Get ready to transform your abs.
Do you want to have shaped abs? Do you want a flat stomach? Do you want to have a slimmer figure?
Whatever your goals are, to achieve them, you need to incorporate the best ab exercises into your routine. The advantage: these exercises can be done without equipment. They’re good for your health and can be incorporated into almost any workout. Here are all of our tips:
Technically, your bust is made up of all the muscles between your chest and your hips. There are three muscles:
- The rectus abdominis: aka the “six pack”, which runs down the front of your stomach. These are the abs of the show.
- The transversus abdominis: the deep abdominal muscles that wrap around your stomach like a corset.
- Obliques: otherwise known as the lateral abdominals, which help you pivot.
Ab workouts incorporate movements that work all of these major muscles, and in particular exercises that work them all at once, such as deadbugs, hollow holds, and side planks. It makes sense: if you want to get big results, you need to train your abs from all angles.
No matter what movement you do, focus on bringing your belly button down toward your spine to keep your abs engaged. If you’re doing a movement on your back, be sure to rest your lower back on the floor so that your abs are doing the work, not your spine.
Here’s a selection of the 15 best ab exercises you can do. Mix them up to create an ab workout that will have you strong and toned in no time.
For an effective routine, choose three exercises from the list below. Perform each one for 30 to 60 seconds, then immediately move on to the next move. Once you have completed all three exercises, rest for 15-30 seconds, then repeat for a total of three to five sets.
If you want to have visible abs, you need to decrease the level of fat. Doing regular cardio coupled with a healthy diet will keep the fat level low enough to see your abs. There are no miracle tricks!
1. The deadbug
Our advice: Start by lying on your back with your arms extended toward the ceiling in line with your shoulders and your legs bent at 90 degrees. Keep your lower back supported, work your abs and slowly extend and lower your right leg until your heel almost touches the floor and your left arm until your hand almost touches the floor at the same time. Pause, then return to the starting point and repeat on the other side.
Muscle group involved: Right abdominals, transverse and lateral abdominals.
Our opinion: This slow, controlled movement strengthens and stabilizes muscles (which is good for posture and eases lower back pain) without risking neck strain.
2. The plank (sheathing)
Our advice: Start by sitting on your heels, then bring your hands out until your wrists are under your shoulders when your legs are fully extended and it forms a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Balance on the balls of your feet, keep your abs engaged and look slightly forward. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds.
Muscle group used The whole of the abdominal strap. Will allow to recruit the deep abs.
Our opinion The plank is probably the most important abdominal exercise because it targets more muscles than most movements. Adding it to your routine is non-negotiable. The plank helps improve posture and core strength.
3. Lateral plank (sheathing)
Our advice: Start by lying on your side with your right forearm flat on the mat, elbow under your shoulder, and both legs straight. This should form a straight line from head to heels, which are either overlapping or offset. Work your torso and lift your hips. Hold the position for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
Muscle used : Mainly the obliques which are recruited by this exercise.
Our opinion : The side boards help you avoid strength imbalances.
4. Reverse crunch
Our instructions: Start by lying on your back with your legs raised so that your thighs are perpendicular to the mat and your knees are bent. Press your lower back into the mat, then bring your thighs toward your chest to lift your hips off the floor. Return to the starting point, maintaining control.
Muscle used rectus abdominis
Our opinion The reverse crunch works the abdominals without forcing the neck and back.
5. Hollow Hold
Our advice: Sit on a mat. Squeeze your thighs together and work your abs to lift your bent legs so that your calves are parallel to the floor. Roll your body backwards until the middle of your back touches the floor. Then, with control, roll back to the starting point. Pause for three seconds.
Muscular group solicited Right abdominals, transverse and lateral abdominals.
Our opinion : This advanced movement is a true test of core strength. You can challenge yourself even further by adding ankle weights.
6. Lateral Bear Walk
Our advice: Start with a bear plank. Keeping the torso stable, head aligned with the tailbone and knees lifted off the ground, move the hands and feet to the left for three steps. Then move hands and feet to the right for three steps.
