The Best Abs Workout For The Gym: Circuits For Upper Abs, Lower Abs, And Obliques And Core

Contents
  1. Strengthen Your Core with This Ab Circuit Workout
  2. General Guidelines
  3. The Ab Circuit Workout
  4. BOSU Spiderman Planks
  5. Bicycle Crunches
  6. Tuck Thrusts
  7. BOSU Side Plank with Reach
  8. Bench Leg Lifts
  9. Suspended Mountain Climbers
  10. TRX (or ball) Tuck-In
  11. Stability Ball Crunch With Twist
  12. Dynamic Ball Throws
  13. The Most Effective Core Moves to Do at the Gym
  14. 2. Hanging bicycles
  15. 3. Hanging side-to-side knees
  16. 5. Cable oblique crunch
  17. 6. Side plank with cable hold
  18. 7. Overhead kneeling cable hold
  19. 9. C-sit
  20. 10. Side crunch
  21. 13. Double-knee drive
  22. 14. TRX pike
  23. 15. Lying side raise
  24. 16. Barbell overhead situp
  25. 17. Barbell situp with chest press
  26. 15 Best Abs Exercises Of All Time – Best Abs Workouts
  27. The Best Ab Workout For A Six-Pack
  28. How to Do This Core Routine
  29. When to Work Your Abs
  30. How to Make This Ab Routine Easier or Harder
  31. Exercise 1: Sit-up
  32. Exercise 2: Leg raise
  33. Exercise 3: Jackknife sit-up
  34. Exercise 4: Knee-in
  35. Exercise 5: Toe-Toucher
  36. Exercise 6: Crunch
  37. Exercise 7: Reverse Crunch
  38. Bodyweight Exercises for Your Core
  39. 2. Vertical leg crunch
  40. 3. V-up
  41. 5. Reverse crunch
  42. 6. Flutter kick
  43. 7. Scissor crunch
  44. 8. Toe tap
  45. 10. Lying side crunch
  46. 11. Oblique v-up
  47. 12. Russian twist
  48. 13. T-stabilization
  49. 15. Bicycle kicks
  50. 16. Plank jack
  51. 17. In-and-out crunch
  52. 18. V-tuck
  53. 19. Superman
  54. 20. Bird dog
  55. 21. Plank with alternating arm and leg raise
  56. The 5 Best Ab Exercises—And The Ones That Are Wasting Your Time
  57. 1. The basic crunch
  58. 2. The ab rocker
  59. 3. The straight-leg sit-up
  60. 4. The standing dumbbell side bend
  61. 5. The seated twist
  62. 1. The plank
  63. 2. The bicycle crunch
  64. 3. Side plank
  65. 4. Vertical leg crunch
  66. 5. Reverse crunch
  67. Ripped abs plan:

Strengthen Your Core with This Ab Circuit Workout

The Best Abs Workout For The Gym: Circuits For Upper Abs, Lower Abs, And Obliques And Core

There is no magic exercise that will give you an hourglass figure or rock-hard, six-pack abs.

There is, however, a combination of exercises that, when combined with a healthy diet and an adequate calorie-burning cardio routine, may trim your waist and allow those abs to peek through.

Strengthening and tightening your oblique muscles can contribute to a, stronger core and better shape to your entire midsection.

General Guidelines

  • If your goal is to strengthen and define your midsection, for weighted exercises, choose a weight that fatigues your muscles in about 12 to 20 repetitions. You don’t need to do 50 to 100 repetitions of abdominal exercises. Save time, improve strength and pick up a weight!
  • Train the abdominals two to three times per week on non-consecutive days. any other muscle group, they need rest and recovery to repair and become stronger.
  • Consult your doctor, especially with twisting and leg-lifting exercises if you have low-back pain, as these exercises may be contraindicated.

The Ab Circuit Workout

Each circuit involves some sort of plank variation, because they are great at activating your whole core; a crunch or leg lift exercise, because they place extra emphasis on the rectus abdominis and obliques; and a dynamic exercise for calorie burning. Complete each circuit two to four times, depending on your level of fitness and available time.

BOSU Spiderman Planks

Place a BOSU on the floor, dome side up. Position your elbows and forearms on the top of the ball and your feet behind you about shoulder-width apart. Perform a plank, keeping the glutes, abs, back, obliques and legs tight.

With minimal movement, lift your left leg slowly and bring your left knee to the BOSU on the outside of your left elbow, keeping your foot off the floor. Contract your obliques and keep the hips low and facing the floor to try and make contact with the BOSU.

Hold for a moment, return to plank and repeat on the right side. Do 10 per side.

Modifications – If you are a beginner, try this movement from a push-up position on the floor or weight bench, or from an elbow plank on a weight bench.

Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are great because you can do them anywhere, and they activate the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis and obliques, so they are basically a total-abdominal exercise.

Lie on your back and place your hands behind your neck, lightly supporting your head. Twist to bring your right elbow to your left knee, keeping the right leg elevated off the floor. With control, twist and switch legs.

