If you’re looking to train your abs, the good news is that there are a huge variety of exercises that will help you achieve that goal. Even if you’re not doing moves that focus on them directly, the location of your abs means that they are worked hard by compound exercises that hit both the upper and lower body. Here is a list of the best exercises for abs you need to know.
Best Exercises For Abs
A dead bug exercise is an effective way to strengthen your core, back, and spine muscles. It also improves your body posture, balance, and relieves lower back pain.
- Lie flat on the ground with your arms and legs bent 90 degrees facing the ceiling.
- Bend left hand down along with the left leg.
- Repeat this with your right hand and leg.
- Continue for 30 seconds for each side and rest for 15 seconds.
- Repeat this 3 to 5 times as a beginner.
2. Hollow extension-to-cannonball
Get into a cannonball-type shape on your back, hugging your knees into your chest—yes, just like you’re at the pool at summer camp again.
- Simultaneously extend your legs and arms outwards into a “hollow” position, pressing your lower back to the floor.
- Hold for five seconds before curling up again, and complete five reps for one set.
Plank exercises strengthen your abdominal muscles, spine, and improve body posture. Planks are an easy way to get those perfectly shaped abs.
- Start sitting on heels, then walk hands out until wrists are under shoulders when legs are extended fully and body forms a straight line from shoulders to heels.
- Balance on balls of feet, keep abs engaged, and gaze slightly forward.
- Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, then immediately continue on to your next move. Once you’ve completed all three of your exercises, rest for 15 to 30 seconds, then repeat for three to five total rounds.
4. Side Plank
- Start lying on the side with right forearm flat on the floor, elbow under shoulder, and both legs extended. The body should form a straight line from head to feet, which are either stacked or staggered. Engage your core and lift your hips up.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side and immediately continue on to your next move. Once you’ve completed all three of your exercises, rest for 15 to 30 seconds, then repeat for three to five total rounds.
5. Reverse Crunch
Reverse crunch exercise reaches your abdominal muscles deeper and strengthens them. This exercise uses only your body weight to strengthen your abs.
- Start lying on back, legs lifted so thighs are perpendicular to ground and knees are bent.
- Press lower back into the mat, then curl knees into the chest to lift hips off the ground.
- Return to start with control. That’s one rep. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds, then immediately continue on to your next move. Once you’ve completed all three of your exercises, rest for 15 to 30 seconds, then repeat for three to five total rounds.
6. Barbell back squat
- With your feet shoulder-width apart, lift a barbell off the rig, centering it evenly across your shoulders. (This version of the squat targets the core, not the legs, and so you should be using far less weight than you would for a traditional back squat.)
- Send your glutes back like you’re lowering into a chair, bending at the knees as deeply as possible.
- Press through your heels to return to the starting position for one rep.
- Do 12 reps for one set.
7. Bicycle crunch
The best and the most common abdominal exercise involves pedaling and strengthening your hips and abs. Moreover, it strengthens your core muscles and spine during weight lifting.
- Lie-down flat on the ground and place your hands on either side of your ears.
- Lift your head, shoulders including both your feet slightly above the ground.
- Pedal your legs like pedaling a bicycle and turn your head from left to right subsequently.
- Continue doing it for 30 seconds.
- Take a break of 15 seconds.
- Repeat 5 times if you are a beginner.
8. Bear Crawl
Bear crawling exercise is an all in one workout that makes it the best core exercise you can do at home for improving abs. This exercise boosts your metabolism and improves cardio fitness.
- Start in bear plank, with shoulders over wrists and knees under hips, hovering a few inches off of the floor.
- Keeping hips stable, head in line with the tailbone, and knees lifted off of the floor, slowly step opposite hand and foot forward, repeating with other hand and foot for four steps total.
- Then, reverse the movement to step backward and return to start. That’s one rep. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds, then immediately continue on to your next move. Once you’ve completed all three of your exercises, rest for 15 to 30 seconds, then repeat for three to five total rounds.