Starting an exercise routine is one of the most popular promises people make to themselves on New Year’s Eve, but they don’t always follow through. And then Summer starts, and a lot of people don’t feel confident and happy with their figure, especially when it comes to the stomach area. Google searches on “how to get a smaller waist” and “how to reduce belly fat quickly” tend to be very popular around May and June, as people start to feel the yearly pressure of achieving the so-called “Summer body.” But if we are being honest with ourselves, we live in our bodies all year round, so why only care about them in the Summer, when we feel more exposed? Why not care about ourselves all year round?

If you are on a journey to feel good about yourself, consistency is key. Stop looking for an internet Hail Mary on how to have a small waist, stop falling for the commercials that promise to show you how to reduce belly fat in 20 days, and start your path towards self-improvement if you feel that that’s what is going to make you happy.

Weight loss can’t happen if you target specific areas of your body. Still, if your abdominal area is the issue, you can always isolate the muscles responsible for your midsection and work on them. How to reduce belly fat naturally, you ask? By setting a goal and working hard for it. Are you ready? Let’s go!

1. Start with V-ups

V-ups are great for your rectus abdominis, your transverse abdominis, and your obliques, making it a great exercise for belly fat– don’t get scared, these are the fancy names for the all your abdominal muscle groups. How to do it?

  • Lie down
  • Your legs should be flat as you stretch your arms over your head
  • Try to touch your feet by lifting your legs and torso off the floor while crunching
  • Go back to the first position and restart
  • You can repeat this 10-12 times, but if you feel like it’s too much, you can try alternating between your legs

2. Alternate Reach And Catch

This is the ideal exercise to work out both your rectus abdominis muscles and your transverse abdominis. How to do it?

  • As you lie flat, proceed to bend your knees
  • Try to reach for your knee by moving both of your hands to the left side of your body
  • Return to the original position
  • Do the same thing, but reach toward your right thigh this time
  • Do it 10-12 times to the right side, and the same amount to the left side

3. Side crunches using a balance ball

If you are looking for a tiny waist workout, you got it! Doing side crunches using a balance ball will be great for your obliques. The fact that the ball is not stable will work those muscles to the core. How to do it?

  • Put the ball on the ground and lie on your side – your right hip should be on the balance ball
  • Put your right foot in front of your left foot
  • To get some extra support, put your hands behind your head
  • Lift your upper body while crunching upward
  • Go back to the starting position, but do it slowly
  • Change sides after 12 repetitions and do 12 more

4. Using a balance ball for crunches

As you can see by now, you can’t escape the balance ball if you want that flat stomach. This particular exercise will do wonders for your the transverse abdominis muscles and your rectus abdominis muscles as well. How to do it?

  • Start by choosing an appropriately sized ball – your legs should be at a 90º angle when you sit on it
  • Lean your lower back on the ball by sitting back and moving your feet forward
  • Put your hands behind your head to add a bit of support
  • Engage your core and crunch
  • Slowly return to the starting position
  • Repeat this exercise 10 to 12 times
  • Your abs should be the part of your body that is doing the work, so pay attention to see if you are not using your hands to pull your head

5. High Plank With Hip Extension

Plank is the kind of exercise that seems pretty easy, but it’s pretty hard. A high plank with hip extension makes it even harder, but it’s totally worth it, as it will work both your internal and external obliques and your transverse abdominis all at once. How to do it?

  • Assume the push-up position – your head and your feet should be aligned
  • Your upper body is supposed to remain still as you slowly start lifting your leg
  • Breathe 5 times and go back to your first position
  • Do the same thing with your other leg
  • 12 repetitions on each leg are encouraged

6. Scissors

Work hard on your transverse abdominis muscles with the scissors exercise How to do it?

  • Lie down with your arms resting by the sides of your body
  • Slightly bend your knees
  • Proceed to lift your legs, one at a time, and while one leg is up, at a 45º angle, let the other leg go down, but not all the way down – keep it 2 inches from the ground

7. Reverse Crunch

This versatile exercise has the amazing power to work for various muscle groups at once, from your obliques to your rectus abdominis, without leaving the transverse abdominis out. How to do it?

  • Lie down
  • Place your hands under your bottom or by the side of your body, whatever feels more comfortable to you
  • Proceed to bend your knees to approximately a 90º angle
  • Roll your back slightly as you pull your legs towards your chest
  • Go back to the start and repeat
  • This is the type of exercise that can be adjusted according to your strength – you can choose to roll further if you want it to be more challenging

8. Side Stretch

Stretching is probably one of the most underrated exercises out there, but it can be of great help for anyone who wants to stay in shape, not to mention that it’s a low impact exercise that works your obliques. How to do it?

  • Align your feet with your shoulders
  • Keep your hands by the side of your body
  • Bend your torso as you lift one of your arms up, sliding it sideways
  • Wait a few seconds, go back to the start, and do the same thing with your other arms
  • Do a total of 20-24 repetitions using both arms

9. Abdominal Stretch

If you want an exercise that will stretch out your rectus abdominis, the abdominal stretch can be ideal. How to do it?

  • As you lie on your stomach, proceed to place your hands close to your shoulders
  • Use your hands to lift the upper part of your body, while your pelvis and hips remain on the floor
  • Count 15 seconds
  • Do it 5 more times

10. Torso Twist Stretch

Finish your workout with some torso twist stretches and really work those obliques and transverse abdominis. How to do it?

  • Sit on the floor
  • Bend your left leg and stretch your right one
  • Use your left hand for support by placing it behind you, and then proceed to twist your abdomen to the left
  • As you twist, stretch your right hand over your bent knee
  • Don’t twist too much
  • After 10 seconds, return to your first position
  • Do five repetitions on each side, and you are good to go!