Everyone knows an ab workout is integral to toning your abs. While you might be interested in focusing on your abs, it can be hard to know where to start.
There’s no need to be overwhelmed because below we’ve compiled all the essential exercises for the ultimate ab workout!
A good start to an ab workout is planking for one minute. If you’re doing this workout at a gym, use your phone as a timer. If you’re doing it at home, you could also use a laptop.
To position yourself to plank, act as though you’re going to do a push-up. However, instead of supporting yourself with your hands, clasp your hands together and use your wrists to hold yourself up.
Be sure to keep your whole body in a straight line. This exercise strains your abs which strengthens them. If you want to focus on your abs even more, try tensing your abs while you’re planking.
Planking is challenging and will get your heart beat up and blood pumping, a perfect first exercise.
2. Leg Raises
After planking comes leg raises.
Begin by laying flat on your back. With your hands at your side, begin raising your legs until they’re perpendicular to your body. Then put them back down.
The key to this exercise is to not let your legs or feet touch the ground for the entire set. This keeps your abs engaged and creates more difficulty for your ab muscles.
We like to do a set of fifteen leg raises.
3. Raised Leg Crunches
Next up is raised leg crunches.
To do an ordinary crunch, you lay down with your knees bent. Then, you sit up until your shoulder blades are off the ground. It’s like a sit-up cut in half.
With raised leg crunches, you raise your legs up instead of just bending them. Raise your bent legs until your calves are parallel with the ground.
By raising your legs you’re forcing the crunch to focus more on your abs.
Do a set of fifteen raised leg crunches.
4. Side Crunches
Side crunches are just like a regular crunch but with a twist- literally.
Bend your legs and twist your hips to the right, resting them on the ground. Your knees should point towards the right side while your back is still flat on the ground.
Begin doing a crunch as normal. When facing the right, focus on getting your right shoulder off the ground just as much as your left. You’ll find this more difficult than an ordinary crunch.
Side crunches allow you to tone the sides of your abs, not just the center.
Do fifteen side crunches with your legs to the right. Then, do fifteen more but with your legs pointing left. When you’re on your left side, focus on getting your left shoulder off the ground just as much as your right.
5. Bend Extend Ab Tuck
For this exercise, sit up with your hands on the ground facing forward.
There are two components that will happen at the same time. You’ll be pulling your legs in towards your chest while also leaning your upper body forward to meet your bent legs.
Then, you’ll lean backwards and extend your legs until they’re parallel with the ground. Just like the leg lifts, don’t let your feet or legs touch the ground for the entire set.
Continue going through these motions. Every time your legs are brought into your chest counts as one full time.
Do fifteen of this exercise to really test your abs.
6. Knee to Elbow Plank
For this exercise you’ll have to get into the plank position again. However, it’s slightly different than the plank from the first exercise.
Begin by getting into the push up position with your arms fully extended. This is how you’ll be for the entire exercise.
Bend your right leg towards you left elbow and your left leg towards your right elbow, alternating which leg you’re pulling up each time. Do this for a total of thirty times. This means you’ll be bending each leg fifteen times.
7. Hip Twists
For this exercise, get into the plank position where you rest on your wrists. Next, twist your hips from left to right thirty times.
This invites movement and flexibility into your abs. Be sure to keep your body straight from your feet to your shoulders.
It can be hard to keep your feet in one place for this exercise so feel free to shift their position slightly as you go on.
All of the above exercises are very ab focused. Running is also very good for your abs and has other fringe benefits. Running also works out your legs and heart.
Running can improve your metabolism and ability to workout for longer periods of time. Running can inadvertently help you to get through all the components of the ab workout without being completely exhausted.
We like to run for twenty to twenty-five minutes. If you aren’t used to running, try running one lap or .25 miles. As you get used it, try upping your laps until you can run two miles without stopping.
This is a great end to an ab workout cause it allows you to sweat and really push yourself to exercise. Plus, running gives you positive endorphins that cement your positive feelings towards working out in the first place, even when it gets tough.
9.Rinse and Repeat
We like to do all of the above exercises excluding running for 2-3 sets five times a week. You can just do one set of running.
To see the effects of this ab workout, you must keep up with it consistently. You’ll be surprised at how soon you can see results on your body! Most likely they’ll be seen within 2-4 weeks.