Want to get toned fast? While there’s no quick and easy fix for a perfectly sculpted body, everyday exercises that target the abdominal region can make a big difference to your physique. All you need is a mat and a positive mindset. Here are 8 simple abs exercises that you can do at home!
1. Bicycle Crunch
Regular crunches are fine, but why not give bicycle crunches a go? A great one for targeting the oblique muscles, this exercise is made up of three key components – lie, lift and move. Start by lying flat on your mat with your arms tucked just behind your head. Lifting your right leg, move the knee in towards your left elbow. Repeat this action with opposite leg and opposite arm.
2. Crunchy Frog
While the name may be funny, this is one of the most demanding abs exercises out there. Sit down on the mat and pull your knees in towards your body, wrapping your hands around them as you do so. Lean back slightly whilst opening your arms and lowering your legs. Resume the starting position and repeat.
3. Russian Twist
This one works to strengthen the muscles which might have been missed by crunches, and it’s really simple to do. Sit on the mat with legs lifted from the floor and arms linked together in front of you. Make sure your torso is at a 45 degree angle from the floor, and your back is straight. Looking ahead, move your arms to the left and squeeze your abs. Move them to the right and do the same. Repeat.
This one’s a killer, but so worth it. Lower yourself to your hands and knees, and rest your forearms slowly onto the mat, with a shoulder width distance between hands. Make sure your back is suspended just above the floor. Hold.
Sounds simple enough, right? The test is to see how long you can endure this position. For the beginner, 30 seconds to 1 minute is the recommended amount of time to hold the plank. If you’re feeling brave, try 2-3 minutes.
5. Side Plank Dip
If you want to go for a slightly different plank option, try a couple of side plank dips. Start on your right side with your feet together and your weight resting on your right forearm. Make sure your body is in a straight line, and gently lower and lift your hips in a steady rhythm. Switch sides and repeat.
6. Dead Bug
Yes, it’s exactly as it sounds. For your starting position, lie on your back with your arms stretched above you and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Ever so slowly, lower your right arm and your left leg towards the mat, making sure they don’t make contact with the ground. Repeat with opposite leg and arm.
7. Toe Touch
As well as strengthening the rectus abdominis muscle (six pack), this exercise is also great for the hamstrings. Lie down on the mat, with your legs stretched in the air at a 90 degree angle to the rest of your body. Keeping your legs still, lift your body off the ground and stretch your arms towards your toes. Remember to breathe.
8. Mountain Climber
For this one, start in the plank position, but with your palms flat on the floor. Pull your right knee in towards the left side of your chest, lifting your toes ever so slightly off the ground. Get back into the starting position, and repeat with the left knee against the right side of your chest. While the mountain climber is one of the most simple of abs exercises, you’ll definitely feel the burn!