Keep this movement controlled and pause during each twist to emphasize oblique involvement. Do 20 repetitions per side.

Tuck Thrusts

This is a high-intensity exercise to boost your heart rate and burn calories while activating your abs. Start in a push-up position on your hands and with your feet together.

Jump your feet up toward your torso and finish with your feet in between your hands, chest up and heels on the floor, in a tuck position. Jump back out and return to a push-up position.

Squeeze your abs on the tuck jump in to effectively pull your knees to your chest, and brace your entire core when you land back in push-up position so you avoid arching and straining your lower back. Repeat the exercise for 30 seconds.

BOSU Side Plank with Reach

Perform a side plank, placing your right elbow on the dome side of a BOSU. You can either place your left foot on top of your right foot, or place the heel of your right foot against the toe of your left foot, directly on the floor.

Reach your left arm straight into the air, then bring it down and reach under your body, through to the other side. As you reach through, twist your shoulders to face the floor, keeping your core tight so your entire body moves as one.

Modification – Try this exercise on the floor or on a weight bench before progressing to the BOSU.

Bench Leg Lifts

Using a flat bench, lie on your back with your shoulders, back and hips in contact with the bench; bend the knees to about 90 degrees with feet flat on the bench. Grab the bench overhead. Bring your knees up until your thighs are perpendicular to the bench and lift your hips up off the bench at the top of the movement.

Target the obliques by lifting your knees and alternate twisting them toward your left and right. For more of a challenge, try this exercise with straight legs, but be careful not to strain your lower back. Lift the hips when the legs are vertical.

If you are advanced, try dropping your feet, with legs straight, below the level of the bench for an added abdominal stretch, then proceed to lift them up.

Suspended Mountain Climbers

Most people are familiar with mountain climbers, but this variation places more of an emphasis on the core.

Get into push-up position as you would for a normal mountain climber; however, when you bring your left knee toward your chest, keep your left foot off the floor, so your weight is all on your right leg behind you. Jump and switch legs, now holding the right leg up.

Repeat this exercise for 30 seconds, moving quickly but with control. For added difficulty, perform this exercise holding onto the black handles of a BOSU, or with your feet suspended in a TRX or similar suspension trainer.

TRX (or ball) Tuck-In

Place your toes in a TRX or other suspension trainer and face the floor on your hands and knees. Lift your knees off the floor so that you are in a perfect plank position on your hands, with your core tight and stable. Do not let your hips drop or lower back arch.

Once stable, draw your knees slowly to your chest. Pause and return to the starting position. Try doing 10 to 12 repetitions. For an advanced move, try doing this exercise with straight legs, lifting your hips over your shoulders in a pike position.

If you do not have access to a suspension trainer, try doing this exercise with your feet on a stability ball.

Stability Ball Crunch With Twist

According to an ACE-sponsored study, stability ball crunches elicited a significant amount of muscle activation from the rectus abdominis, which makes sense because you are on an unstable surface.

Take the crunch a step further and try to add a slight twist of the upper body at the top of the crunch to activate your obliques. For advanced exercisers, try lifting your opposite leg off the floor to meet your elbow at the peak of the crunch.

Keep in mind that this is a challenging exercise. Try performing 10 crunches per side.

Dynamic Ball Throws

Grab a 5- to 10-pound medicine ball. Lie on the floor with knees bent and do crunches, but throw the ball slightly in the air on the way up and catch it on the way down.

If you have access to a stable wall, assume crunch position perpendicular to the wall, with toes about a foot away. Hold the ball overhead, crunch up and throw it high against the wall.

Try to catch the ball in the same position from which you threw it and lower yourself back down, tapping the ball to the floor behind your head. You also can activate the obliques by sitting with your right side parallel with the wall and leaning back about 45 degrees.

Hold the ball to your left, twist to your right and throw the ball against the wall. Catch it and twist back to the left and tap the ball on the ground. Repeat 10 to 15 times per side.

Source: https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/4886/strengthen-your-core-with-this-ab-circuit-workout/

The Most Effective Core Moves to Do at the Gym

The Best Abs Workout For The Gym: Circuits For Upper Abs, Lower Abs, And Obliques And Core

We’re all for planking your way to a stronger core. And odds are you have a handful of go-to bodyweight abs exercises that you do on the mat when you’re cooling down.

But if you’ve ever wondered how you can work your abs with the equipment available at your gym, we’ve got you covered with 17 creative and effective ways to take your abs routine up a notch.

We worked with Equinox trainer Gerren Liles to round up killer core moves using some of the most common gym equipment: a pull-up bar, a cable machine, a Bosu ball, an abs roller, TRX straps, and a barbell. And you can adjust them to fit any fitness level.

Next time you’re at the gym (and dread doing another crunch), pick three of the moves below and do 2 to 3 sets for the recommended number of reps. Stick to it, and we promise you’ll feel the burn — and see results.

