Phenomenal abs take work—it’s not enough to get your body fat low, although that’s crucial if you want your work to show. It’s one thing to see ‘some abs’, and another thing to be rocking the kind of abs everyone envies. Here’s how you get the latter:
7 Ab Workouts
- Crunches. The classic still works wonders—just make sure you’re doing them right. No ‘throwing’ yourself upright, keep your core tight and fixed, and actually work abs. If they seem too easy or you don’t feel the burn, it’s not them—it’s you. Do them right! When you’re really feeling tough, you can start doing them with extra resistance from weights or bands.
- V-Up. If crunches aren’t your game, try the V-Up as an alternative for upper ab work. It’s pretty easy to understand: lay flat on your back, then raise your feet and upper body without bending your knees or elbows, making a ‘V’ with your body. Reach for your toes!
- Flutter kicks. A great lower ab workout. Lie face-up on the floor, legs stretches, toes pointed, hands under your back as support. Get both your legs off the ground—a few inches is enough–then alternate kicking them up and down.
- Russian twist. Time to target the obliques with something a bit more complicated. For the Russian twist, you’ll want to sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat against the ground, hands straight out and palm-down. Then, lean back ‘til you’re at about a 45 degree angle and twiiiiist right, then twiiiiiist left. Keep it up until your sides hate you.
- Bar crunch. Another upper abdominal workout, this one takes advantage of a bit of equipment. Holding a body bar, position yourself on a bench with your arms shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and feet together. Extend your arms so the bar is directly above your chest, then crunch up without bending your elbows by lifting your upper back and shoulders off the bench.
- Front squat. A bit of indirect targeting works wonders. Any squat demands a taut core and thus works your abs to a degree, but with a front squat controlling the weight of the bar demands far more from your abs than other squats. This also has a component of ‘real world’ applicability that many direct ab workouts lack, so enjoy the benefits!
- Hanging knee raise. A lower ab exercise requiring a chin-up bar or something similar, the hanging knee raise is dead simple. Hang fully extended from the bar, palms out, hands a bit further apart than shoulder width, then raise your knees toward your chest, curling your body. If it feels too easy, you can take it up a notch by doing it without bending your knees at all.