If you’ve strong abs your performance in sports gets better, you are able to lift more weight in the gym, maintain good posture, as well as prevent potential back pain while seated at your desk. And most importantly you look great. Go for any or all these ab moves individually, as an add-on to your workout or all together as an abs-centric circuit. If done as a circuit, do 1 set of each move sequentially, with 15-30 seconds in between exercises, repeating the full circuit up to 3 times in total.
This calorie-blasting move works your cardio as well as activates your abs. HOW TO DO IT: Start in a full plank position with arms stretched out under shoulders and legs stretched out straight with feet hip width and abs drawn in tight (make sure body creates a diagonal line from head to heels). Briskly bend right knee into chest (without rounding back) then promptly return to start. Do 3 sets of 20 quick (more or less at a running pace), alternating reps.
Side Hip Raise
Rev up your obliques with this move which of course is a great complement to traditional crunch-style abs moves. HOW TO DO IT: Commence lying on one side, with your bottom elbow bent under your shoulder and your legs stretched out straight with hips and heels piled up and your top hand on your hip. Engage your abs and raise your hip off the floor and press up into a side plank position. Lower your hip gently to the floor and then promptly repeat. Perform 3 sets of 12 reps on each side.
Standing Rotational Chop
This is a functional exercise that helps work your belly muscles and lower back together, with an extra emphasis on the obliques. HOW TO DO IT: Commence standing with your feet wide and your knees a little bent, holding onto the handle of an anchored cable or resistance band with your arms stretched out in front of your lower chest. Brace your abs in tight to your spine and start to chop your arms across your torso from side to side, keeping your hips steady while rotating your torso through the shoulders. (Adjust resistance as required.) Do 3 sets of 15 reps. (Each side to side chop is 1 rep.)
One-Armed Farmer’s Walk
Basically an abs move this single-arm variation of the farmer’s walk exercise gets your muscles working overtime to stabilize your spine with every unevenly weighted step. HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet under your hips, holding 1 dumbbell or kettlebell to the side of your body with your palm facing in. Keeping your spine tall, abs engaged and shoulders square, take 5 steps forward, turn around and take 5 steps back to start. That’s 1 rep. Do 3 sets of 5 reps on both sides.
Burpee Tuck Jump
It’s an innovative abs move that gives your core a good work out, and burns calories as well to help reduce body fat fast, which is vital for flaunting that six-pack! HOW TO DO IT: Start standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. Squat down to the floor, bending your knees and pushing your hips back. Place your hands under your shoulders. Jump your legs back into a full plank position, bracing your abs in tight and promptly lower into a push-up tapping your chest lightly to the floor. Then jump your feet back into a squat position and swing your arms up and without delay jump straight up, tucking your knees into your chest. Land in a squat position and repeat with as much speed as you can muster, with good form. Perform 2 sets of 5-10 reps.
This is another innovative move which indeed is a challenge for the abdominals and calls for some flexibility, so feel free to modify by bending the knees as much as required to build strength and mastery. HOW TO DO IT: Start lying face up with your arms stretched out overhead and your palms facing up and legs out straight with your feet hip-width apart. Engage your abdominals and sit all the way up into a “V”