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Grip a pull-up bar with palms parallel, arms extended. The bar should be high enough to hang from with legs extended, without feet touching the floor. Engaging core and keeping legs straight, draw a big circle in the air with your feet.

Be sure to brace your abs tight so your body doesn’t swing back and forth. Reverse the circle. One circle in each direction equals 1 rep. Do 8 to 10 reps.

Make it easier: Work up to the pull-up bar by doing the move in a captain’s chair first, which will provide more stability.

2. Hanging bicycles

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This one may look you’re running in the air, but hey, it works. Grip a pull-up bar with palms parallel, arms extended. Engage core and pull knees up to a 90-degree angle, thighs parallel to the floor.

From here, pedal your flexed feet as if riding a bicycle. Repeat as quickly as possible while maintaining control for 30 seconds.

3. Hanging side-to-side knees

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Grip a pull-up bar. Engage core and lift knees toward right side of your torso, allowing your legs to bend naturally. Pull knees as close to right side of chest as possible, then slowly lower back to starting position.

Repeat by pulling knees to left side of chest. Completing both the right and left sides counts as 1 rep. Do 8 to 10 reps.

Make it easier: Draw both legs straight up to center of your chest.

Don’t let the cable machine intimidate you — it’s easier to use than you think. Stack on a light weight (start with 10 pounds or fewer) and position the carriage so it’s even with your chest. Stand next to the machine, left side facing away from it.

Next, hold 1 cable handle with both hands. Take 1 big step away from the machine. Extend both arms fully at chest height, come into a comfortable half-squat, and hold the weight steady.

Engage your abs to hold the handle straight in front of your body — don’t twist toward the machine. Aim for perfect posture. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.

5. Cable oblique crunch

Stack a medium weight onto the cable machine and slide the carriage down to a setting close to the floor. Standing with right side perpendicular to the machine, take hold of cable handle with right hand. Place left hand behind head.

Now, engage your obliques and lean to the left, away from the machine, performing a standing side crunch. Return to starting position. Do 10 to 15 reps, then repeat on the other side.

6. Side plank with cable hold

As long as you’ve mastered a bodyweight side plank, you’re good to go on this one. Load a light weight onto the cable machine, slide the carriage down to a low setting, and position yourself a few feet from the machine.

Take cable handle in left hand and come into a side plank on right forearm, bracing core and stacking feet. Extend left arm so body forms a T shape. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

7. Overhead kneeling cable hold

Load a light weight onto the cable machine and slide the carriage down to a setting close to the floor. Start with the right side of your body facing the machine, right foot and left knee on the floor.

Hold cable handle in both hands. Pull handle overhead, using your hands to hold cable in place on top of your head. The goal is to stay perfectly straight (don’t lean toward the machine), with core engaged.

Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side, this time with your left side closer to the machine.

Place the Bosu ball bubble side down. Start in a plank position, gripping the edges of the flat side of the ball.

Bring right knee in toward left elbow, then left knee in toward right elbow ( mountain climbers). Repeat, running legs to opposite elbows as quickly as possible for 30 seconds.

Make it easier: Run legs straight in toward chest, instead of to opposite elbows.

9. C-sit

Place the Bosu ball flat side down. Sit in the center of the bubble side, knees together and bent. Keep core engaged, back straight, and feet on the floor.

Once you have your balance, slowly lift feet off the floor and lean back slightly to keep balanced. Raise arms straight at your sides so your body forms a V shape. Hold for 30 seconds.

10. Side crunch

Place the Bosu ball flat side down. Rest right hip on the ball, legs extended straight. Place hands behind head with bent elbows. Place right hand on the floor if you need more support.

Crunch up to the left, engaging your obliques and using your whole core to help you stabilize. Think about bringing left elbow to left hip to engage obliques. Do 10 to 12 reps, then repeat on the other side.

If you’ve never tried this piece of equipment, you’re in for a treat — it’s actually fun to use. Kneel on a mat with knees hip-width apart. Grip the handles of the abs roller and roll forward, engaging your core.

As you come forward, rotate abs roller toward the right in an arch, so you engage your obliques. Roll out as far as you can without letting your hips fall to the floor or hiking your hips up.

Slowly roll back to starting position and roll out again, this time arching to the left. One roll to each side counts as 1 rep. Do 10 to 12 reps.

Place TRX straps at waist height. Stand facing TRX with feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Hold both handles, making a fist around each handle. Take a few steps back and lean away from the straps so your arms are fully extended, core engaged.

Keeping arms straight, pull yourself toward the straps, driving hands to the right. Return to starting position, then repeat, this time driving hands to the left. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12 reps.

Make it easier or harder: For an easier exercise, walk feet away from the straps (so your body is at less of an angle). For more of a challenge, walk feet toward the straps (so your body is at more of an angle).

13. Double-knee drive

Lower TRX straps so the bottoms of the straps fall just below your knees. Kneel on the floor, facing away from the straps. Carefully place each foot into a strap and get into high plank position so your weight is supported by your hands and your feet are suspended off the floor in the straps.

