A flatter, smoother stomach can be yours without neck-straining crunches.
Simply find your nearest bare wall and try these moves to get stronger abdominal muscles, tightening your midriff and also giving your back extra support too.
Do 10-12 repetitions of each of these moves, take a little rest, then do another set of repetitions, repeat for a total of three sets.*
Discover eight ways to reduce stomach fat
Hold up the wall to work your abdominal and thigh muscles
How? Lean against the wall but with your legs bent so your upper thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for a count of five, then stand up straight.
Why? Simply holding this position works your abdominal muscles, as well as your thigh muscles. As you get stronger you can hold yourself in the position for longer. As your strength grows you’ll notice you’re walking taller too.
Lift your legs to whittle your waist and strengthen your back
How? Lean against the wall with your upper body and use it as a support as you raise one knee and then the other.
To work your oblique abdominal muscles too (the ones to the sides), simply raise your leg and bring it to the opposite side of your body, do the same with the other leg.
You can also do leg raises to the side, again using the wall to give you extra balance support, and leg raises to the front.
Why? While this might seem like a leg workout your abs are working hard to pull those legs up.
By standing up rather than lying down, you work all your core muscles, that is, the muscles in the central part of your body – abdominals, pelvic muscles and lower back. These not only help prevent back problems, see you standing taller and with better posture, they also help keep your middle looking tight and trim.
Make a bridge to strengthen your core muscles
How? Lie down but slide towards the wall so your bottom is touching it and your feet are up the wall. Keep your feet flat on the wall, so your knees are bent. Now squeeze those glutes together (your bottom muscles) and lift your bottom off the ground, so your back comes off the ground too.
Try to get your stomach, hips and upper legs nearly parallel to the floor. Hold it for a moment, then slowly move back down. Focus on the lowering as this is where you really work those muscles.
Why? With a strong core, you’ll experience less back pain and have great posture too.
Read our guide to pilates for more great ways to strengthen your core
*If any exercise feels painful, stop immediately. You should be able to feel your muscles working but it should not be painful.