If You Want Lean, Sculpted Abs, Do This 6-Minute Bodyweight Ab Workout
There are two reasons bodyweight moves are great exercises: for one, they are super effective at strengthening your entire body, and you can get stronger by doing different variations of exercises or increasing the amount of reps. And two, because they require no equipment (except you and the floor), you can do them any time, anywhere. Here's a quick six-move bodyweight workout devoted to strengthening your core.
6-Minute Bodyweight Ab Workout
Directions: Complete the six ab exercises below for 45 seconds, then take a 15-second rest.
- Seated Russian twist
- Double leg lift
- Hip raise with leg extension
- Knee driver
- Pilates scissor
Keep reading for details on how to do each move.
Seated Russian Twist
- Sit on the ground with your knees bent, pull your abs to your spine, and lean back a few inches while lifting your feet off the floor. Be sure to keep your back straight.
- Reach your arms out in front of you, and twist your torso to the right, then to the left, repeating for 45 seconds. Lower your heels to the ground if you need to.
- Rest for 15 seconds.
Double Leg Lift
- Lie flat on the ground with your legs extended straight up toward the ceiling. Place your hands underneath the back of your head. Or for added stability, place your arms out to your side, allowing the palms to grip the floor (much like you would in a push-up position).
- Pressing your lower back into the ground, slowly lower both legs down toward the floor, then slowly raise them back up. If this is too difficult, lower them as much as you can or lower one leg at a time.
- Keep going for 45 seconds, then take a 15-second rest.
Hip Raise With Leg Extension
- Lie on your back. Rest your hands by your sides, palms facing down, or place your hands underneath your butt for a little leverage.
- Extend both legs out so they are a few inches above the ground. Draw your lower abs in, pressing your lower back into the floor.
- In one fluid motion, bend the knees into the chest, press the hips up as high as you can, lower your hips to the floor, and extend the legs straight out.
- This completes one rep.
- Do as many reps as you can in 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds.
- Begin in an elbow plank position with the abs engaged.
- Draw the left knee into the chest. Then step the foot back to the elbow plank position. Now draw the right knee into the chest and then step it back to the elbow plank position.
- This counts as one rep.
- Continue alternating sides and complete as many reps as you can in 45 seconds.
- Take a 15-second rest.
- Lie on your back, and lift your upper body off the floor so your shoulder blades hover.
- Lift your right leg off the floor, and bring your left leg to 90 degrees, gently holding the left shin. Keep your upper body lifted as you switch or scissor your legs to complete one rep.
- Continue alternating sides for 45 seconds, then rest for 15.
- Lie on your back, and reach your arms rigidly to your side, off the floor. Lift your legs off the floor, and point them, so they are at about a 45-degree angle. Lift your head, so your shoulders are off the floor as well.
- Lift your upper torso off the floor, and bend your knees. You can lean back to make this move harder or come up more to make it easier.
- Slowly lower your upper body back down to the floor, extending the legs. Stop when your back is on the floor, but not your head, shoulders, or legs.
- This completes one rep.
- Complete as many reps with correct form (don't round the back) for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 and you're done! Roll onto your belly and read on to learn how to stretch your abs with Cobra pose.
Post-Workout Stretch: Cobra Pose
- Lie on your belly with your legs hips-width distance apart. Extend your arms straight out in front of you.
- As you lift your head up off the ground, begin to slowly walk your hands in, keeping your hips and thighs on the ground, but gently arching your lower back. Walk them in as far as you can, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
- Actively relax, keeping your gaze forward or lowering your head back between your shoulder blades. Stay here for five breaths, opening through the chest and abs, and then lower your torso back to the mat.