When someone thinks of ab exercises, the first thing that comes to mind are “crunches”. While they may be the oldest trick in the book, truth is…you can’t solely rely on that one exercise. If done incorrectly, crunches can hurt your back and kink your neck. And even when they are done in perfect form, you still are not getting in the best workout that your abs can endure. A strong core (whether you can see that six pack or not) is crucial in your physical health. Not only do tight abs look fantastic on men and women, but they are an important factor in your posture, which is extremely important in preventing any back, neck, or shoulder pain. These ab workouts will get you out of that crunch and work ALL of the necessary muscles to get your core tight and strong.
Planks are all about working your entire core, so there’s no chance you’ll be missing out on a good workout with these. The key to making sure you are getting the best out of this workout is your form. Ensure that your bodyline creates a perfect line, which means no arching your back or lifting your butt. Hold up your body using your forearms for 30 seconds to 1 minute for two to three reps.
There’s a reason why we’re putting another variation of planks in this list of ab workouts. It’s because they work so well! Side planks target your obliques, which is a common “problem” area for many women. Say goodbye to those love handles by practicing your side planks. Hold your body up on your side, using your forearms or pushing up on one hand for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then, switch sides to even it out.
Mountain climbers are a fat blasting, ab-boosting workout that are sure to give you a good sweat. Since they’re a double duty workout, you’re getting in some good cardio and a great strengthening exercise all in one. Get in that pushup position and drive one knee into your chest then switch knees, as if you are running up a mountain. Remember to keep that bodyline straight, just like your planks, in order to get the best out of this workout.
Leg lifts are great when targeting the lower abs, which is a very common area that tends to show up easily in women. You can say goodbye to that “muffin top”, as it has been called, with this ab-blasting workout. Lie on your back with your hands placed on the floor by your sides. Start with your legs straight up in the air and then slowly lower them down without bending your knees. Stop at the point where your feet just hover over the ground, then bring them back up to the starting position. We promise this one is a killer, but completely worth it.
This workout is sure to burn those obliques, as you can use a variation of weights to toughen your workout. Grab a medicine ball, a dumbbell, or go freestyle with no weights to change the hardness of this exercise. Sit on your butt with your knees slightly bent and your upper half of your body leaned back a bit to engage your abs. Twist your torso from one side to the other, barely touching the ground on either side with your hand or weight. To feel a little extra burn, try elevating your feet off the ground while doing each movement. Complete 30-50 reps of this exercise and you’ll begin to feel the burn.