Check Out 35 of Our Favorite Bodyweight Ab Exercises to Chisel Your Core
While it's true that decreasing belly fat comes down to your diet, if you want to reveal a chiseled core, you'll have to also be consistent with your workouts and challenge your abs. The good news? You don't need equipment to make that happen! These are some of the best bodyweight moves you can do pretty much anywhere. Choose five or more to create your own core-carving routine.
A quick note: even if you don't get your abs to show, there are still tons of benefits to having a strong core. It can prevent back pain, stabilize your spine, and help you perform explosive movements like sprinting and jumping, not to mention everyday movements like squatting down and lifting heavy objects. So even if your goal isn't aesthetics, a strong core is still essential.
- Balance on your hands and toes with your body in one straight line, hands underneath your shoulders and feet hips-width distance apart.
- To make this move even more challenging, elevate your feet onto a step, bench, block, or ball.
- Hold for as long as you can with correct form.
- Begin in plank position with your feet together. Keep your upper body stable and engage your abs.
- Begin doing jumping jacks with your legs. Hop them wide, then hop them together. This counts as one rep.
- Start in a traditional plank — shoulders over hands and weight in your toes.
- With your core engaged, bring your right knee forward under your chest, with your toes just off the ground. Return to your basic plank. Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward. This counts as one rep.
- Keep switching legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in place in a plank position.
Plank With Shoulder Tap
- In a plank, alternate bringing your hand to the opposite shoulder without allowing your torso to twist.
Spiderman Plank (aka Creepy Crawler)
- In plank, bring your knee to your elbow and then alternate sides. This counts as one rep. If this is too challenging, just lift your leg open to the side.
Down Dog Abs
- Start in a Downward Dog pose, actively pushing your weight into your heels while reaching your tailbone to the sky. Lift your left leg up, squeezing your left glute.
- Exhale and rock your weight forward over your hands, drawing your left knee toward your nose and pulling your abs to your spine to round your back.
- Inhale and lift your left leg up as your push your weight back into your heels. This complete one rep. Do the same number of reps on each side.
Plank to Pike Jump
- Begin in plank position with your feet together. Keep your upper body stable and engage your abs. Don't let your lower back arch.
- Keep your weight in your hands as you draw your navel toward your spine.
- Use your abs to pull your hips directly up while keeping your legs straight, and jump your feet forward, landing in pike position.
- Jump your feet back to plank, keeping your core tight and stable. This counts as one rep.
- Begin in a plank position. Jump your feet to the outside of your hands, coming into a deep squat and keeping your hands on the floor.
- Jump your feet back to a plank. This counts as one rep.
Arm Circle Planks
- In a plank position, reach your left arm back and circle it overhead, bringing your palm back to the floor; repeat on the other side. This counts as one rep.
Plank With Bunny Hop
- Begin in a plank position with your feet touching.
- Pull your abs in and jump your feet to the right, bringing your knees toward your right elbow. Your torso will twist to the right.
- To complete one rep, jump your feet back to plank. Complete the same number of reps on each side.
Alternating Two-Point Plank
- Start in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your feet in line with your hips. Lift your left leg off the ground so your heel is even with your pelvis.
- Keeping your torso steady, reach your right arm forward. Really brace through your abs by pulling your navel to your spine. Hold this position for about three seconds.
- Return to plank, then switch sides, lifting your right leg off the ground and reaching your left arm forward. Hold for three seconds and return to plank. This is one rep.
- Come into plank position with your arms and legs straight.
- Beginning with the right side first, lower your elbow to the floor where your hand was. Then lower your left elbow to the floor where your left hand was (now you are in elbow plank, with your forearms parallel).
- Come back into the starting plank position on your right hand and then on your left. This completes one rep.
- Start face down on the floor resting on your forearms and knees.
- Push off the floor, raising up off your knees onto your toes and resting mainly on your elbows.
- Contract your abdominals to keep yourself up and prevent your booty from sticking up.
- Keep your back flat — don't let it droop or you'll be defeating the purpose. Picture your body as a long, straight board, or plank.
- Hold as long as you can. Aim for 20 to 30 seconds in the beginning and work your way up to one minute or longer as you get stronger.
Elbow Plank With Hip Dips
- From an elbow-plank position, slowly rotate the spine to lower your right hip to just above the floor. Come back to elbow plank.
- Now lower your left hip toward the floor.
- This counts as one rep.
- Balance on your right hand and the outside edge of your right foot, with your body in one straight line. To modify, stagger your feet and bring your top leg forward.
- Hold for 30 seconds on each side to complete one rep.
Side Plank With Leg Lift
- Balance on your right hand and the outside edge of your right foot, your the body in one straight line. Raise your left arm and leg in the air.
- Hold for 30 seconds on each side to complete the rep.
Twisting Side Plank
- Come into a side plank on your right side with your feet stacked one on top of the other and your weight on your right elbow with your fingers reaching away from your body, palm down.
- Place your left arm behind your head, and inhale to prepare.
- Exhale and pull your navel to your spine to engage your deep abs, and rotate your left rib cage toward the floor. Stay there for a second, and deepen your abdominal connection by pulling your navel in toward your spine even more.
- Return to starting position. This counts as one rep.
Elbow Plank With a Twist
- In an elbow plank on your right side, twist to bring your left elbow to your right hand.
- This completes one rep. Be sure to perform a set on both sides.
Side Plank Dips
- Begin in a side elbow plank on your right side with straight legs and your feet stacked.
- Inhale and lower your pelvis to the floor, so your right hip hovers just off the floor. Exhale and press up through your waist to lift your pelvis and return to side plank.
