Having a solid ab exercise routine is extremely important if you want to build a solid six pack. We all want those defined sets of abs that you can rock in a bathing suit or crop top. Having a solid core is also extremely important for when you’re lifting or doing any other form of exercise since it adds stability to your movement. There are so many simple, easy to learn exercises you can do at home to help you build a rock solid core. Here are some of the best ab exercises out there that will help you tone your abs.
This is a classic ab exercise that will help you strengthen your core. Start lying down, facing upwards with your knees bent and your feet placed just a couple of inches from your butt. Place your hands behind your head and using your core, lift your head, shoulders and upper back off the ground. Don’t lift your upper body all the way up to a vertical position. Lower back down to your starting position and repeat for 60 seconds. If you don’t want to do the classic crunch, there are dozens of variations you can try. If you are new to ab workouts, get a friend to hold your feet so you can properly perform the ab exercise.
Another classic ab exercise that you can perform to test your stamina and help tone your six pack. Start lying down with your stomach on the ground. Lift your body up with your elbows and forearms on the ground. Make sure that your back is neutral and there is a straight line from your head to your feet, keeping your hips low to the ground. Hold for 45 seconds or as long as your body will let you. There are also several variations of this exercise so you can switch things up.
Russian twists are another great way to build the strength and stamina of your abs. Start sitting down with your knees bent, feet planted on the ground, and your upper body angled slightly backwards. Twist your upper body side to side, keeping your upper body in the angular position to engage your core. Repeat for 60 seconds. To increase the difficulty of this exercise, you can hold a dumbbell in your hands as you twist, or you can lift your feet off the ground, which will add even more pressure to your core and increase the muscle engagement.
This ab exercise is an excellent variation of a crunch. Start in a lying position, facing upwards and lift your legs so they are perpendicular to the floor. Lift your arms to the sky and lift your shoulders and upper back, reaching for your toes. Once you reach as high as your body will let you, lower down to your starting position. Repeat this exercise for 45-60 seconds.
This is one of the more challenging exercises on this list, and you can up the difficulty even more with variations. Start in a lying position, facing upwards with your arms at your side. Slowly raise your legs and upper body into a V shape, but keep your arms and calves parallel to the ground. Once you reach the V position, slowly lower your body back to the initial position. You can vary this exercise by speeding up or slowing down the pace.
This ab exercise is a killer for your core. Start in a lying position, facing upwards with your arms at your side. While keeping your entire upper body flat on the ground, lift both of your legs up until they are perpendicular to the floor. Once they reach this position, lower your legs down, but don’t let them touch the floor. This is one rep, repeat for 45-60 seconds. If you are a beginner, find a stable item or surface on or close to the ground to grab onto. This will help your upper body stay on the ground and will help you focus on engaging your core.
The dead bug is an easy to learn variation of the leg raise. Start by lying on the ground with your hands reaching above your head, laying flat on the floor. Take your right arm and reach towards the ceiling, with it angled perpendicular to the ground. At the same time, take your left leg and lift it toward the ceiling as well, keeping it straight and angled perpendicular to the ground as well. Lower your arm and leg and repeat the process with your left arm and right leg. This is one rep, repeat for 45-60 seconds.
While the name of this ab exercise might sound a bit confusing to beginners, it’s actually a very simple exercise that will help you sculpt your six pack. Start in a lying position, facing upwards with your arms at your side and your knees bent at a 90 degree angle. Keeping your upper body flat on the ground, curl your hips and knees towards your chest, keeping your knees at that same 90 degree angle. Slowly return your lower body to the starting position. This is one rep, repeat for 45-60 seconds.
This is an excellent and challenging variation of the classic plank that will be sure to help you sculpt your six pack and strengthen your core. Start lying down on your right side. Plant your right elbow into the ground and lift your body upwards, while still keeping your body facing sideways. Hold this position for 45 seconds or as long as your body lets you and repeat on the left side.
Bear Crawl With Shoulder Taps
This ab exercise is excellent for strengthening your core while also getting your upper body moving. Start in a crawling position, but with the balls of your feet planted in the ground and your heels raised. Quickly lift your right arm and tap your left shoulder while maintaining your form and position. Place your right arm back in the starting position and repeat the same shoulder tap with your left arm, tapping your right shoulder. Repeat this exercise for 45-60 seconds.
We all want that killer six pack by the time summer rolls around. Hopefully these 10 exercises give you the foundation to help you strengthen your core and get the abs you’ve always wanted. While building muscle can take a long time, working your core at least twice a week will help you see faster results over time.
Lara Hill is a senior Public Relations major at Emerson College from Groton, Massachusetts. She has contributed to several college publications, holding multiple editing positions and focusing mainly on sports journalism. When she is not in class or writing, she loves to sail, watch sports with her friends and family, sing with her sisters, and play with her dog, Cassie.