Squeeze thighs to keep feet close together. Engage core and pull both knees in toward right elbow. Return to starting position, then repeat, pulling both knees toward left elbow. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12 reps.

Make it easier: Pull in 1 knee at a time straight to your chest.

14. TRX pike

Start in the same high plank position as above. Engage your core. With straight legs, pull feet toward chest, raising hips while keeping shoulders over wrists and back as straight as possible.

It may feel you’re in a handstand, and that’s OK. Slowly release and return to starting position. Do 10 to 12 reps.

These moves are ideal for the intermediate or advanced fitness fan. You can use a weighted body bar or a barbell with weight (as shown), or you can use a barbell without weight if you’re not quite at Liles’s level. Make any of the below moves easier by eliminating equipment entirely.

15. Lying side raise

Lie faceup and hold barbell overhead with arms fully extended, hands shoulder-width apart. Lift straight legs up and toward right hand, engaging core so as not to place any stress on low back.

Keep back and rear flat against the mat, not allowing your body to roll to the right or onto your right hip. Aim to tap toes to right hand, then slowly lower feet back to floor. Repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep. Do 10 to 12 reps.

Make it easier: Lose the barbell and extend your arms straight up, trying to tap both toes to hands.

16. Barbell overhead situp

You’ll need an incline bench for this move. Lie faceup on the bench and hook your feet under the foot holds. Take hold of the barbell (keep it handy!) and extend it overhead with straight arms, hands shoulder-width apart.

Perform a situp, so the bar is extended overhead. Keep biceps in line with ears and back straight. Slowly lower and return to starting position. Do 8 to 10 reps with a heavier weight or 10 to 12 reps with a lighter weight.

Make it easier: Perform situps on the incline bench without a barbell. Work on raising your arms overhead as you sit up in order to prepare for the next step.

17. Barbell situp with chest press

Start in the same position as above. Sit up halfway, so your core is engaged, then slowly lower the barbell so it’s in front of your chest.

With core engaged, perform a chest press by pushing the bar out in front of your chest. Slowly lower bar to chest. Repeat chest press for 8 to 10 reps, then lower back to starting position.

Make it easier: Practice sitting up halfway and extending your arms in a chest press motion without weight.

Special thanks to Equinox trainer Gerren Liles, who designed these moves and modeled them for us. Liles wears his own Reebok gear. Shot on location at Equinox Flatiron in NYC.

Source: https://greatist.com/move/abs-workout-most-effective-core-moves-to-do-at-the-gym

15 Best Abs Exercises Of All Time – Best Abs Workouts

The Best Abs Workout For The Gym: Circuits For Upper Abs, Lower Abs, And Obliques And Core

If you follow personal trainer and Fit Body app creator Anna Victoria on Instagram, you already know her abs are #goals. And Anna is happy to share all her go-to moves for stomach-sculpting and getting strong all over (she has tons of great ab workouts on her app, FYI). In fact, below she shares her 15 favorite moves—many of which have helped her clients totally transform their core.

In order to see those types of results it’s important to train your abs from every angle.

There are four main muscle groups in your midsection: your transverse abdominis, TVA for short ( deep stabilizers that wrap around your stomach a corset), rectus abdominis (i.e.

your six pack, the outer most layer of your abs), and the internal and external obliques, which you use every time you do moves that make your rotate your torso side to side.

If your goal is to get abs fast, then it's important to do a combination of exercises that'll target all these different areas in your abdominal wall the ones on the list below.

In addition to instructions on how to do each move, straight from Anna herself, you'll also find info on what specific areas of your abs they target.

Just pick a few ab exercises from the list below and turn them into the ultimate ab workout.

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Time: 15 minutes

Equipment: None

Good for: Abs, core

Instructions: Choose three moves below. For each move, do 15 reps, then continue to the next move. Repeat the entire three-move circuit two to three times.

How to: Start lying on left side, resting most of weight on left hip, with legs in the air at a 45-degree angle, and place left forearm on the floor for support. Bend knees as you bring them toward chest, and lift chest to meet them. Lower back to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps on each side.

Good for: obliques and transverse abs

How to: Start lying on back with legs in air and bent at 90-degrees (shins parallel to floor) and hands clasped over chest. In one movement, straighten legs and lift torso up, extending arms and trying to touch toes with hands. Lower back down to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.

Good for: six-pack abs and transverse abs

How to: Start lying on back with legs extended in air at 45-degree angle and arms straight out to sides on floor at shoulder level. At the same time, raise right leg up and lift torso trying to touch toes with left hand. Return to start and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.

Good for: obliques and transverse abs

How to: Start lying on back with legs lifted in air at 45-degree angle and arms by side pressing into mat. Without letting lower back lift off floor, raise legs to hip level while curling upper body off floor and bringing hands to clap behind knees. Return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.

Good for: six-pack abs and transverse abs

How to: Start sitting on tailbone with upper body propped up on forearms and legs lifted in the air and rotated toward top right corner of mat. Slowly, and without moving upper body, make a half circle with legs, arching up and over until the come to hover at top left corner of mat. Return to start. That's one rep. Do 15 reps.

