Fitness

Get a Killer Core: 12 Effective Ab Exercises

Without a doubt, one of the most common questions I get, is how to tone the belly area. Abs are really important, especially if you’re heading to the beach or pool.

Remember Daniel Maguire from the Bachelor in Paradise?

Whether you like him or not, that guy has abs. If you’ve seen the show, then you know he was literally seen at one point lying in bed just counting his abs. He lost count a few times too, which just makes it even better.

While we may not make a hobby out of counting our abs, it would be nice to have that as an option, right?

A strong core will help to improve your posture, relieve lower back pain, prevent injuries, and improve your stability and balance.

Along with a healthy diet, ab-revealing workouts will tone and tighten your tummy to get that enviable flat stomach, or wait for it… even get you that six pack you have been wanting.

I have put together a few groups of ab workouts that you can do alone or along with your regular exercise to build a strong, tight core. So get ready to see some definition and feel some serious burn with these ABSolutely effective exercises. See what I did there? 😉

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Stability Ball Exercises

Stability ball ab exercises are so effective for creating a killer core. The ball allows your abs to hyperextend which will increase your range of motion, activating more of your ab muscles. And the ball itself will also serve as a source of resistance. Because of the instability of the ball you have to embrace your core even more to make up for that lack of stability. So try all four of these moves resting as little as possible. Do 10-15 reps of each and then repeat for 10 minutes. Get ready to feel a killer burn. But in the best way possible.

Stability Ball Pike

Place your feet on top of the stability ball, and go into pushup position. Your back should be straight, and your hips should be tucked. Engage your core, and keep your legs straight as you raise your hips towards the ceiling to form an upside down V shape. Slowly lower back down to your starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat.

Stability Ball Froggies

Lie on the floor, with your back flat. Place the stability ball between your feet. Your thighs will be perpendicular to the floor and your lower legs parallel to the floor at a 90 degree angle. Straighten your legs and tap the ball on the floor. Then return to start. That’s one rep. Repeat.

Stability Ball V-Pass

Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms stretched overhead holding a ball in your hands. Engage your core and lift your arms and legs off the ground and place the ball between your feet. Squeeze the ball with your legs and then lower back to starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat.

Stability Ball Rollouts

Sit on your knees, with your forearms on the top of the ball. Maintain a tight core and strong lower back and slowly roll the ball outward until your abs are fully stretched. Contract your abs and lats and return to start. That’s one rep. Repeat.

Pilates-Based Ab Exercises

Pilates incorporates some of the greatest ab exercises. Hands down. It engages the deepest layer of your abs to really sculpt a taut tummy. Pilates also works multiple muscle groups at the same time so you can get more out of your workout. Try these moves following your workout and do two to three sets of each.

THE HUNDRED

Lie on your back with your legs extended at 45 degrees. Keep your legs together and your arms by your side. Lift both legs a few inches off of the mat, while squeezing your glutes and scooping your abs. Engage your core. Raise your arms and reach them over your thighs. Vigorously pump your arms up and down. You will do ten sets of ten repetitions of breath. Inhale for 5 counts, exhale for 5 counts. That is one set. And repeat that ten times. Making 100.

Too hard? Work your way up to it. Start with one set if necessary. Slowly incorporating more sets until you can perform 100 in a row.

CRISS-CROSS

Lie on your back with your legs in tabletop position. Place your hands behind your head and lift up the head, neck and shoulders. Twist towards the left with your upper body and make sure you are lifting with your left shoulder blade. Extend and straighten your right leg simultaneously. Then repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Repeat 10 times.

ROLL UP

Lie flat on your back, with your arms extended overhead. Exhale as you raise your arms over your chest. Pull in your abs and roll up into a “C” curve. Continue reaching your hands forward until they are near your toes.Inhale and start to slowly return to that C curve, and then exhale as you return to start. That’s one rep. Repeat 15 times.

PLANK TWIST

Start in push-up position and keep your hands directly under your shoulders, and your feet together. Maintain that position, exhale and rotate your torso as you bring your right knee in toward your left armpit. Return to starting position then repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Repeat 10 times.

This move works more than just your abs, you’ll get a full body burn here!

No Equipment Necessary

These exercises are perfect, because you can literally do them anywhere. Do these at home, at the gym, in the airport, outside after a run, anywhere. So drop down and give me 20… or 15… or 10, for 2 or 3 sets with as little rest as possible.

Straight Leg V-Ups

Lie on the floor with your back flat, and your arms and legs extended. Lift your arms and lower legs straight up, until they meet. Lower your body and legs back to starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat.

Reverse Crunches

Lie on the floor with your legs fully extended and your arms either to your side or behind your neck for some support. Your arms will stay stationary for the remainder of this exercise. Move your legs up so your lower legs are parallel to the floor, to create a 90 degree angle. Keep your feet together. That’s one rep. Repeat.

Horseshoes

Lie on your back with your legs straight up towards the ceiling, forming a 90 degree angle with your upper body. Place your hands on the floor, with your palms down, or behind your neck for support. Keeping your legs together, engage your core and slowly bring your legs to your right side and then slowly bring them back up to center. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.

Leg Lifts

Lie on your back with your legs fully extended. Place your hands on the floor, with your palms down, or behind your neck for support. Raise your legs off the ground, while keeping your upper body stationary. Then return to starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat.

Define Your Waistline

A strong core makes daily activities easier, improves balance and stability, reduces the chance for injury, and not to mention is pretty aesthetically appealing. But when you exercise, your body is being beat up, and your muscles get torn down. That is why it is important to incorporate supplements into your diet to help you repair your muscles.

IdealLean Protein will give your body the nutrients it needs to recover effectively after training. Our IdealLean Protein is packed with whey isolate protein, helping you build lean muscle, faster.

 Join My FREE 15 Day Fit Body Challenge!

Get 15 Days worth of meal plan ideas and workouts, plus access to my VIP 15 Day Fit Body Challenge Facebook Community! It’s time to jumpstart your results!

Click here!



Lindsey Mathews

Lindsey Mathews

Head Trainer & Nutritionist

Lindsey Mathews is the Head Trainer and Nutritionist at IdealFit. She is a NSCA-CSCS certified personal trainer, C-ISSN certified sports nutritionist, Pn. 1 certified nutrition coach, and a nationally qualified NPC bikini competitor. Before joining IdealFit, she ran the largest boot camp program in Utah County.


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