This Trainer Says These 10 Easy At-Home Exercises Will Get You Toned Abs
Fitness professionals will tell you that abs are made in the kitchen, which is . . . totally true. You have to eat clean to remove subcutaneous fat and reveal the muscles below, but did you know that abs can also be built in your living room? If you're not working out your core, you won't get that six-pack.
"Use my favorite at-home ab exercises two to three times per week to flatten, tone, and sculpt your midsection. I like to put the names of 10 to 20 exercises on strips of paper and draw five or six of them out of a bowl for a surprise routine each day. It keeps abs-day interesting and varied," said Chadwell. Here are her favorite exercises.
Squat With a Crunch
Reps: 10-12 on each side
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
- Place your hands behind your head so that your elbows are bent out to your sides and your fingertips are behind your ears.
- Squat down to a 45-degree angle.
- Begin by shifting your weight onto your left leg.
- As you stand, lift your bent right knee toward your right elbow as you crunch your obliques on your right side.
- Return to the squat position and switch sides to crunch the left side.
Spiderman Plank (aka Creepy Crawler)
Reps: 10 on each side
- Start on the floor in your chosen plank position (on hands or elbows).
- Keep your hips leveled as you bend your right knee out to the side toward your right elbow.
- Return to plank position.
- Switch sides and repeat.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Engage your core.
- Bend at the hips and touch the floor with your fingertips or palms.
- As soon as your hands touch the floor, walk your hands forward until you reach a push-up position. Your head should always remain in a position that keeps the spine neutral.
- Complete a push-up.
- Then crawl your way back up to the starting position.
- When your feet are flat on the floor stand back up into starting position.
- Lie on a mat face up.
- Extend your legs straight up in the air over your hips and extend your arms above your head.
- Crunch up by lifting your pelvis about an inch off the floor and reaching your hands toward your feet. Your shoulders and lower back should rise off the floor as well.
- Keeping your legs and arms straight, slowly lower your body back to starting position.
Standing Oblique Crunch
Reps: 12-15 on each side
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your left hand behind your head, and let your right arm hang down by your side. If you choose to add an extra challenge by using weights, hold both arms down.
- Slowly crunch sideways to your right side until your fingertips reach your knee.
- Slowly return to standing position.
- Repeat this motion for the desired repetitions, then switch sides.
Seated Russian Twists
Reps: 10-12 rotations to each side (total of 20-24 twists)
- Sit on floor with your knees bent and your heels on floor.
- Lean your torso back to a 45-degree angle keeping your back straight.
- Clench one fist and hold it with the opposite hand.
- Extend your arms forward at 45-degrees
- To begin, rotate your torso to the right.
- Return to start position and then rotate to the left. This should be a fluid, controlled motion.
- Lie flat on the ground with your legs extended straight out.
- Place your hands either flat by your side or below the back of your head.
- To begin, press your lower back into the ground and slowly lift both legs up to a 45-degree angle.
- Then, begin to slowly lower your legs toward the floor until they are about 6 inches above it.
- Without letting your legs touch the floor, raise them back to the 45-degree angle.
Elbow Side Plank With a Twist
Reps: 10 on each side
- Begin on the floor in side plank position on your elbow. Start on your right side, with your feet stacked on top of each other.
- Keep your weight on your right elbow with your fingers pointing away from your body.
- Place your left arm behind your head with your elbow pointing up.
- Begin by bracing your abs and rotating your left rib cage toward the floor. You'll bring your left elbow to your right hand.
- Return to the starting position. Complete the desired number of repetitions and then switch sides.
Reps: 10 kicks on each leg (total of 20 kicks)
- Lie on your back with your legs extended straight out in front of you and your arms down by your sides with your palms flat on the floor.
- Lift both heels 6 inches off the floor.
- Keeping your abs engaged, lift your right leg straight up until your body forms a 90-degree angle with that leg.
- Lower your leg to 6 inches above the floor and hold it there. Then, lift your left leg straight up to the same 90-degree angle.
- Never let the extended leg touch the floor while you kick with the other one. This keeps tension in your abs at all times.