How to Flatten Your Stomach Using Hand Weights

How to Flatten Your Stomach Using Hand Weights

The abs -- they do more than make skinny clothes look good. Your core -- the rectus abdominis, obliques and transverse abs -- keeps your pelvis aligned and your posture in check. But besides walking tall, having toned abs has its perks: six-packs and an hourglass figure. Coveted by men and women alike, achieving abs can become a monotonous task. Endless crunches and ab twists don't have to be your staple if you have hand weights in your exercise arsenal. Weights increase resistance and can revive a stale routine. Add cardio exercise to shed any excess ab fat covering your toned muscles.

Things You'll Need
Stability ball

Stability Ball Triceps Extensions
Tone your rectus abdominis, which runs from the pubic bone to the rib cage, with a stability ball and one hand weight. Buy a ball suited to handle your height and weight. Check that your feet meet the floor and, once on the ball, your knees make a 90-degree angle.

Grab a weight and sit up tall on the ball. Tighten your core and place your feet on the floor. Spread your legs to hip-width distance and close both hands around the weight. Bring it between your legs to ball level and inhale.

Exhale, raising your arms, lifting both over your head, and straighten them. Bend your forearms back, lowering the weight toward your shoulder blades. Keep from moving the upper arms, your head, neck and torso. Inhale and raise your forearms. Repeat for two sets of eight to 12 reps, or until your abs and triceps feel fatigued.

Lower your arms and rest for 30 seconds between sets.

Standing Oblique Flexion
Slim your sides with oblique-cinching standing flexions. Hold a hand weight -- one per hand -- and stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Unlock your knees and hang your arms at your sides with palms facing in.

Exhale and lower the left weight, running it along your thigh. Angle your torso toward the weight, bending as it slides down your thigh. Stay bent sideways for two seconds then return to a standing position.

Swap sides, repeating steps one and two. Alternate sides and do two sets of eight to 12 reps, or until your obliques feel fatigued.

Transverse Abdominal Plank
Target your transverse abs with a twist on the traditional plank. Start in a plank pose with your legs behind you, and your weight distributed between your feet and hands and your abs tight. Keep your torso straight and your middle from dropping.

Grab a weight with your right hand, stabilizing your body with your left. Raise your right arm, bringing it out to the side and then slowly lowering it.

Lift for 10 reps, keeping your body rigid and your abs tight. Swap arms and repeat, staying in the plank position throughout.