Keeping your tummy tight doesn’t just make your clothes fit better. A strong core can also improve your overall quality of life. What do you do, however, if you want to strengthen your abs but can’t make it to the gym? The solution is to perform ab workouts at home. In fact, as long as you have a little open space and a good helping of motivation, you can get in a great ab workout at home. This article includes three of the best at-home ab workouts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers. If you’re looking for ab workouts for men at home or ab workouts for women at home, you’ve come to the right place.
Why You Need to Give Your Abs Some Exercise Love
Many people want a flat tummy or even six-pack abs so they can show off for beach season. However, developing a strong core gives you more benefits than just a flattering look. As the folks at Harvard Medical School point out, your core is “the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body.” Almost any action you perform, from running to bending over, or lifting a grocery bag, these movements require the use of your core. A strong core is the foundation of a strong body. Whether your fitness goal is to run faster, lift heavier, or simply keep up with your kiddos, a strong core will improve every aspect of how your body moves.
The true reason to perform good ab workouts for at home is to improve the overall quality of your life. Here are some of the best ab exercises you can do at home:
Preparing for Your At-Home Ab Workout
The beauty of performing good ab workouts for at home is that you don’t need a lot of space or even accessories. In fact, all the exercises in this article only require your body weight. If you happen to have a yoga mat, unfold, and place it on the floor. Make sure the area surrounding the mat is clear so that you don’t accidentally bump a table or bookshelf. If you don’t own a yoga mat, put down a towel. If you’re working on a hard floor, you may want to add a second towel and bring a pillow for your hips and low back.
Keep a bottle of water close by during your workout. It’s always a good idea to hydrate before, during, and after your workout. A small towel can also be a useful accessory. You might want to wipe away sweat as you begin to feel the burn. Finally, if you love working out to music, cue up your favorite playlist to help power you through the tough parts of your ab workout.
Beginner Ab Workout at Home
Are you just starting out on your fitness journey? Congratulations! The key to sticking with your fitness plan is to start slow and gradually build up. If the below ab workout is too difficult, cut the number of reps in half. Focus on performing quality reps rather than trying to complete a full set. Quality over quality. If your form begins to break down, stop and rest before continuing your at-home ab workout.
Three Rounds, Rest one Minute Between Rounds
Start by lying on your back with your feet pressed into the ground. Place your hands behind your head, elbows out. Tighten your abs and lift your head and shoulders off the ground. Lower back down. Focus on keeping your chin up and head forward. Imagine that you are holding an orange between your chin and chest. Also, don’t pull on your neck. Let your abs pull your body up. Crunches will work your upper abs. To make this exercise more challenging, add a stability ball if you own one.)
20 Bird Dogs
Begin this ab exercise on all fours, with your palms and knees on your mat (or towel). Tighten your abs and extend your right arm and left leg. Reach out with your arm and press back with your leg. Wait one second, then pull your arm and leg into the center of your body before placing them back on the mat. Repeat the same movement with your left arm and right leg. Keep your back straight and your abs tight.
20 Flutter Kicks
Lie on your back and place your hands under your glutes. If you have low-back pain, you may want to also place a towel or pillow below your lower back. Extend your legs and lift your heels a few inches off the ground. Flutter your feet up and down. This is a small, fast movement. There’s no need to kick your legs up very high. You’ll feel the burn in your lower abs. To make this movement more difficult, lift your shoulders off the ground.
Intermediate Ab Workout at Home
Ready to up the challenge? As your core becomes stronger, work on performing movements that require more body control and midline balance. If you are trying this intermediate workout for the first time, perform the reps in a smooth motion. However, to increase the difficulty, try performing each rep to the count of three.
Three Rounds, Rest One Minute Between Rounds
10 Leg Lowers
Start on your back with your hands beneath your glutes. If you have lower back pain, put a small pillow or towel beneath your lower back. Begin with your legs pointed up at a 90-degree angle. Point your toes toward the ceiling. Tighten your abs and slowly lower your legs down and tap your heels on the ground. Immediately lift your legs back up. Do not let your abs give out at the bottom of this movement.
10 Sit-Up Lowers
Begin in a seated position with your knees bent and your feet pressed to your mat or towel. Tighten your abs and slowly lean backward, lowering yourself to the ground. Remember to count to three. As soon as your back touches the ground, tighten your abs and bring your upper body back up into a sitting position. In essence, you are performing a reverse sit-up. Just take care to keep your abs tight at all times so that you don’t collapse to the ground.
Start by lying on the ground on your back. Place your hands behind your head, elbows out to the side. Slowly, bring your right knee to your chest. At the same time, lift your shoulders and twist, trying to tap your left elbow to your right knee. Squeeze your abs hard as you twist. Try to perform this movement to the count of three. Return to the starting position and perform the same movement with your left leg and right arm. The twist at the top of the movement will help activate your obliques along with your abs.
Advanced Ab Workout at Home
Ready to set your abs on fire? Then give this advanced ab workout a try. This is a high-intensity interval (HIIT) workout format, which means you will perform intense sprints followed by short rests. The goal is to push yourself as hard as you can during the “on” portions of the workouts. HIIT workouts are an excellent choice for exercisers who need a quick and effective ab workout at home. If this format is too challenging, consider lowering the “on” time and increasing the rest portion. (Here are even more HIIT workouts you can do at home.)
Three Rounds, Rest One Minute Between Rounds
30 Seconds On/30 Seconds Rest – Hollow Rocks
Start by lying on your back with your legs straight and your arms extended overhead. Tighten your abs and lift your shoulders and heels a few inches off the ground. Keeping your abs tight, rock back and forth. These are small, controlled motions. If you have lower back issues, consider putting a towel beneath your hips.
30 Seconds On/30 Seconds Rest – Mountain Climbers
Start on all fours with your hands and toes on the ground. To perform the easier version of this movement, press one knee toward your chest between your hands while kicking the other leg out. Rapidly switch legs, keep your abs tight and your back straight. Use your abs to pull your knee toward your chest. To make this movement more difficult, bring your leg to the outside of your arm so that your foot gets as close to your hand as possible. Quickly switch legs. This should be a fast, powerful movement driven by your abs.
30 Seconds On/30 Seconds Rest – Russian Twists
You will certainly feel the burn in your obliques when you do this movement. Start on your back with your feet on the ground and knees bent. Place your hands behind your head, elbows out. Tighten your abs and raise your shoulder off the ground. At the top of the movement, twist to the side, pushing your right elbow across your body toward your left hip. Really crunch with your oblique. Come down and perform the movement again, this time twisting your left elbow to the right toward your right hip.
30 Seconds On/30 Seconds Rest – V-Ups
One of the most challenging bodyweight ab movements is the v-up. If this movement is difficult, slow your speed and reset after each rep. Begin the movement lying on your back in the hollow rock position. Your legs should be straight and your arms up overhead. Squeeze your abs tight and bring your feet and hands up toward the ceiling. At the top of the movement, try to tap your shoelaces with your fingertips. Remember, control is the name of the game. Bring yourself down smoothly rather than collapsing back onto your mat. The v-up requires a strong core, good body awareness, and excellent midline stability.
Start Planning Your At-Home Ab Workouts
Now that you’ve learned some of the best ab exercises for home, it’s time to hit the ground crunching. Schedule your at-home workouts at the same times and days each week. A set schedule allows you to form a habit. Make sure to add in workouts for your upper body and lower body as well to help you improve your all-around fitness. Finally, after you complete your ab workouts for men at home and ab workouts for women at home, don’t forget to take a rest day; you want your abs to recuperate. Good luck, and keep reading the EōS Fitness blog for lots of great at-home workouts and health advice.