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The best abdominal exercises in five minutes

Looking to train or tone your abs or get rid of stubborn abdominal fat? Martina Kratzer, instructor at Zone4Performance Winterthur, explains what you need to know.

Text: Sanitas; videos and photos: Sebastian Doerk

According to the Sanitas Health Forecast 2020, many people see their stomach as their biggest problem area. Of course, a sixpack would be great for summer, but strong stomach muscles are about much more than just looking good. A strong core brings stability to all our movements – in sport and everyday life. With three simple exercises you can get your stomach muscles in shape quickly and effectively. Martina Kratzer, fitness instructor at Zone4Performance in Winterthur, explains what you need to do.

Exercise 1: Bear – activation and control

“This is the perfect way to start any abs workout. To do this exercise you need to tense and activate your stomach muscles. Focus on pulling in your belly button and building up maximum tension in your torso.”

Exercise 2: Beetle – more comfortable and more effective than sit-ups

“With this exercise, you can really focus on stabilising the spine. Why is this important? If you push yourself too far or move your lower back too much when you’re doing ab exercises, this can damage the lumbar spine.”

Exercise 3: plank – a versatile classic

“Planks are an old favourite in a number of exercise routines. If done properly, they help beginners and advanced learners alike achieve a really strong, defined stomach. Here, too, it’s important that you activate your stomach muscles so you don’t put any pressure on your back.”

Core Challenge

Exercise whenever and wherever you want! The video shows you a versatile and efficient workout for your abs that only takes 5 minutes.

More tips for a flat stomach

In addition to exercising, it’s also important to watch what you eat. Ladina Poltera, dietician at Zone4Performance, adds:

  1. Eat fresh food: Vitamins and minerals found in green vegetables help, for example, to burn calories more efficiently and regulate the appetite.
  2. Eat less sugar: A piece of chocolate eaten after a full meal is easier for the body to digest than a sugar shock in the middle of the afternoon.
  3. Avoid alcohol: Not new information, but very important: the liquid calories go straight to your stomach.
  4. Check for food intolerances: For example, if you’re allergic to sugar, gluten or dairy products but continue to eat them, it will be hard to lose fat from your stomach. 5. Less stress, more sleep: The stress hormone cortisol and a lack of sleep make you crave sugar and carbohydrates.