When it comes to getting the belly of your dreams — or at least one you don’t have to hide under baggy sweaters — there’s one exercise you need to know: The ab bicycle.
This simple move gets a gold star in effective and efficient toning. And its flat-belly power has even been proven in lab: A team of scientists commissioned by the American Council on Exercise tested 13 popular ab exercises and used electromyography equipment to measure muscle activation in the core. (Electromyography measures muscle response when the nerve is stimulated.) The bicycle topped their list of go-to moves for strengthening your core.
Watch as fitness expert Larysa DiDio shows you how to get the most out of this amazing move. The study to determine which exercise is best for the abs involved 31 people, both occasional and daily exercisers ages 20 to 45. They had to perform 13 exercises that targeted the mid-section while the researchers measured the work of the abdominals (the rectus abdominus, which runs the length of your torso and is the “workhorse” of the group, and the obliques, or side-lying muscles that rotate your body and stabilize the pelvis). They then compared how each exercise stacked up against the traditional crunch.