10 Ab Exercises
Get ready to sculpt, slim and define your mid-section with this core workout!
This ab workout routine is the perfect way to start or end any other workout you do today.
I’ll share a link to all of the exercise tools I use in the clips at the end of the post.
You can do all of these exercises with no equipment, too. But by doing some of them on an exercise step you make the moves more intense because it adds a balance challenge (which forces you to engage your core in a different way).
>>Pay attention to the form pointers and cool ways to add even more intensity to some of the exercises (with my Pro Tips).
And remember to mix things up by changing tempo, equipment and rep patterns so your body is constantly challenged.
That’s how you get results!
Instead of doing a certain number of reps, try to do each of these moves for 30-60 seconds. (If your form starts to suffer then stop.)
Pro Tip>> Make sure you try out move #10! It’s tough! And fun!
Let’s get started…
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- Notice where my hands are during this move
- Try and keep your feet together
- The move should be smooth with little to no bouncing
Pro Tip>> Shoot your legs from side to side (instead of forward) to hit the oblique muscles, too
Pro Tip 2>> Add light ankle weights
You’re going to notice that as you change elevation your ab muscles will fire in a different (good) way.
- Start on one side of your step for this ab exercise
- Keep your core rock solid as you move across the step
- Focus on not letting your hips dip
- Try not to start bouncing as you travel (you’ll realize what I mean when you try this one)
BONUS>> Traveling planks work your arms, too!
SIDE TO SIDE PUNCHES (BALANCING PUNCHES)
- You can face any direction on the step for this exercise
- Focus on keeping your core very tight as you rotate side to side
- Crossing your feet is optional
- Don’t let your back round. Keep as tall as you can during the move
Pro Tip>> Instead of punching, try holding a light (3-8 lb.) dumbbell as you twist.
So, these don’t look very graceful because sliders don’t work very well on stone.
But don’t underestimate this move. These are hard.
I recommend that you do this ab exercise using sliders on carpet.
- Make sure you move your legs in unison. They should come in and out together.
- Try to go slow and steady without stopping. (I stopped between reps in the demo because of the rough surface but your goal is to keep moving.)
- Focus on keeping your core tight and don’t let your hips sag
Bonus>> Slide outs work your arms, too!
Pro Tip>> If you don’t have sliders then you can jump your feet in and out without stopping. Use the same form pointers above.
I love crab kicks. They look harmless but after a few seconds you’ll realize you’re having fun AND working your lower abs. A win-win!
- Don’t let your bottom drop too low between kicks. (Make sure your hips stay off the ground)
- There’s a balance element to this exercise. Don’t get discouraged. It takes a few reps to find your groove.
- Find a pace somewhere between fast and slow to get the most out of this exercise
Bonus>> Another ab exercise that also works your arms!
We’re all familiar with mountain climbers.
Mountain climbers are effective and don’t take a lot of coordination so they’re a great move for everyone.
- Make sure your core is tight and hips aren’t sagging
- Challenge yourself to go as fast as you can (without stopping) with good form
- Your arms might tire before your core. That’s ok. Take a break and then jump back in.
Pro Tip>> Try these with sliders under your feet to make them even harder!
Rope climbs are fun and an effective exercise for your entire core.
- Sit up and down slowly so that you feel your abs contracting through the entire move
- Sit up tall when you come up. Think about pulling on your rope rather than pulling up with your head.
Pro Tip>> Try and hold your feet up while you do it!
Pro Tip 2>> Do a static hold for 10 seconds at the halfway point up and down your rope
KNEE TO ELBOW
- Notice the pattern of this move. First you go to the ipsilateral (same) side and then you go to the opposite knee/elbow. This pattern engages lower abs and obliques.
- Challenge yourself to touch your knee to your elbows
- Speed up the tempo to make it harder but don’t let your body start bouncing. Keep your core tight.
- Straddle the step with your body and keep your core really tight as you walk your hands up and down the step
- Don’t let your body start rocking!
- A faster tempo makes these more challenging so GO FOR IT!
Bonus>> Plank straddles sculpt your shoulders as well as your abs!
RISER STACKING CHALLENGE
The riser stacking move is a fun challenge!
You might crush this exercise the first time you try it but you might not. It takes balance and coordination as well as a strong core.
Don’t give up on it! Try it with just one riser first and then add to that until you can do all four.
*I can’t take the credit for this cool move! I saw someone else do it on Facebook and had to try it immediately!
Exercise equipment I used in this ab workout:
Last Pro Tip>>Want to see some more exercise clips? Check out 10 Ways to Tone Your Triceps
“Life is complicated. Fitness doesn’t have to be.”
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