30-day flat stomach workout plan: take our tone-up challenge!
The best part of our flat stomach workout plan? No planks or crunches are required...
Welcome to Fit&Well's 30-day flat stomach workout challenge, a plan designed to help you get firmer abs fast.
Forget dropping and doing 100 sit-ups for toned abs. Whilst sit-ups and crunches are undeniably some of the best workouts for abs, you can still slim and sculpt your upper body without them. In fact, you can slim and tone your stomach whilst standing up - as our workout below proves!
‘These standing exercises tend to engage more muscles, than ones performed on the floor,’ explains personal trainer and fitness blogger Zanna Van Dijk, who has devised this flat tummy workout plan. ‘They also support your physical function better, as you do these types of movements more often in everyday life.’
So if you've been looking to tone up and lose weight on your stomach, this is the plan for you. To see maximum results, we advise incorporating this plan around your usual workout routine. Two to three cardio sessions a week is ideal, whether that's a gym-based session on the elliptical machine, a HIIT workout, a dance class or otherwise.
'Support this routine with a nutritious diet,’ adds Van Dijk. ‘Abs are made in the kitchen!’ We've got a dedicated article on how to eat healthily, which is a good place to start if you're unsure how to go about this.
Otherwise, let's dive into the key moves you'll need to master to take on our 30-day flat tummy workout challenge!
30-day flat stomach workout: your 6 ab-firming moves
Below are the six ab-targeting exercise moves that form the basis of our flat tummy plan. The exercises for the first half of the month will isolate your core, whilst the three moves for the second half of the month will not only challenge your midsection, but also engage the surrounding muscles for a tougher workout.
One important thing to note is that you should take your time with the routine. 'Perform each move slowly to engage the right muscles and get the best results,’ says Van Dijk. ‘Doing the exercises in a slow and controlled manner will make sure your surrounding muscles don’t take over and your core remains engaged.'
Knee to opposite elbow
- Standing tall, engage your core.
- Lift your right knee off the floor and twist it up to touch your left elbow.
- As you come out of the movement, extend your left arm to the ceiling and your right leg out to the floor.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Standing tall, engage your core and hold your arms out in front of you, locking them straight.
- Bend your knees and twist down towards the floor, pointing your outstretched
- arms to the left side.
- Extend and twist your arms up and over your right shoulder.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
- You can use hand weights boost the intensity of this move, such as a pair of dumbbells - see our pick of the best adjustable dumbbells if you don't already have a set at home.
Standing oblique bend
- Standing tall, engage your core and place your fingertips by your ears.
- Lift your right knee off the floor and bring it up to touch your right elbow.
- Squeeze your core, specifically your obliques (your sides).
- As you come out of the move, extend your right leg towards the floor and return your arms to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Standing tall, lift your left knee to a 90˚ angle.
- Lean forward and extend your arms overhead and your left leg behind you, until a straight line is formed. Engage your core to keep you stable.
- Return to starting position, but avoid placing your lifted foot on the floor.
- Complete your reps (detailed below) on one side, before switching sides.
Lunge with twist
- From standing, take a long stride forwards with the right foot and press arms out in of you, clasping your hands.
- Bend knees and lower into a lunge. engage your core and twist your arms over your front leg, using the obliques.
- Slowly return to center and step out of the lunge.
- Repeat on the other side.
- As with the Chops move, you can use handheld weights (both dumbbells or a kettlebell would suit this move) to make lunges and squats harder.
Squat with frontal press
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and toes slightly pointed out.
- Squat down, sitting back into your heels.
- Pause, engage your core and extend your arms straight out in front of you.
- Stand up and repeat.
Flat stomach workout challenge: your 30-day plan
Mastered the moves? Then you're ready to take on our 30-day flat stomach workout challenge!
Below we've outlined which moves you need to do on each day and - crucially - how many reps to do. These increase as the challenge goes on to help build you up slowly, which will aid your focus on form.
Above all, remember to listen to your body, only do what you feel capable of, and be sure to take those all-important rest days (more on those below).
