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20 Minutes To A Flat Tummy

Posted on: by michael.baillie

We have a fool-proof plan to kick those elusive buggers out of hiding. Finally. Why’s our plan so damn effective? Because it hits your entire core – not just your abs but the muscles that support the spine – from all angles with a variety of moves that challenge your stability, balance and rotational strength.

As for results: do the moves two to three nonconsecutive days a week and you’ll notice a flat-out hot difference in just 30 days. Apply the genius of exercise physiologist Amy Dixon and marvel at the results.

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Stability ball pelvic tilt crunch

move 1.jpg

Works chest, abs, hips and glutes

Grab a two- to four-kilo medicine ball. Lie face up on a stability ball with back and head pressed into the ball, your feet together on the floor and the medicine ball positioned against your chest (A). Brace your abs and crunch up until your shoulders are off the ball. Then reach the ball toward the ceiling (B). That’s one rep. Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps, resting for 30 seconds between each set.

Walk the plank and rotate

move 2.jpg

Works entire core, shoulders, chest, back and hips

Get in plank position with your hands on a 30- to 45cm step (A). With your weight on your left arm, rotate your body while raising your right arm toward the ceiling (B). Return to plank position and step your right arm down to the right of the bench, then your left arm down to the left of the bench. Step back up, leading with your left arm. That’s one rep. Do eight to 10 reps, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat, twisting to the opposite side.

Trainer tip
Mastered this move? Make it even more challenging by stacking your feet in the side plank position.

Stiff-leg pullover crunch

move 3.jpg

Works upper back, abs and hips
Grab a pair of four- to five-kilo dumbbells and lie on your back with your arms behind you. Extend your legs at a 45-degree angle (A). Bring your arms up over your chest and lift your shoulders off the mat while raising your legs until they’re perpendicular to the floor (B). Return to start (don’t let your legs touch the floor). That’s one rep. Do three sets of 15 reps, resting for 30 seconds between sets.

Knee-to-chest crunch

move 5.jpg

Works entire core, shoulders, chest, hips and glutes
Get in plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart on a stability ball (A). Draw your right knee toward your chest (B). Hold for one second, then return to plank position. That’s one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps. Rest for 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.

Prone oblique roll

move 6.jpg

Works shoulders, chest, obliques, back and glutes
Get in plank position with your shins about hip-width apart on a stability ball and your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor (A). Keeping your feet on the ball, draw your right knee toward your right shoulder (the left just comes along for the ride) (B). Return to centre. Do 12 to 15 reps, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat to the other side.

The matrix

move 4.jpg

Works abs, back, glutes and quads
Grab a four- to five-kilo medicine ball and kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart. Lengthen your spine and press the ball against your abs (A). Slowly lean back as far as possible, keeping your knees planted (B). Hold the reclined position for three seconds, then use your core to slowly come up to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do three sets of 15 reps, resting for 30 seconds between sets.

Trainer tip
When coming back up, brace your core, resist using momentum, and keep your head and neck in line with your spine.

Rear leg raise

move 7.jpg

Works lower back and glutes
Rest your hips and stomach on a stability ball. Straighten your legs and position your toes hip-width apart on the floor. Extend your arms in line with your shoulders (A). Lift your right leg about 15cm off of the floor while reaching your arms as far out as possible (B). That’s one rep. Do 15 reps, then repeat to the other side without resting between sets.

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Got something to say?


    I bought a Women’sHealth Magazine in December 2009 which has a Free DVD for Summer Total Body Workout. It was helping me a lot, after some few weeks it went missing only to find out that my sister took it. Have you got one you can give me?

  • noncedo

    i have tried downloading the video version but it does not play on my pc. i save it as windows meadia player file but it does not show any picture when playing and no sound either

  • Hannah

    I downloaded the printer version and the video versions. I tried the video on my ipod and really liked how it worked. Thanks. I’ll let you know if the workout works in a few weeks.

  • Petro Shaw

    Awesome, cant wait for the next issue and to get started on losing the flab

  • Lynnette

    Judee,execises look good if it works

  • Annette

    Fabulous! Just in time before the holidays! Roll on December! Watch me then!

  • Cheryl

    Is it possible to injure oneself doing these exercises.
    If you dont have the ball what can you use instead.

  • Lianne

    Just like to say that im over the moon now that there is a Women’s Health South Africa. I already subscribed and cant wait for the new issue to be released on the 21st of OCt. The preview i saw that was part of the Men’s health this months was wonderful and so looking forward to the full issue. Thanks this is truly amazing

  • Anonymous


  • michael.baillie


    Doing these exercises without a pilates ball is a little tricky — especially since the goal of this workout is to target your abs.

    If you don’t feel steady enough on a pilates ball then try doing the exercises on a BOSU ball as they are slightly more stable.

    When it comes to exercises like move 6 of this workout, you could replace leaning on a pilates ball with leaning on the side of your bed — it’ll provide a similar form of instability (just watch the bed doesn’t slide away from under you).

    In the long run though, I’d recommend getting a pilates ball as they really are vital for core training workouts (and a fairly cheap addition to your workout routine too).

  • riana

    I’m an avid men’s health reader, and so excited about women’s health! I just started gymming again after having my second baby and desperately need the motivation! at last what i’ve been waiting for!

  • michael.baillie

    @ Everyone trying out this workout!

    Please (!) give us some feedback on how the workout is going. Most importantly, I’d like to know how you are doing the workout: are you using a printed version of the workout, or is it the video you’re using.

    How could I make the video or printed page better — or do you have other ideas on how we could provide the workouts?

  • Taralyn

    Hi, I printed this workout and tried it today. Couldn’t do any of the stability ball exercises as I couldn’t balance!