Strong Abs - Fun and Effective Exercises for Your Abs

These exercises for your abs incorporate dynamic moves that involve multiple muscles and help work the abs in a more functional way.

By involving more muscles, you'll burn more calories during your workout, which is a plus if you're trying to reduce body fat and trim your middle.  The following exercises offer a variety of moves, from beginning to advanced, using a variety of tools to build core strength.

Precautions

See your doctor if you have any medical conditions or illnesses.

Equipment Needed

An exercise ball, a resistance band, a medicine ball and a kettlebel (you can also use a weight here if you don't have a kettlebell)

How To

  • Warm up with a few minutes of light cardio or do this workout after your regular cardio or strength workout
  • Do each exercise as shown, keeping each move slow and controlled and focusing on your abs
  • Be sure to skip or modify any moves that cause pain or discomfort
  • Do each exercise for 1-3 sets of about 16 reps

Ball Crunch

Ball Crunch
Paige Waehner

Lie with the ball resting under the mid/lower back and place hands behind the head or across the chest.  Contract your abs to lift your the torso off the ball, pulling the bottom of your ribcage down toward your hips. As you curl up, keep the ball stable.  Repeat for 16 reps. More »

Ball Crunch and Reach

Ball Crunch with Medicine Ball Throw
Paige Waehner

Begin with body straight over the ball,  light weight extended behind you. Contract the abs to lift and bring the weight over the head, crunching up and reaching the med ball towards the ceiling.  Lower and repeat for 16 reps. More »

Dolphin Pushups

Dolphin Pushups
Paige Waehner

Get on the floor in a plank position on the elbows, body straight and hips down.  Push back into a downward dog, or an upside down v, pushing the heels towards the floor.  Come back to plank and repeat for 16 reps. More »

Knee Tucks

Knee Tucks
Paige Waehner

Start in plank position on the ball, with the ball under the shins/ankles.  Roll the ball towards you with your feet, tightening the abs into a crunch.  Repeat for 16 reps. More »

Woodchops

bandwoodchop3.jpg
Paige Waehner

Attach one end of a resistance band to something sturdy and wrap the band around your hand a few times for the right tension.  Grasp the band in both hands and begin in a lunge position, reaching down with the arms  Keeping the arms straight the entire time, rotate and lift the body towards the other side while sweeping the arms on a diagonal.  Return to start and repeat before moving onto the other side for 16 reps. More »

Medicine Ball Knee Drops

Med Ball Knee Drops
Paige Waehner

Lie in the floor with a medicine ball between knees and stretch arms our to the sides like an airplane, palms facing up.  Contract the abs and lower the knees  towards the right.  Draw the knees back to center and go to the other side. Repeat for 16 reps. More »

Ball Plank with a Leg Lift

Plank with a Leg Lift
Paige Waehner

Place the ball under the shins or toes (harder) and the hands about shoulder-width apart on the floor.  Contract the abs to hold the body in a straight line from head to toe.  Keeping the abs contracted, lift the right leg off the ball a few inches, hold for a few seconds and lower. Repeat on the left leg, alternating feet for 16 reps on each side. More »

Side Planks with a Hip Drop

Side Bridge with Hip Drops
Paige Waehner

Lie on your side balanced on the forearm and feet.  You can stack the feet or stagger the feet (easier).  Slowly drop the hip, lowering it towards the floor (you don't have to touch).  Bring the hip back up and repeat for 16 reps on each side.

Windmill

Windmill with Kettlebell
Paige Waehner

Hold a medium kettlebell or dumbbell in the right hand, turning the right toes out and the left toes forward, almost like you're standing on a surfboard.  Take the left arm straight up and lean to the right, kicking the left hip out and bending the right knee as you lower the weight towards the floor.   Look up at your left hand for more of a challenge.  Back to start, arm still straight, and repeat for 16 reps on each side. More »

Plank

Plank
Plank. Paige Waehner

    Get on the floor on your elbows and toes.  Make sure your body is in a straight line, your head is in a neutral position and the hips are parallel to the floor.  Hold this position for as long as you can, rest and repeat.  You can also put the knees down for a modification. More »

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