Working out is not only great for you all around, but it can help you reach your body goals. Summer abs is something that a lot of us may be working towards, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out which exercises we need to do to reach that goal.
Below I have put together a circuit workout that you may repeat 3-4 times depending on how you feel! This ab shredding workout will get your core engaged without taking a huge toll on your body. I would recommend adding this to your normal routine maybe 3 or 4 times a week for best results!
For this circuit, remember to constantly keep your core engaged pulling your naval towards your spine. Also remember to continue to breathe, keeping your mind to muscle connection. Grab a mat and some water and let’s go get those summer abs!
1. 20x Controlled Sit-ups
For this summer abs exercise you will want to lie on the ground with your knees bent like you would have them for a normal sit up, hip width apart. Reach your arms forward and slowly sit up, making sure you are controlling the movement from your core. Imagine you are rolling up to the top vertebra by vertebra, and then rolling back down.
Try to focus on controlling the movements, rather than momentum pushing you back and forth. Also remember to push down through your feet so you can continue to engage your core.
You want to shoot for 20 reps, but there’s no shame in listening to your body and doing even 10 or 15 because you will be repeating this exercise several times for the entire summer abs workout!
2. 20x Each Side Single Leg Crunches
The next exercise for your summer abs is great for your lower and upper abdominal muscles. Begin by lying flat as you were for the sit ups with your knees bent and feet hip width apart. Next clasp your hands behind your head and remember to keep your elbows wide.
Extend your left leg and contract your abs to lift your head and shoulders off the ground, using your core to lift you upper back, not your hands! Next you will crunch your right elbow up as you exhale and bend your left knee to meet it.
Inhale and extend your leg back out while squaring your shoulders again, but not letting them touch the ground. Repeat 20 times and then switch to your right leg and left elbow! Again, no worries if you need to lower the reps for any of these exercises!
3. 20x Side Plank Leg Lifts
The next exercise is great for toning your shoulders and obliques! Turn on one side and lift yourself up on your forearm, keeping your legs stacked and extended straight with your feet flexed.
Bring your free arm to your hip and remember to keep your hips tucked and your back flat (just imagine sucking your naval to your spine). This will really help to keep your core engaged throughout not only this exercise, but every exercise on this list! It will definitely get you one step closer to those summer abs.
Next you will want to lift the top leg to just above the height of your raised hip and then lower it 20 times. Remember to do this slow and controlled, keeping the mind to muscle connection. Then repeat lying on your other side, lifting the opposite leg and holding yourself up with the opposite forearm. You’re doing great!
4. 40x Alternate Heel Touches
On to the next summer abs exercise! For this exercise, you will again want to lie flat on your back with knees bent and feet about shoulder width apart.
Next reach your arms forward and contract your abs to lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the ground (your upper back). Remember again to always keep your lower back touching the ground, with your navel pulling towards your spine.
Then you will want to alternately reach toward your heels 40x (this will be 20 touches on each side back and forth). Although they are called heel touches, try to reach for your toes as you twist up and engage your core, exhaling each time you reach!
5. 40 Mountain Climbers
After you smash those heel touches, you are going to do some mountain climbers to get your heart rate up a little! For this summer abs exercise you will want to get into a plank position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders, fingers spread out, legs straight, and core engaged.
Next bring one knee into your chest, again keeping your back straight and core engaged, as you feel your whole body working. Then extend that leg back and pull the other leg in.
You can pick up the pace to whatever you feel comfortable doing, and do this 40x (20 times for each leg back and forth). This is a killer exercise, but you can do it!
6. 40x Dish Alternate Taps
This next exercise targets those lower abs! First you will want to lie on your back and bend your knees you so your legs 3/4 length extended. Reach your arms forward (palms facing up) and contract to lift your head, shoulders, and neck up off the ground into a dish.
Again remember to keep that lower back touching the ground at all times. Then you will alternately tap each heel down to the ground 40x (20 taps for each leg).
Next you can rest for a couple minutes and sip some water, and repeat these 6 exercises 3-4 times. If you are looking for a challenge, add #7 to the circuit. If not, once repeating the circuit your desired amount of times, skip to #8. You’ve got this!
(The photo shown below is an easier modified version with your upper body on the ground, and legs bent to a 90 degree angle).
7. OPTIONAL 30 Second Forearm Plank
If you are looking for a little bit more of a challenge, add a 30 second forearm plank to the exercises! To do this plank, make sure your shoulders are directly underneath your elbows and your arms make an 11 shape.
Make sure your back is flat and your core is engaged, tucking your hips and sucking your bellybutton to your spine. Remember to keep your gaze just past your fingertips, so your neck is inline with your spine.
If you did take this challenge, once you finish repeating this circuit 3-4 times, make the last plank a plank until fail. This means hold it with your entire body engaged until you can’t any longer!
8. End Of Circuit Forearm Plank Till Fail
Once you’ve finished the summer abs circuit finish with a forearm plank until fail. Refer to #7 on proper positioning for the forearm plank, and good luck.
Great job working towards your summer abs!
Congratulations, you’ve completed this killer circuit! You always want to end every workout with a good stretch, so after you completed your forearm plank, rollover onto your back and hug your knees into your chest. Then stretch your body out onto your mat, elongating the muscles you just worked!