Good for: six-pack abs, obliques, transverse abs

How to: Start seated on the floor balancing on tailbone with legs bent and elevated so shins are parallel to floor, with ankles crossed, hands clasped at chest and torso leaned back and rotated to left side. Squeeze your abs muscles and rotate your upper body to the right side. Reverse movement to return to start. That's one rep. Do 15 reps.

Good for: obliques and transverse abs

How to: Start lying on back, with knees bent, feet flat on ground, arms by sides, shoulder blades and head curled forward off mat. Without lovering your chest, reach your right hand to your right foot, return to start and quickly repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.

Good for: obliques

How to: Start in a left side plank with left forearm on the floor, parallel to top of mat, elbow under shoulder, right hand on hips, and right leg stacked on top of left. Lower hips toward the ground a couple inches, then come back up to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps on each side.

Good for: obliques and transverse abs

How to: Start in a left side plank with left forearm on the floor, parallel to top of mat, elbow under shoulder, right arm extended straight in air at shoulder level, and right leg stacked on top of left. Engage core and slowly rotate chest down toward floor while bringing right arm under and across body chest. (Gaze follows fingers.) Raise back to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps on each side.

Good for: obliques and transverse abs

How to: Start lying on back with legs extended straight toward ceiling at hip level, upper body resting on mat, and arms clasped in front of chest. Using lower abs, curl torso up off floor and reach hands toward toes. Lower back to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.

Good for: six-pack abs and transverse abs

How to: Get into a low plank by starting on all fours then lowering down onto your forearms, keeping elbows under shoulders, and extending legs out behind body, balancing on balls of feet and forming a straight line from head to heels. Gaze slightly in front of your face, engage abs, and hold for 30 seconds.

Good for: transverse abs

How to: Start in a forearm plank position. Engage abs, squeeze butt, and slowly dip right hip to right side but stop just before the touch the floor. Reverse the movement and repeat on the left side. That's one rep. Do 15 reps.

Good for: obliques and transverse abs

How to: Start in a high plank position with your arms straight and your body in a straight line from your head to heels. Bring your right knee toward the left elbow. Return to the starting position and then pull your left knee toward your right elbow. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.

Good for: obliques and transverse abs

How to: Start lying on back with left knee pulled toward chest, right leg extended in air at 45-degree angle, shoulder blades and head curled off mat, hands behind head with elbows wide, and torso rotated toward left knee. Reverse the position of legs while rotating torso toward right knee. Return to start. That's one rep. Do 15 reps.

Good for: obliques and transverse abs

How to: Start lying on back with arms extended straight over chest and legs lifted in the air and bent at 90-degree angles.

Maintaining contact between low back and floor, brace core, then slowly and simultaneously straighten and lower right leg until heel nearly touches floor and left arm until hand nearly touches floor overhead.

Pause, then return to start and repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.

Good for: transverse abs

Need more inspo? It’sTransformations Week on WomensHealthMag.com! For more amazing beauty, fitness, and weight loss transformations, check out the rest of our Transformations Week collection.

Source: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/a19996405/best-ab-exercises/

The Best Ab Workout For A Six-Pack

The Best Abs Workout For The Gym: Circuits For Upper Abs, Lower Abs, And Obliques And Core

How do you train to get six-pack abs? You can do it with long and complicated training, many people do, but in my book, the best ab workout is the one you'll do over and over again.

Yes, it's true that that abs are earned in the kitchen—not the gym. But if six-pack abs are your goal, it's also important to pick the right ab workout for the job.

This workout is composed of seven abdominal exercises carefully chosen to work both the upper and lower ab muscles. Hit this workout hard three times a week, stick to a healthy diet that goes easy on the calories, do some lifting and the right amount of cardio, and you'll soon see some serious six-pack progress.

3 rounds, resting as little as possible between movements.

How to Do This Core Routine

This is a fairly advanced ab workout, so how you do it matters.

Beginners are better off performing just three the seven exercises for two sets each of as many reps as possible, with a minute of rest between sets. From there, build up your fitness and endurance by adding exercises and sets and cutting back on your rest periods.

A reasonable goal is to be able to do the seven exercises in a big circuit all at once, rest a minute or two, and repeat it two more times by the end of 12 weeks.

As you build up to that, feel free to break up the workout in different ways. For instance, I to perform supersets this:

  • Repeat 3 times:
  • Exercise 1 and 2, rest 30 sec.
  • Exercise 3 and 4, rest 30 sec.
  • Exercise 5 and 6, rest 30 sec.
  • Exercise 7, rest 60 sec.

Perform each set to momentary muscle failure, or until you can't easily do another rep.

Note that I haven't included any direct oblique work. In my experience, direct oblique work only leads to a wider waistline. Besides, obliques get enough stimulation from exercises squats, deadlifts, and other full-body weight training.

