Get a flat tum in 7 moves

Looking to get a flat tum in time for New Year’s Eve? Fitness expert, master trainer and BBC presenter Nana Akua (aka LadyXsize) is on hand to help. “Back in the day, sit ups were considered as the number one move for toning your abs to obtain that perfect tummy,” she says. However, as time has progressed, the realisation that a badly executed sit up can do more harm than good.”
Here are her top seven moves for the perfect belly…

    • Weighted hoops Spinning a weighted hoop is, in my mind, the most effective way of getting your tummy in shape for two reasons. Firstly, it’s cardiovascular so your body uses fat as its main source of fuel. Before you tone the tummy, you need to burn off the excess fat. Secondly, you must engage your core muscles to get the hoop to go around, in particular, your transverse abdominus, which acts like a corset around your spine, pulling in all the other abdominal muscles when engaged. Laboratory tests carried out on a Powerhoop showed it to be very effective in reducing waist circumference. Just 15 minutes per day, five days per week is recommended over a six-week period to see results.

    • Side plank This move requires you to plank sideways. Keeping your hips off the floor, it targets your obliques. You can choose to simply hold this position or to make the move more challenging, draw your knee to your elbow.

    • C-sit up and hold This move targets the rectus abdominus – the six pack muscle – and requires you to balance on your bottom, lean back and draw your legs away from your body, keeping your spine in a flexed C-curve and keeping the knees bent with feet off the floor. Hold this for about one minute.

    • Plank jack This power move targets all abdominal muscles and has a combination of cardio and strength. Go into low plank with your knees must be off the floor. Then jump the legs apart and together repeatedly like a horizontal jumping jack, keeping your bottom low.

    • V-Press up This a pure strength move and is essentially a press-up with one leg elevated. This is excellent for overall toning and building strength.

    • Tuck jumps These add a bit of dynamism to your workout as you bring your knees up you engage your stomach muscles.

  • Sit-ups on an exercise ball This, in my opinion, is the best way to do a sit-up, mainly because the ball helps to ensure your technique is correct. As well as the abdominal muscles required to perform the move, you are using pelvic floor muscles as stabilisers. It doesn’t feel like you are working quite as hard as you are and studies have shown that sit ups performed in this way are more effective.

Lady Xsize offers a range of workout packages, including a fabulous abs plan. Find out more here: She’s also giving Your Fitness readers the chance to enrol on the programme for half the usual price – simply use code LADYXSIZE-FAB online.