Bodyweight ab exercises
Just think, that love/hate relationship you have with your abs (love to see them/hate to work on them) can be remedied by doing these five straightforward ab exercises that have lasting effects. Plus, the bonus of not having to leave your bedroom means you can get these exercises out of the way and get on with your day (and your more amicable relationships). Practice these moves mindfully and remember, quality over quantity.
Get your core warmed up with this whole body challenger.
Movement: Lying with your legs lifted off the floor, knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your palms facing down, exhale and lift your head and shoulders off the ground. Reaching your fingertips towards your toes, pump your arms vigorously up and down
Reps: Challenge yourself with 100 pumps or count 10 full breaths (inhale for five pumps, then exhale for five pumps).
Tip: To take full advantage of this great Pilates move, make sure you keep your core engaged throughout the movement.
Spiderman Plank Crunch
The plank works your entire core, so don’t skip it!
Movement: From a normal plank position with your forearms on the ground and your body straight (no lifting your bum or letting your back sag), move your right knee forward towards the outside of your right elbow, then bring it back to its starting position. Repeat the same move with the left side. That’s one rep.
Reps: Try to do 2-3 sets of 10-15 full reps.
Tip: Pull that bellybutton towards the spine for maximum results!
The Bicycle Crunch
This movement combines a regular crunch targeting your obliques and a reverse crunch that engages your lower abs as well.
Movement: Lying on your back with your hands behind your head, lift your legs and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Bring your right elbow towards your left knee and then alternate with your left elbow and your right knee.
Reps: Hold each crunch for two counts. Try to keep it up for 60 seconds. Work up to 3 sets.
Tip: Go slowly, speed isn’t important. Also, if it strains your neck at all, don’t feel compelled to actually touch your elbow to your knee.
The Scissor Crunch
This is another all-around beneficial ab exercise because it hits your obliques, your rectus abdominis and your lower abs.
Movement: Lying on your back, stretch your arms and legs out so that your body forms an X. Keeping everything straight, lift your right hand and your left foot towards each other, then return them back to the ground. Repeat the motion with your left hand and your right foot. Your head, neck and shoulders should all come up off the ground during this exercise.
Reps: Complete both sides for a full rep. Aim for up to 3 sets of 10 full reps.
Tip: Remember that your muscles need to repair, so focus on these core moves every other day.
Kick your plank up a notch and really feel the burn.
Movement: From a normal plank position with your forearms on the ground and your body straight (no lifting your bum or letting your back sag), lift one leg off the floor and try to hold it for 15 seconds without changing your plank position. Then, switch sides.
Reps: Try to get to a comfortable 30 seconds on each side. Then go for 60 seconds.
Keen to learn more?
If you’re keen to learn more moves and get the burn going, have a look at the below articles.
- Easy Ab Exercises You Can Do At Home
- Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere
- Kettlebell 101: The Fundamentals