Put Your Ab Strength to the Test With This Trainer's Quick, 4-Move Workout
In my opinion, there's no better feeling than an ab workout that leaves your muscles feeling sore in the best way possible. I like to do exercises that target my core such as deadlifts and glute bridges, and I also like to do core-specific moves to really get my abdominal muscles firing.
When I am not lifting weights and just want to do a core-specific routine, I'll make a circuit with a few of my favorite bodyweight ab exercises like the one ahead. This workout won't take long to do, and you're bound to feel your core light up after the first round.
The Quick and Intense Ab Workout
One of the best parts about this workout is that you can do it absolutely anywhere. Perform the listed amount of reps for each exercise, and take 30 seconds of rest once you've completed all four exercises. Repeat for a total of four rounds.
- Bird dog: 10 reps
- Plank with alternating arm and leg raise: 12 reps
- Seated knee tuck: 10 reps for beginners, 20 reps for intermediate/advanced levels
- Side plank leg lift: 10 reps on each side
- Begin on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Bring your abs to your spine as you bring your left knee and right elbow together under your torso.
- Keeping your torso stable, straighten your right arm and left leg. Reach through your left heel to engage the muscles on the back of your leg and your butt.
- This completes one rep.
- Complete 10 reps.
Plank With Alternating Arm and Leg Raise
- Come into plank position with your arms and legs straight and your shoulders above your wrists.
- With control, raise your right arm up as you simultaneously raise your left leg up off of the ground. Be sure not to rotate at your hip or upper body. Hold for one second.
- With control, lower your right arm and left leg back to the starting position. That counts as one rep. Repeat with the left arm and right leg.
- Complete 12 reps.
- Modification: hold an elbow plank or a plank on your knees for 15 to 30 seconds.
Seated Knee Tuck
- Start seated on the ground or on a weight bench. Place your hands about an inch behind your back with your fingers facing forward. Your feet should be on the ground.
- Lift both feet up off of the ground and extend both legs as you simultaneously lower your upper body. Be sure to get full extension at your hips and legs.
- With control, bring your legs back to your chest without touching the ground with your feet, and return to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep. Beginners should complete 10 reps. Intermediate or advanced levels should complete 20 reps.
Side Plank Leg Lift
- Place your right elbow on the ground. Extend both legs out so that your body is in one straight line and you're balancing on the outside edge of your right foot.
- Flex both feet if you can, and either rest your top hand on your upper hip or extend it in the air. Keeping your spine lengthened and your abs engaged, lift your left leg up just higher than your top hip. Then slowly lower it back to your bottom leg.
- Complete 10 reps on each side.