Skip Nav
The Biggest Loser
The Intense Audition Process 1 Woman Endured For The Biggest Loser
Healthy Recipes
It May Look Fancy, but This Protein-Packed Egg Dish Takes All of 15 Minutes
Gigi Hadid
Gigi Hadid Planks (and Charms) Her Way Through an Interview With Her Trainer

5 Ways to Make Your Ab Work More Challenging

5 Ways to Amp Up Your Ab Exercises

Whether you're thinking about bikini season or getting ready for your wedding day, abdominal exercises are a great way to strengthen your core, improve your posture, and put you on the path to fabulous shape. And the more you focus, the more effective your ab work will be.

Check out some of my favorite crunchless ab exercises, then add some oomph with these five tips below.

  • Pull your navel to your spine. This classic Pilates refrain reminds you to engage your abs and focus your efforts on those muscles. For the lower abs, picture an imaginary line about two to three inches below your belly button, and pull that line toward your spine too.
  • Add a light weight. To increase the challenge, hold a light dumbbell or medicine ball in front of your chest.
  • Bring your legs together. When doing ab work on a stability ball, bringing your legs closer together will make it tougher to balance, thereby making your core work harder.
  • Don't rest between reps. Keep your muscles engaged by not allowing your head or shoulder blades to touch as you come down from each move.
  • Avoid using momentum. To ensure that your abs are working as hard as possible, control your movements and avoid using momentum. It's even OK to pause between reps (just don't put your head down!) if you keep your abs tight through the range of motion.
Image Source: Getty
Around The Web
Join The Conversation
You Asked: How Do I Strengthen My Abs?
Will the Ab Machine Get You Abs Like Kate Hudson?
They Are AB-ilicious
How Often Should I Work My Abs?
Pilates Video: Saw Off Your Baby Toe
Core Questions
Let Pilates Move You: Twisted Obliques

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.

From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds