneously, are generally considered one of the best isolating exercises available for tummy toning. Traditional crunches, and reverse crunches, in which the hips are lifted rather than the shoulders, are also considered good techniques for isolating the abs.

Reverse crunches target the lower abs.
Reverse crunches target the lower abs.

For effective tummy toning, professionals typically espouse isolating all four muscle groups of the abdomen. Oblique crunches are considered a good way to isolate the internal and external obliques, which typically wrap around the sides of the abdomen. Leg lifts are considered appropriate for isolating the transversus abdominus, or deepest abdominal muscle, responsible for maintaining the appropriate amount of pressure on the organs of the abdominal cavity. Traditional and reverse crunches are considered appropriate for toning the rectus abdominus, or outermost abdominal muscle that typically takes on a "six-pack" appearance when toned.

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    • A person with a small amount of belly fat.
      By: Sandor Kacso
      A person with a small amount of belly fat.
    • An anatomical illustration showing many muscles in the upper body, including most of the abdominal or tummy muscles.
      By: mikiradic
      An anatomical illustration showing many muscles in the upper body, including most of the abdominal or tummy muscles.
    • Abdominal exercises can build muscle, but do not have much affect on fat content.
      By: Halfpoint
      Abdominal exercises can build muscle, but do not have much affect on fat content.
    • Jogging can burn fat and help tone the tummy.
      By: Ariwasabi
      Jogging can burn fat and help tone the tummy.
    • Reverse crunches target the lower abs.
      By: Shakzu
      Reverse crunches target the lower abs.
    • Leg lifts are good for isolating the transversus abdominus, or deepest abdominal muscle.
      By: Gabriel Blaj
      Leg lifts are good for isolating the transversus abdominus, or deepest abdominal muscle.
    • The rectus abdominus can be targeted with traditional crunches.
      By: markos86
      The rectus abdominus can be targeted with traditional crunches.