Skip Nav
Valentine's Day
These Vegan Truffles Are the Only Date You’ll Need This Valentine’s Day
Beginner Fitness Tips
18 Fitness Influencers You Need to Follow
Touching Stories
This Dad Ran a Marathon While Pushing His Daughter's Stroller and Wins in Our Book

The Best and Safest Ways to Work Your Abs

Assess Your Ab Work

Countless crunches and multiple sets of Russian twists might tone your abs, but they're not so great for your back. Not only that, but they aren't functional movement, meaning the strength gained in these exercises won't really help you outside the gym. Repeatedly rounding the spine in a crunch or full sit-up sets the stage for a disk injury. Repeatedly twisting, especially if your abs are weak, also puts stress on the spine.

The safest and most effective way to work your abs is to use them to stabilize your torso against motions. The elbow plank is the perfect beginner ab exercise, since it works the extensor muscles, which line and stabilize the spine, in combination with the abs. Adding leg lifts to your plank, while keeping the pelvis and ribs stable, will take the plank to the next level. Working with free weights, moving from a squat into an overhead press, will work your abs too. Work one-armed to force your obliques to kick into action.

Image Source: Getty
Around The Web
Foods to Help With Bloating
Great Ab Workout DVDs
eBay Fashion Vault ABS Sale
How to Be Jersey Shore's Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino For Halloween

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

Join The Conversation
TanyaScott TanyaScott 6 years
pilates, and a good diet has helped me get good abs. I try not just work on area of my body.
nancita nancita 6 years
Kinda scary. I wonder if that's why I have started having disc problems.
foxymardy foxymardy 6 years
Totally agree with comment #1! Pilates gave me the definition I want on my abs.
syako syako 6 years
This is why I love pilates. It's a total body (or a total core) workout.
Latest Fitness
X