A WASHBOARD flat stomach is high on the wish list for many of us. But are you doing the right exercises to get the belly of your dreams?

Reiss Mogilner, owner and personal trainer at F45 Mill Hill, believes there are six exercises that are a complete waste of time if you’re working on getting a flat stomach and abs.

People swear by crunches for a flatter stomach, but our PT disagrees

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People swear by crunches for a flatter stomach, but our PT disagreesCredit: Getty
Holding the plank is hard - and not worth it if you want abs

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Holding the plank is hard – and not worth it if you want absCredit: Getty

However, they are often touted as exercises that will flatten your midsection – but don’t believe the hype.

From abs to plank, it’s time to make some changes to your workouts and ditch some of the classic “flat stomach” moves…

1. Crunches

“Crackling is problematic for a variety of reasons,” says Reiss.

“While a lot of people think they’re a fast track to getting abs, that mentality couldn’t be more wrong.

“Crunches are a risky exercise if you’re not careful with your head and neck position and can cause aches, pains and injuries if not done correctly.

“Also, while crunches can strengthen your core, they won’t give you abs unless combined with other body exercises.”

Also, crunches don’t burn fat above the abs, so if you have fat to lose, other forms of exercise will be more beneficial.

2. Boards

The plank, a classic exercise that involves resting your body in a straight line on your forearms and toes, can help build strength, but it won’t necessarily flatten your stomach or give you abs.

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“Planks are a great way to challenge your body and mind – we’re used to feeling like seconds slip by when we’re holding onto a plank,” says Reiss.

“However, it is very important to manage your board expectations.

“Planks are great for core strength and posture, but they’re a waste of time if you rely solely on them to give you abs.”

“Your heart rate is likely to remain low if you plank because it is a static (still) movement. The real way to burn fat and allow abs to grow is to introduce cardio in your routine as well as the boards.”

3. 100s

Not familiar with the 100? For these, you lie on your back, then lift your torso and legs off the floor, with your arms extended in front of you.

Keeping your body still, you gently pump your arms up and down, ideally a hundred times.

“The 100s are again quite a static movement, despite the fact that you move your arms.

“If you’re someone looking for a definite six-pack, the 100 isn’t going to get you there,” Reiss says.

“If you’re wearing fat that’s covering your abs, the 100s aren’t going to get rid of that and allow your abs to show through.

“Introducing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) into your routine is the perfect way to lose fat, increase your fitness level, and reduce your body fat content so you can build and maintain defined muscle. .”

4. Heel Taps

Another exercise that uses small movements to burn the core.

You lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. With arms at your sides, you gently reach your left hand to reach your left heel, then alternate sides.

“Heel taps strengthen your core, lower abdominal muscles, and oblique muscles, but again, it’s a waste of time to get abs,” says Reiss.

“As mentioned, it’s important to consider that your body fat content may be too high for the abs to show.

“I would recommend changing your diet and paying more attention to nutrition as it’s one way to increase your chances of getting abs.

“Increasing your protein intake will help you build and maintain muscle, while simultaneously allowing you to lose weight and stay lean.”

Look to include more lean proteins like fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, and low-fat dairy products in your diet.

5. Russian Twists

The twisting motion of Russian twists is great for helping to develop your obliques — the muscles that run down the side of your middle, but Reiss reckons they won’t do too much in the flat stomach department.

“Russian twists will test your strength and endurance, but you’re unlikely to get abs.

“It’s really important to push yourself, and if you rely on the same old exercises to get your abs, your body will get used to doing the same exercises and you won’t feel challenged,” he says.

“I would recommend combining an exercise like a Russian twist with a more dynamic exercise like mountain climbers that will get your heart rate up and burn fat and calories, while engaging your core.”

6. Bike crunches

A popular move for many, Reiss says bike crunches are good for mobility and core strength, but shouldn’t be your go-to if you’re looking to get abs.

“Bicycle creaks can also be problematic for your back and neck if you strain your neck while exercising.

“They’re a staple in a lot of workouts, but they’re harder than people think.

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“If you’re considering including bike crunches in your workout, I recommend starting slow to make sure you’re in the right form.

“This exercise will help with coordination but will not give you abs on their own.”

Bike crunches are a go-to fitness move, but don't guarantee a flatter stomach

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Bike crunches are a go-to fitness move, but don’t guarantee a flatter stomachCredit: Getty

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