When to Work Your Abs

For most people, performing this routine a minimum of three days per week will be plenty. An advanced bodybuilder could do it just about every day.

Personally, I to head to the gym early and do abs and cardio first thing in the morning, then come back in the afternoon for weight training. That way, I get to spike up my metabolism twice a day.

If you'd rather do the workout in one session, I recommend either performing the ab routine as a warm-up for your weight training or after your training if you're going to be doing heavy lifting squats or deadlifts. Then perform your cardio last.

How to Make This Ab Routine Easier or Harder

If you can't do an exercise, due to lower-back injuries for instance, feel free to substitute it with an exercise that doesn't bother your back.

If, on the other hand, you have a healthy lower back and would to add extra mass to your abs, do the workout three times a week and use some resistance in the exercises, such as holding a small plate or dumbbell.

Exercise 1: Sit-up

Primary Target: Upper Abs

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor with your knees bent and your legs secured under a piece of heavy furniture or bench.
  2. Place your hands by your chest.
  3. Flexing your abdominals, raise your torso until you are in nearly a sitting position.
  4. Retaining tension on the abs, lower your torso to the beginning position. (Note: Maintain full control throughout the movement. Avoid the temptation to rock back and forth.)

Exercise 2: Leg raise

Primary Target: Lower Abs

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Place your hands at your sides by the floor for support.
  3. Flexing your lower abdominals, raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor.
  4. Retain tension as you lower your legs to the beginning position. (Note: Maintain full control throughout the movement. Avoid the temptation to let your legs drop on the negative portion of the movement.)

Exercise 3: Jackknife sit-up

Primary Target: Upper and Lower Abs

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Place your hands at your sides by the floor for support.
  3. Flexing your lower abdominals, raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor.
  4. At this time, raise your shoulders and torso as far as possible from the ground in a curling movement without raising your back from the floor.
  5. Maintaim tension as you lower your legs to the beginning position, then bring your torso to the starting position as well. (Note: Maintain full control throughout the movement. Avoid the temptation to rock back and forth.)

Exercise 4: Knee-in

Primary Target: Lower Abs

  1. Sit on the floor (or on the edge of a chair or exercise bench) with your legs extended in front of you and your hands holding on to the sides for support.
  2. Keep your knees together and pull them in toward your chest until you can't go any farther.
  3. Keeping the tension on your lower abs, return to the start position and repeat the movement until you've completed your set.

Exercise 5: Toe-Toucher

Primary Target: Upper and Lower Abs

  1. Lie on the floor with your legs touching and extended in front of you, and your hands by your side.
  2. Lift your legs up as high as possible while at the same time bringing your torso toward them and reaching your hands toward your toes.
  3. Return to the start position and repeat the movement until you have completed your set. 

Exercise 6: Crunch

Primary Target: Upper Abs

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs bent at the knees.
  2. Place your hands by your chest.
  3. Raise your shoulders and torso as far as possible from the ground in a curling movement without raising your lower back from the floor.
  4. Retaining tension on the abs, bring your torso to the starting position. (Note: Maintain full control throughout the movement. Avoid the temptation to rock back and forth.)

Exercise 7: Reverse Crunch

Primary Target: Upper and Lower Abs

  1. Lie flat on your back on the floor with your legs straight in front of you.
  2. Place your hands palms down at your sides for support.
  3. Slowly bend your legs at the knees  and bring them toward your chest.
  4. Once your knees are by your chest, raise your shoulders and torso as far as possible from the ground in a curling movement without raising your back from the floor.
  5. Return your legs to the starting position and bring your torso back to the floor.

This is just one of the many great ab workouts you'll find at Bodybuilding.com. Keep exploring to find the right ones for you!

Source: https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/the-best-ab-workout-for-a-six-pack.html

Bodyweight Exercises for Your Core

The Best Abs Workout For The Gym: Circuits For Upper Abs, Lower Abs, And Obliques And Core

Getting a stronger core doesn’t have to involve shunning carbs and spending hours in the gym. Enter a simpler way to tone and strengthen your stomach: bodyweight exercises.

After all, your abs exist for more reasons than looking good at the beach. Your core is composed of the oft-mentioned upper and lower abdominals as well as the side, back, psoas, and glutei muscles.

Your core provides a muscular framework that protects your internal organs, aids movement, and provides balance and stability to your whole body.

Proper nutrition plays a huge role in getting the results you want, so be sure to supplement your workouts with healthy meals and high-protein snacks.

Mix and match any of these exercises in the gym or at home. Also, try the 12-minute workout at the bottom of the page to train each abdominal muscle group and work on deep core strength.

Let’s start off with a classic. Lie faceup with knees bent and hands behind head. Inhale and, as you exhale, draw your belly button in toward your spine.

Press lower back into the floor and lift upper back off the floor and slightly forward. Lower to return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep.

2. Vertical leg crunch

Lie faceup with lower back pressed into the floor. Place hands behind your head. Extend legs straight up, crossed at ankles with a slight bend in knees. Contract abdominal muscles by lifting torso toward knees.

