You don’t have to kill yourself doing boring crunches and sit-ups in order to get six-pack abs. Challenge your core with these killer fat-blasting core workouts that will leave your mid-section looking seriously ripped.
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The Russian Twist is an excellent core workout that targets the abdominals, obliques, and lower lumbar through a turning motion at the torso.
- Sit with your knees bent, heels resting on the floor.
- Tilt your torso back slightly so that your abs become engaged, and arch your chest up towards the ceiling to flatten your back and straighten your spine.
- Hold some weight out in front of your chest and twist at your torso, rotating your shoulders as far left and right as you can.
- Turning left and right is one repetition.
Opposite Arm and Leg Raise
This move strengthens the muscles in your glutes and core, as well as stabilizes muscles around your spine to help relieve pressure in the lower back.
- Begin on all fours, aligning your knees under your hips and your wrists under your shoulders.
- Raise your left arm to shoulder height and your left leg to hip height.
- Hold for 2 counts.
- Repeat this exercise on the opposite side.
- Do 15 to 20 reps, alternating sides.
Toning lower abdominals can be tricky, but this bodyweight exercise manages to do so effectively. The Reverse Crunch is a core exercise that engages the lower ab muscles and is a great move for building strength.
- Place your hands on the ground palm down with your arms extended 4 to 6 inches out from your hips for support.
- Bring knees toward chest by flexing abdominal muscles, raising butt from floor while maintaining a constant knee angle.
- Lift your hips up off the ground as high as you can, keeping your legs straight up.
- Slowly lower back to the ground barely letting your hips touch before repeating the motion.
- Bringing your hips up and back down is one repetition.
The Dynamic Plank
A super-simple move for stronger core, the plank exercise helps strengthen midsection. Make your six pack pop with this ab exercise.
- Get into a pushup position with your palms on the floor beneath your shoulders.
- Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
- Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet.
- Hold here for 30 seconds, with your abs contracted and your legs extended and your head aligned with your spine.
- As you build strength, hold this position longer, up to one minute.
This core exercise engages the lower abdominals and obliques. Coupled with a quick leg motion, it’s a good move for strengthening your hip flexors and toning and defining your thighs, abs and obliques.
- Lie on your back with your arms out by your sides and extend both legs up over your hips as straight as you can.
- Drop your left leg straight down towards the ground as far as you can control without touching the ground.
- Quickly raise your left leg back up while simultaneously lowering your right leg towards the ground.
- Alternate back and forth, continuing the motion for a set number of repetitions or a set time period.
- Up and down on each leg is one repetition.
Squat Thrust with Twist
This targets your thighs, butt, obliques, shoulders, and chest.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and extend your arms in front of you at shoulder height.
- Begin by squatting down, bending your knees 90 degrees, and twisting your upper body to the left.
- Now come up and repeat the exercise to the right.
- Do 3 sets, with 16 reps to your left and to your right.
Pilates Side Hip Raise
A great addition to any core routine, Side Hip Raise targets all of the muscles around your midsection and helps tone, strengthen, and slim your waist.
- Start by lying propped up on your left side with your left elbow directly under your shoulder.
- Bend your left knee to a 90°. (You should have a straight line form knee to shoulder).
- Extend your right leg completely to form a straight line from shoulder to ankle.
- Inhale and contract your core muscles, putting all of your weight on your left knee and elbow.
- Slowly exhale as you push into your elbow and knee to lift your hip up as high as you can, at the same time lifting your right arm in an arching motion from your abdomen to over your head.
- Then inhale as you slowly let your arm and hip drop down within an inch of the ground.
- Perform the motion for a set number of repetitions then switch sides and repeat on the opposite side.
Side Elbow Plank
Side planks are a great way to work your core. They challenge your balance, works your obliques, and tones your shoulders.
- Lie on your right side, in a straight line from head to feet, resting on your forearm.
- With your abdominals gently contracted, lift your hips off the floor, maintaining the straight line.
- With your weight supported on the elbow and side of the foot, lower your hips to the floor.
- Pause, and then return to the starting position.
- Hold 30 seconds. Repeat 2 to 3 times, alternating sides.
One of the most effective ab exercises, the bicycle crunch really works the obliques.
- Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground.
- Interlace your fingers, and put your hands behind your head.
- Bring your knees in toward your chest, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground.
- Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
- Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep.
- Do 10 to 20 reps.