It's OK, you can admit it — you're on a quest for cut abs. Rather than relying totally on boring crunches to get you there, though, Autumn Calabrese, Beachbody Super Trainer and creator of the 80 Day Obsession program, told POPSUGAR about her favorite ab exercises that will give you a toned, chiseled core.
"One of my ultimate favorites is actually hanging abs," she said. Autumn said you can hold onto a pull-up bar and do knee tucks and twisting knee tucks. "I love those. It really helps engage the entire core, especially the lower abdominal."
"There's a little bit of a misconception that you can work one part of your rectus abdominis without working the others. That's not entirely true — they all contract," Autumn explained. "But having that mind-body connection to your lower abs and focusing on pulling them in and really squeezing them and engaging them — that's very important."
Her other favorite ab move is pretty basic. In her 80 Day Obsession workouts, Autumn says they "essentially just do a ton of different plank work," and they use additional tools like resistance bands and sliders to get an even deeper burn.
In Autumn's exclusive 10-minute ab workout with POPSUGAR, you can tell right off the bat that she loves any plank variation. "I love plank work because I feel like it's really safe for people," she said. "Not everybody can crunch. It puts too much pressure on their neck or lower back." But there are many safe modifications for plank (like doing plank on your knees) that won't cause that kind of aggravation to the body.
If you want to make that ab workout even more challenging, "you could incorporate the resistance loops and the sliders into it for more resistance." In fact, Autumn says you can use resistance bands or sliders with just about any move in the video.
One final reason she loves planks? "I love that in a plank you're not only working the core; you're working the arms as well. You should also be working your glutes and your inner thighs because everything should be squeezing." Sounds like a winning exercise to us!