Fit GIF: The Flat-Abs Workout With Christine Bullock

Flat abs workout

Byrdie

There is definitely a science to getting a toned and strong core—and, lucky for us, fitness and lifestyle expert Christine Bullock shares her formula for flat abs. As founder of the Evolution 20, Super Shred, and Body Reborn fitness series, she knows what it takes to get in shape and maintain it. In fact, she says you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to see results. “I believe it is how you work your core muscles more than how long. With exercises like these that cinch the waistline, you will achieve fast results with less time,” she says.

Meet the Expert

Christine Bullock is a fitness and lifestyle expert and creator of the Evolution 20, Super Shred, and Body Reborn fitness series, as well as co-creator of KAYO Better Body Care. She is certified in yoga, Pilates, general fitness, pre- and post-natal fitness, and nutritional counseling.

 

According to Bullock, the secret to a flat stomach is the right combination of cardio, strengthening, and diet. “If you have excess fat on the waistline, you have to burn through your calorie storage and into your fat storage each day in order to drop the extra weight."

She says the most effective way to do this is through exercises that include both cardio and strengthening, such as the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) she includes in her workouts. Bullock explains that this will "boost your caloric burn and resting metabolism so you burn more calories while resting."

Exercising your core not only helps to trim your waistline, but it also strengthens those muscles that support your back to prevent injury.

Bullock says to also keep in mind the effect your diet has on your body. Inflammatory foods, such as dairy, processed foods, sugars, soy, and gluten, can all make you feel and look bloated, she notes.

“Although vegetables and fruits are wonderful for you, too many raw plants can take a toll on your digestion and cause a lot of bloating,” says Bullock. “Make one soup a week, and try to lightly steam your foods—this makes them easier to digest.”

Ready to get started? "From my experience creating programs for over two decades, I know you can see results in days when you create the right program,” she says.

Bullock shares her flat-abs workout that consists of 15 moves for a stronger and more toned core.

Lying Chest Lift

Lying Chest Life

Christine Bullock

This exercise is a great way to tone up your entire core. Lifting your legs while in this diamond position strengthens those lower abdominal muscles, while lifting your chest off the floor works your upper abdominal muscles. As a bonus, it also helps increase flexibility in your hips.

  • Lie on back, hands behind head with elbows wide, and legs long on floor in V or diamond position.
  • Engage core and press down into legs, to lift shoulders, neck, and head off the floor.
  • Lower the upper body and legs to starting position.
  • Repeat focused sit-up for 15 reps.

Lying Leg Cross

Lying Leg Cross

Christine Bullock

This exercise helps to get rid of the “muffin top,” as it strengthens the muscles that give you a flat midsection. The side-to-side motion works the oblique muscles, as well the transverse abdominis and rectus abdominis, which all work to pull in your waistline.

  • Lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Place your arms straight on both sides.
  • Lift your head and chest up.
  • Reach from one side to the other side, keeping your shoulders straight ahead.
  • Try to touch the side of your ankle on each side.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor as your perform this move.
  • Repeat 15 times on each side.

Pilates Frog Press

Pilates Frog Press

Christine Bullock

This exercise works the transverse abdominis muscle, which is part of your deeper core muscles. Strengthening this muscle will not only help trim up your midsection, but also strengthens those muscles that support your back. To make this exercise more difficult, lower your legs slightly. To make it easier, lift up your legs slightly.

  • Lie on back, hands behind head with elbows wide.
  • Lift legs with knees over hips and shins parallel to ground.
  • Knees should be as wide as hips with feet together, creating a V shape.
  • Lift shoulders, neck, and head.
  • Keeping upper body lifted, extend legs long to 45 degrees, then draw the knees back in to start position.
  • Repeat 15 times

Ballet Kicks

Ballet Kicks

Christine Bullock

Ballet Kicks not only work your upper and lower abdominal muscles, but your inner and outer thighs as well.

  • Lie on your back, hands behind head with elbows wide.
  • Legs should be straight up, extended to the sky with one behind the other.
  • Engage core to float shoulders, neck, and head off the floor.
  •  Draw the legs open and lower horizontally toward the floor as you lower the upper body an inch.
  • Then squeeze the legs together as you lift the upper body.
  • Beat the right leg behind then to the front.
  • Repeat for 15 reps total.

Ballet Passé Pull

Ballet Passé Pull

Christine Bullock

 
This side plank exercise is a fabulous way to strengthen and tone your core muscles, especially your obliques. In addition, you will strengthen your shoulders and back. You can consider it a full-body exercise! If this exercise is too difficult, start with your leg bent instead of straight out. 

  • Begin kneeling, with lower left hand to the floor.
  • Step both feet out to right into a side plank and place right hand behind head.
  • Bend knee of top leg and place to down in front of supportive leg in back.
  • Brace core, draw knee and leg up toward the top elbow, then carefully lower the bent leg behind the supportive leg until toe taps the floor.
  • Repeat, lifting leg and lowering to the start position.
  • Do 15 times on each side.

Side Plank Knee Pull

 Side Plank Knee Pull

Christine Bullock

This exercise is a modification to the side plank and is an excellent way to strengthen your entire core, including those side oblique muscles.

  • Begin kneeling, with lower left hand to floor.
  • Step both feet out to right into a side plank, and place right hand behind head. Bottom leg should be in back to begin.
  • Brace core, float the bottom leg off the mat, pull the knee toward the elbow.
  • Float the leg long in front of stabilizing leg, tap the floor, then draw knee in again, and extend leg to start position.
  • Repeat 15 reps on right and left side.