Make sure to keep chin off your chest with each contraction. Exhale as you contract upward, and inhale as you return to the starting position.

3. V-up

Lie faceup with legs and arms extended forward. Keeping knees and elbows locked, simultaneously raise upper body and lower body while trying to touch fingers to toes.

Lie faceup, arms along sides, palms down and just under lower back and butt. Press the small of your back against the floor and extend legs, keeping heels about 3 inches above the floor.

Keeping your low back against the floor, lift left knee toward chest. Your right leg should remain hovering above the floor. Hold, then straighten left leg to return to the starting position. Repeat with right leg.

5. Reverse crunch

Lie faceup with lower back pressed into the floor. Place hands behind head or extend them out alongside your body.

Keeping legs straight or crossing legs at ankles, lift feet up. Pull lower back off the floor as you contract abs. Reach legs toward the ceiling with each contraction.

6. Flutter kick

Lie faceup with legs extended, toes pointed, and hands tucked under glutes to support lower back. Lift both legs a few inches off the floor and alternately kick legs up and down.

7. Scissor crunch

Lie faceup with legs extended, feet together, and hands behind head with elbows wide. Raise right foot straight up toward the ceiling, keeping left leg extended and left foot a few inches off the floor.

Perform a standard crunch, then lower your upper body to about an inch from the floor and switch legs.

8. Toe tap

Lie faceup and place hands behind ears. Lift legs to tabletop position (90-degree angle). Press lower back into the floor and crunch forward until shoulders are off the floor.

With toes pointed down, lower right foot as far as you can without lifting your back off the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat with left leg.

Lie on your side with lower arm bent at the elbow. Place lower elbow under shoulder and place upper hand on hip. Align ankles, hips, shoulders, and head.

Push your body toward the ceiling, balancing on the edge of your bottom shoe with one foot stacked on top of the other.

10. Lying side crunch

Lie on your side with knees bent at a right angle and twisted to the left. Curl your upper body, lifting shoulders a few inches off the floor. Pause at the top of the contraction and slowly lower back down. Switch sides and repeat.

11. Oblique v-up

Lie on your side, arms folded across chest. Keeping legs together, lift them off the floor as you raise top elbow toward hip. Place opposite hand on the floor for stability.

12. Russian twist

Sit on the floor, knees bent and feet flat. Hold arms straight out in front of chest, with palms facing down.

Lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Twist to the right as far as you can, pause, then reverse the movement and twist to the left.

13. T-stabilization

Start in a push-up position. Shift weight to left hand and rotate your body. Keeping feet stacked, raise right arm into the air so that arms and torso form a T. Hold for 3 seconds. Return to the starting position and switch to the other side.

Lie facedown on the floor with feet together and forearms on the floor. Draw abs in and tighten glutes.

Lift entire body off the floor until it forms a straight line from head to toe, resting on forearms and toes. Hold. Slowly return your body to the floor, keeping chin tucked and back flat.

Targets: Upper and lower abdominals, glutes

15. Bicycle kicks

Lie faceup with legs extended and hands folded across chest. Pull right knee in toward chest while twisting left shoulder toward right knee. Return to the starting position and repeat with opposite knee and shoulder.

Targets: Obliques, lower abdominals

16. Plank jack

Start in a modified plank position, balancing on forearms (elbows aligned under shoulders) and toes. Tighten abs so your body is straight from head to heels. Keeping torso tight, hop feet out wide. Hop feet back to the starting position and repeat.

Targets: Upper and lower abdominals

17. In-and-out crunch

Lie faceup with feet together, legs extended, and hands behind head with elbows wide. Lift shoulder blades and feet off the floor, bending knees in toward chest and lifting upper body in a standard crunch.

Targets: Upper and lower abdominals

18. V-tuck

Lie faceup with legs extended and arms along sides. Raise head a few inches. Lift legs off the floor, then slowly sit up, drawing knees to elbows directly over hips.

Hold, then slowly lower torso and extend legs, keeping head and feet slightly off the floor.

Targets: Upper and lower abdominals

19. Superman

Lie facedown on the floor with arms extended in front of body, palms facing down. Draw navel in, tighten glutes, and pinch shoulder blades together.

Simultaneously lift arms, chest, and legs off the floor. Hold. Slowly return to the starting position, keeping chin tucked.

Targets: Glutes and back

20. Bird dog

Start on your hands and knees. Engage core and pull belly button in toward spine. Lift right leg and extend it behind you.

When you feel stable, extend left arm out in front of you. Hold for 10–30 seconds. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.

Targets: Upper and lower abdominals, glutes

21. Plank with alternating arm and leg raise

Start in a push-up position. Lift your right arm and left leg at the same time without moving your torso. Hold. Return to the starting position, then repeat, lifting opposite leg and arm.

Targets: Upper and lower abdominals, glutes

We asked CrossFit coach Erica Giovinazzo to put together a quick workout to challenge your entire core. Keep track of how many reps you can do — as your core gets stronger, you’ll be able to increase the number of reps.