- This completes one rep. Do the same number of reps on each side.
- Begin in a side elbow plank with your left elbow down and your right hand behind your head.
- Keeping your torso stable and your waist lifted, bring your right leg up toward your shoulder to lightly tap your right elbow.
- Lengthen your right leg back to the starting position to complete one rep. Be sure to perform the same number of reps on both sides.
- Lie on your back and reach your arms rigidly to your side, off the floor. Lift your legs off the floor at about a 45-degree angle. Lift your head so that your shoulders are off the floor as well.
- When you're ready to begin, 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.
- Hold this position (we suggest for 30 to 45 seconds); it is similar to Boat Pose in yoga.
- This completes one rep.
- Begin sitting, balanced just behind your sits bones, and rock back slightly to lift your feet off the floor; gently pull your knees to your chest.
- Exhale, pull your navel to your spine, and lean back slightly as you open your arms to the sides and straighten your legs.
- Inhale and return to the starting position to complete one rep. (Try seated knee tucks if this is too hard.)
- Lie on your back with your knees open and the soles of your feet together (in a butterfly position). Lengthen your arms overhead so they are resting on the floor.
- Exhale and bring your hands and knees toward each other, performing a full-body crunch. Your shoulder blades should be off the mat as you perform a small reverse crunch, lifting your pelvis a bit off the mat. Hold this position for a moment, and really feel your abs squeezing.
- Slowly lower your arms and feet back to starting position to complete one rep.
- Lie on your back and open your legs into a diamond shape (aka butterfly legs) with the soles of your feet pressed together and knees out wide. Extend the arms overhead.
- Inhale to curl the torso up and tap the floor in front of your feet to stretch your glutes a bit.
- Slowly lower back to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep.
- Lying on your back, lift your legs in the air with your knees bent. Place your hands on the floor beside you.
- Without momentum, use your lower abs to slowly curl the hips off the floor and into your chest. Slowly lower them back to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep.
- Start lying on your back with your arms reaching toward the ceiling.
- Exhale and roll up toward sitting while lifting your left leg up. Pause at the top and reach for your toes before rolling down slowly back to the mat, then perform this on the other side. This completes one rep.
- Begin lying on the floor with your arms out wide to the sides, making a T with your body.
- Sit up lifting your right leg, and twist to bring your left hand to your right toes. Slowly roll back down, and repeat on the other side.
- This completes one rep.
- Begin on your back with your legs straight and arms raised toward the ceiling.
- Roll up to sitting, focusing on the abs rounding the back. Roll back down to the mat slowly, one vertebra at a time.
- This completes one rep.
- Start on your back with your elbows resting on the floor at a 90-degree angle.
- With your core engaged, roll up to almost sitting while bringing your right knee up to meet your left elbow. It should feel a little like running.
- With control, straighten your leg as you slowly lean your back down, vertebra by vertebra, until your shoulders touch the mat last.
- Alternate with your other leg to complete one rep.
- Begin seated at the front edge of your mat with your knees bent and legs parallel. Reach your arms toward the ceiling to lengthen your spine.
- Exhale and pull your abs deeply toward your spine, and begin to roll down the floor one vertebra at a time; the movement should be smooth and controlled. Once your head reaches the mat, reach your arms overhead so they are parallel to the floor.
- Exhale and begin to roll up, peeling your spine off the mat and coming all the way to sitting. Inhale your arms up toward the ceiling. This completes one rep.
- Lie on your back and lift your legs and arms up, so they are extended toward the ceiling. Lift your upper back off the floor, reaching your hands toward your feet.
- Lower your legs toward the floor while reaching your arms overhead, keeping your shoulders off the mat and lower back pressed into the mat.
- Repeat the crunch motion to complete one rep.
- Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground. Interlace your fingers and put your hands behind your head.
- Bring your knees in toward your chest, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground.
- Straighten your right leg out to about a 45-degree angle to the ground while turning your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow toward the left knee. Make sure your rib cage is moving and not just your elbows.
- Now switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep (and to create the "pedaling" motion).
- Lie flat on your back. Extend your arms so they're against the sides of your body with your palms pressing into the floor, or bend your elbows and place your palms under the back of your head. Bend your knees and draw them into your ribs. This will make it easier to pull your navel in toward your spine and actively press your lower back flat on the ground.
- Lift both legs straight up toward the ceiling, continuing to engage your abs and pressing your lower back into the ground. Keeping your core strong, slowly lower your right leg down toward the ground until it is a few inches above.
- Then slowly scissor your legs, lifting your right leg back up as you lower your left leg down toward the ground. This completes one rep.
- Lie on your right side with your left hand behind your head and right hand on the floor.
- Press down into your right hand as you raise your straight legs off the floor, bringing your torso toward your legs.
- Lower yourself back to the floor with control. This completes one rep. Make sure you do the same number of reps on both sides.
Tabletop to Reverse Pike
- Start off sitting on your bottom with your hands planted eight inches behind you. Bend your knees and place your heels about a foot away from your hips. Make sure they are hips-width distance apart.
- Inhale and lift your hips off the ground so your torso is parallel with the floor and your arms are straight. Your hands should be directly underneath your shoulders and your ankles underneath your knees, so make small adjustments if you need to. Lower your head behind you to increase the stretch in your chest and neck.
- Hold for a complete breath, and then keeping your arms straight, exhale to lower your hips and straighten your legs, so your hips are hovering above the floor. Engage your abs and try to keep your spine long as you balance on your heels and hands. After a complete breath, inhale and push yourself back into the first position.