Side Plank Knee Lift

Side Plank Knee Lift

Christine Bullock

This is similar to the Side Plank Knee Pull; however, with this exercise you touch your leg to your hand. This is more challenging to your core as it requires you to stabilize yourself during this motion.

  • Begin kneeling, lower left hand to floor, Step both feet out to right into a side plank.
  • Place right hand behind head. Bottom leg should be in back to begin.
  • Brace core, float the bottom leg off the mat, and pull the knee toward the elbow.
  • Float the leg long in front of stabilizing leg, tap the floor, then draw knee in again, and extend leg to start position.
  • Repeat 15 reps on right and left side.

Pilates Floating Twist

Pilates Floating Twist

Christine Bullock

The torso twist in this plank position is an excellent way to work all the muscles of your core. If you have back pain or a previous back injury, start by holding the position without the twist. Once you feel stable enough, slowly twist, stopping if you feel any pain.

  • Begin kneeling, reach left leg directly to side, and place hands behind your head.
  • Press glutes forward slightly to engage glutes, brace core, and begin to lower upper body in opposite direction as extended leg.
  • Once you reach the lowest point, twist to face floor, twist forward, then lift the upper body to high diagonal and twist to ceiling.
  • Twist torso forward and lower to start position.
  • Repeat 15 reps (right and left count as one rep).

Knee Squeeze

Knee Squeeze

Christine Bullock

 Keep your core tight throughout this exercise to stabilize your back. You will feel this exercise strengthening your core muscles, as well as your glutes.

  • Lie on back, hands behind head with elbows wide.
  • Bend knees and keep feet wide on the floor.
  • Lift shoulders, neck, and head.
  • Keep upper body off the floor as you float the bent legs off floor, and then draw them together to touch.
  • Open them up as you return them to start position.
  • Repeat 15 reps.

Lying Chest Lift

Lying Chest Lift

Christine Bullock

This variation of a crunch requires you to keep your legs straight in front. Keep your heels planted on the ground as your crunch up, and keep your core tight throughout the movement.

  • Lie on back, hands behind head with elbows wide, and legs long on floor in V position.
  • Engage core and press down into legs, to lift shoulders, neck, and head off the floor.
  • Lower the upper body to shoulders.
  • Repeat focused sit-up for 15 reps.

Attitude Torch

Attitude Torch

Christine Bullock

The side-twist motion of this exercise strengthens your abs much better than the traditional crunch up. Try to reach for the foot to really challenge your core.

  • Lie on back, hands behind head with elbows wide, knees bent, and feet wide on floor.
  • Keep one hand behind your head, and reach other other arm long near ear.
  • Press down into feet, engage core, and lift shoulder, neck, and head.
  • Lift the opposite leg as arm extended.
  • Externally rotate leg, draw it to center line with foot upward as you reach for the foot.
  • Lower foot to floor and upper body to the tips of shoulders.
  • Repeat 15 reps with the right leg and then 15 reps with the left leg.

Bicycle Kick

Bicycle Kick

Christine Bullock

The twist portion of this exercise works your upper abs and obliques, while the leg movements work your lower abs. In addition, you are strengthening and toning your legs and hips as well.

  • Begin lying on the floor, hands behind head and elbows wide, knees over hips, and legs bent at 90 degrees.
  • Lift and twist the upper torso so left elbow connects to right knee, then lengthen the left leg to sky.
  • Keeping the elbow and knee connected, lower and lift the extended leg.
  • Repeat 15 reps on each side.

Elevated Kick

Elevated Kick

Christine Bullock

This is similar to the Bicycle Kick exercise, except instead of twisting and placing your opposite elbow to opposite leg, you touch your elbow to the same side as your knee. This challenges your abdominal muscles in a different way.

  • Begin lying on the floor, hands behind head and elbows wide, knees over hips, and legs bent  at 90 degrees.
  • Lift upper torso so left elbow connects to left knee, then lengthen the right leg to sky.
  • Keeping the elbow and knee connected, lower and lift the extended leg.
  • Repeat 15 reps on each side.

Roll Like a Ball

Roll Like A Ball

Christine Bullock

This exercise is not only an excellent way to work all the different muscles in your core, it also gets bonus points for being fun!

  • Begin seated with feet on floor and knees bent.
  • Place hands behind head with elbows bent.
  • Brace the core, draw the elbows to touch the knees, drop the upper body back slightly, round through the spine tilting tailbone under you.
  • Begin to elevate your feet off floor a few inches.
  • Keeping the elbows attached to knees, use the core to rock the upper body back along spine to the shoulder blades and then use the core to rock yourself back up to start position.
  • Repeat 15 reps.

Lying Leg Cross

Lying Leg Cross

Christine Bullock

Performing these small leg lifts with your legs straight in front is an excellent way to tone up your lower abs. Make sure you keep your core tight and lower back pressed into the floor to protect your back.

  • Lie on back, hands behind head with elbows wide, and legs long on floor in V position.
  • Engage core and press down into legs, to lift shoulders, neck, and head off the floor.
  • Using the upper abdominals, stabilize upper body off floor, then use the lower abdominals to lift your right leg a few inches off the floor.
  • Draw the right leg across the center line of your body and all the way to left leg.
  • Lift back up and draw it back to the right.
  • Repeat 15 reps with the right leg and then 15 reps with the left leg.

You made it! If you can't do all 15 exercises at once, pick five to do each day alongside some additional cardio exercises to help strengthen and tone your tummy.

 

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