Thanks to our friends at Lululemon for outfitting our model in the Wunder Under Pant *Full-On Luon and the Cool Racerback.

Source: https://greatist.com/move/best-bodyweight-exercises-abs

The 5 Best Ab Exercises—And The Ones That Are Wasting Your Time

The Best Abs Workout For The Gym: Circuits For Upper Abs, Lower Abs, And Obliques And Core

Not all ab exercises are created equal. In fact, many are simply a waste of workout time. A study conducted at the San Diego State University Biomechanics Lab examined the electromyography (EMG) activity results garnered by popular core exercises. Here’s how they stacked up, along with some of our other favourite (and least favourite) ab exercises:

1. The basic crunch

Why: The basic crunch is just that—basic. Don’t waste countless hours on a less-than-stellar exercise that does little to fully engage your abdominal muscles.

2. The ab rocker

Why: The ab rocker was proven to be no more effective than the traditional crunch. Actually, it was shown to be up to 80 percent less effective. Yes, it’s super easy to do, and that’s why it doesn’t work.

By supporting your head, this tool actually deactivates the muscles in the neck that would normally support it. This can lead to neck pain as your supporting muscles weaken.

There’s a reason these machines are collecting dust in the corner of your gym.

3. The straight-leg sit-up

Why: This old-school exercise is responsible for many back issues. It puts a huge strain on the lower back by provoking you to hurl your upper body forward in an attempt to touch your toes. No thanks.

4. The standing dumbbell side bend

Why: Isolating the obliques in this way is not natural and can add unnecessary strain to your back. (How often do you bend straight to the side to pick something up?) Also, many people use the momentum that the dumbbells create and rock side-to-side instead of properly engaging their muscles. Avoid these unless you want to look you’re rocking to the oldies.

5. The seated twist

Why: Seated twisting machines are a waste of money and space in fitness facilities. They rotate your lower back beyond its safe range of motion and can also lead to injury if you don’t know what weight to use and how to control the movement. I’ve seen many people snap from right to left with some wicked momentum—ouch!

1. The plank

Plank. (Photo, Roberto Caruso.)

Why: It stimulates more abdominal activity than a regular crunch and works the muscles in your back as well.

How: Supporting yourself on your forearms and the balls of your feet, bridge up and position your body in one straight line. Pull your abs in tight and hold for 30-60 seconds.

Kick it up a notch: From the plank position, reach forward with your right hand, hold for a count and slowly return to the starting position. Do the same with your left hand and repeat.

2. The bicycle crunch

Why: In the San Diego study, this exercise was the second highest in terms of strengthening the obliques in participants. It also stimulates more abdominal activity than the traditional crunch including your lower stomach and obliques.

How: Lying on your back, bring your knees up to form a 90 degree angle and keep your hands by your temples. Crunch up and twist across the body while simultaneously performing a bicycle motion with your legs.

For example, if you crunch up and to the right you should draw your right knee in and vice versa. Repeat for 20-30 reps total.

3. Side plank

Why: Side planks not only torch your obliques, they also stimulate and tone your glutes, quads, hamstrings, inner/outer thighs and your upper body.

How: Lie on your side with your forearm perpendicular to your body and one foot stacked over the other. Bridge your hip up and hold for 30-60 seconds while maintaining a straight line with your body.

Kick it up a notch: Raise your top leg so that it’s parallel to the ground (this full version of this is called Vasisthasana in yoga).

4. Vertical leg crunch

Why: It stimulated 116 percent more abdominal activity in the study’s participants than the traditional crunch.
How: Lie on your back with your legs up in the air, knees slightly bent.

Try to touch your ankles with your hands by contracting just your abs, but keep your chin off your chest. Repeat for 12-16 reps.

Kick it up a notch: Reach towards your toes and hold the position for 15 seconds for a V-sit.

5. Reverse crunch

Why: Engage your lower abdomen and obliques with this move.
How: Lie on your back with your hands tucked under your bum and your knees bent.

Bring your legs up until they form a 90 degree angle from your torso. Do a pelvic tilt and pull your knees in towards your chest, squeeze and slowly lower to starting position. Aim for 15-20 reps.

Kick it up a notch: Hold a weight over your head.

Ripped abs plan:

One of the best ways to work the abs is to perform a series of core moves in one continuous circuit. Circuits are efficient and effective, allowing you to get the most your efforts. For optimum results, perform this core circuit at the end of your intense training sessions. You want your core strong and ready to back you up when you’re in the thick of a tough workout.

Plank tri-set (regular and sides): 30-60 secondsReverse crunch: 15-20 repsBicycle crunch: 10-15 reps per sideVertical chair knee raise: 12-15 reps

Notes: Perform 2-4 total sets or circuits with no rest between exercises and a 1 minute rest between circuits.

Source: https://www.chatelaine.com/health/fitness/ab-exercises-that-are-wasting-your-time-5-moves-you-should-do-instead/