If you’ve been indulging in one too many buffet meals lately (like yours truly), then you might find yourself searching the Internet for emergency abdominal exercises or instant abdominal fixes to help you, at least, fit into your regular jeans again. This practice, according to The Peninsula Manila trainer RJ Samson, could not be more wrong. “Gusto ko lang i-correct 'yung wrong notion na kapag nag abs ka eh liliit 'yung tiyan mo (I just want to correct the wrong notion that doing ab exercises can do wonders on your tummy),” he says, beating me to the punch. “It's not actually for losing the belly fat.”

As it turns out, abdominal exercises serve an entirely different purpose altogether. Argie says that they “mainly enhance the function of the abdominals, which serve as a brace to the spine. And siyempre, the stronger the brace, the more dynamic the body becomes.”

So does that mean that doing abdominal exercises is absolutely pointless for those who want to flatten their midsection? Not exactly. RJ does say that abdominal exercises can help speed up the body’s metabolism, a fact that is important for weight loss.

But before you can start on those exercises, it's important for you to do warm-up routines first. Scroll down to begin.

1. HIGH KNEE MARCH

Step 1:
Stand straight with your feet slightly apart.


Step 2: March in place, but raise your knees as high as you can. Do this continuously for 30 to 60 seconds.

2. STANDING BICYCLE ABS

Step 1: Stand up straight with your hands behind your head.

Step 2: Twist your upper body so your right elbow points toward your raised left knee. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds.

3. TORSO TWIST

Step 1: Stand with your feet slightly apart. Hold a medicine ball, a pair of dumbbells, or a foam roller.


Step 2: Twist your trunk sideways, but take care to keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.

Difficulty level: 1/5

4. SIDE BENDS

Step 1: Bend your trunk sideways while holding a kettle bell in one hand. Switch the weight when you bend your body to the other side.

Difficulty level: 1/5

Now that you're all warmed up, click "next" for the actual abdominal exercises.

(All watermarked photos by Mike Dee)
1. KNEE ABS


Step 1: Start with a seated position. Lean backward on your hands, and raise both bent knees up while keeping your feet a few inches above the ground.

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Step 2: Lift your knees even higher, so your body can form a neat letter "V."

Difficulty level: 4/5

2. BASIC CRUNCHES

Step 1: Lie down on the mat with your knees bent. Keep your head a few inches off the ground and your hands at rest.


Step 2: Raise your upper body as you stretch your hands to reach for your knees.

Difficulty level: 2/5

3. OBLIQUE CRUNCHES

Step 1: Lie down on the mat with both hands behind your head. Keep your upper body straight but twist your lower half to the side.

Step 2: Lift yourself up to do crunches.

Difficulty level: 4/5

After these abdominal exercises, click "next" for moves to help you cool down.

(All watermarked photos by Mike Dee)

1. CAMEL AND CAT EXERCISE

Step 1: Start with a neutral quadruped position.


Step 2: Curve your body inward, so that your back resembles that of a camel's hump.


Step 3: Curve your body outward to emphasize the arch of your back.

Difficulty level: 2/5

2. ABDOMINAL STRETCH

Step 1: Start from a prone position. Lift your upper body up as high as you can to stretch out your lower back muscles.

Difficulty level: 1/5

3. CHILD'S POSE

Step 1: Tuck your legs under your knees and bow down with your hands stretched forward.

Difficulty level: 1/5

(All watermarked photos by Mike Dee)

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