And one final word of advice: be sure to wear the right shoes for these exercises. This is not the place for running shoes! Instead you need a pair that are designed to provide stability and comfort for a range of motion (as opposed to runners, which are just designed to move forwards in). Take a look at our pick of the best cross training shoes, which features a guide to what to look for.
3 x Knee to opposite elbow
3 x Chops
3 x Standing oblique bends
4 x Knee to opposite elbow
4 x Chops
4 x Standing oblique bends
5 x Knee to opposite elbow
5 x Chops
5 x Standing oblique bends
6 x Knee to opposite elbow
6 x Chops
6 x Standing oblique bends
7 x Knee to opposite elbow
7 x Chops
7 x Standing oblique bends
8 x Knee to opposite elbow
8 x Chops
8 x Standing oblique bends
9 x Knee to opposite elbow
9 x Chops
9 x Standing oblique bends
REST DAY! Recovery is super important to allow your muscles time to heal, which in turn helps to avoid injury. Using a foam roller can help massage out your aching muscles - take a look at our pick of the best foam rollers, along with our guide on how to use a foam roller.
10 x Knee to opposite elbow
10 x Chops
10 x Standing oblique bends
11 x Knee to opposite elbow
11 x Chops
11 x Standing oblique bends
12 x Knee to opposite elbow
12 x Chops
12 x Standing oblique bends
13 x Knee to opposite elbow
13 x Chops
13 x Standing oblique bends
14 x Knee to opposite elbow
14 x Chops
14 x Standing oblique bends
15 x Knee to opposite elbow
15 x Chops
15 x Standing oblique bends
16 x Knee to opposite elbow
16 x Chops
16 x Standing oblique bends
3 x Warrior balance
3 x Lunge with twist
3 x Squat with frontal press
4 x Warrior balance
4 x Lunge with twist
4 x Squat with frontal press
5 x Warrior balance
5 x Lunge with twist
5 x Squat with frontal press
6 x Warrior balance
6 x Lunge with twist
6 x Squat with frontal press
7 x Warrior balance
7 x Lunge with twist
7 x Squat with frontal press
8 x Warrior balance
8 x Lunge with twist
8 x Squat with frontal press
9 x Warrior balance
9 x Lunge with twist
9 x Squat with frontal press
10 x Warrior balance
10 x Lunge with twist
10 x Squat with frontal press
11 x Warrior balance
11 x Lunge with twist
11 x Squat with frontal press
12 x Warrior balance
12 x Lunge with twist
12 x Squat with frontal press
13 x Warrior balance
13 x Lunge with twist
13 x Squat with frontal press
14 x Warrior balance
14 x Lunge with twist
14 x Squat with frontal press
15 x Warrior balance
15 x Lunge with twist
15 x Squat with frontal press
Congratulations! You’ve completed our 30-day flat stomach workout challenge! Share your results with us on Instagram @wearefitandwell.
Liked this? Try more 30-day challenges:
30-day abs challenge: your best ever abs in just one month
30-day squats challenge: tone your butt, legs AND core
30-day arms challenge: increase strength and definition
30-day killer curves challenge: sculpt your bust, waist and butt
Natalia is a health and fitness journalist who has written for the likes of Woman & Home and Marie Claire, and likes to practice what she preaches when it comes to staying fit and well. She loves the outdoors and would happily swap the treadmill for the trail at any opportunity. As such, in her free time you'll likely find her up a mountain somewhere. She has hiked eight of the major mountain ranges across four continents, including the Appalachians, the Smokies, the Sierra Nevadas (where she hiked to the top of Half Dome during her honeymoon) and the Atlas Mountains, as well hitting the summits of Snowdon and Pen-Y-Fan (Brecon Beacons), Table Mountain in South Africa and the Blue Mountains in Australia. She was also a fencer for 13 years, wielding an epée for Team GB during her teenage years. Having recently welcomed a baby, Natalia is currently getting back into her fitness routine, and has her sights set on completing a triathlon, something she and her husband started out on before their bundle of joy arrived.