Muscle group used: obliques, right abdomen, transverse abdominals.
Our opinion: In addition to engaging the entire core, this unusual type of movement is great for coordination.
7. Bear crawl
Our advice: Start with a bear plank. Keeping your torso stable, head aligned with your tailbone and knees off the ground, slowly take one step forward with the opposite hand and foot, then repeat with the other hand and foot to take four steps total. Then reverse the movement to go backwards and return to the starting point.
Muscle group used: right abdominals, transverse abdominals
Our opinion: The Bear Crawl works all major muscle groups to improve your muscular endurance. Speed it up and you’ll get cardio benefits too.
8. Ankle touches
Our instructions: Start on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor, hands at your sides. Raise your chest toward the ceiling, keeping your neck relaxed and your shoulder blades off the floor. Return to center, keeping shoulders off the floor, then tap the outside of the left ankle with your left hand.
Muscle involved: lateral abs
Our Take: The easy-to-understand heel taps target the obliques in a big way. You’ll feel the burn instantly.
9. Beast hold
Our advice: Start with a bear plank. Keeping your pelvis stable, head aligned with your tailbone and thighs off the ground, contract your abs to stay still. For an extra challenge, lift one hand off the ground for a few seconds, then repeat with the other hand. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.
Muscle group involved: The rectus abdominis, the obliques, the transverses.
Our opinion: This deceptively difficult move gives you the perfect opportunity to tighten and engage your abs.
10. Russian Twist
Our instructions: Sit on the floor and then lean back until the abs are engaged. Legs should be up and bent at 90 degrees, and arms should be bent, hands together and elbows apart. This is your starting position. Rotate the torso to the right side so that the right elbow is just above the mat. Keep the bottom still while rotating the upper body to the left until the left elbow is just above the mat. Return to the starting point. The eyes follow the hands during the movement.
Muscle involved: obliques
Our opinion: This classic oblique movement is easy to modify. Make it easier by keeping your feet planted, or increase the intensity by hovering your feet or holding a weight.
11. Banded Bird Dog
How to make Start on all fours, with hands placed directly under shoulders, knees under hips, and a resistance band wrapped around the feet. Keeping the torso still and the core engaged, simultaneously extend the right arm in front of the body and the left leg behind the body. Then bring the right elbow and left knee under the torso so they touch. Repeat on the other side.
Muscles used : rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis
Our opinion: This band movement has the advantage of working the core and glutes.
12. Cross-Body Iso Deadbug
How to: Start by lying on your back with your hands at your sides and your right leg with your feet flexed. Bring your left knee and right hand together at the hip and actively push them together until your abs start to shake. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then switch sides.
Our opinion : This movement is easy to perform for beginners, is gentle on the head and neck, and quickly shakes your abs.
13. Stir the Pot
Our advice: Start in a plank position with your forearms on the stability ball and your body in a straight line from head to toe. Work your abs and move your forearms in a full circle (so the stability ball moves too) while keeping the rest of your body still.
Muscles used Obliques, right abdomen, transverse abdominals.
Our opinion : The instability of the ball in this advanced movement provides a unique (and intense!) challenge to your core muscles.
14. Triple Triple
Our instructions: Start on your back with your feet on the mat about 6 inches from your buttocks and your hands behind your head. Bend your chest toward the ceiling three times, keeping your lower back pressed against the mat. Then bring shoulders down to rest on mat. Lift your heels toward the ceiling three times, lifting your torso off the mat two to three inches each time.
Muscles involved Right abdominals
Our opinion : This combination move targets your six-pack muscles from top to bottom and allows you to string together reps without craning your neck.
Our instructions: Lie on your back, relaxed and with your arms along, both on the mat. In one movement, lift the upper and lower limbs, resting on the tailbone and forming a “V” with the body. Lower back down.
Muscle used right abdominals
Our opinion : This challenging move gets your heart rate up while pushing your core strength to the max.
To build abs and remove belly fat, you can perform a series of exercises from the list above. These exercises do not require a trainer to perform.
To have a flat stomach and shaped abs, these bodybuilding exercises are the basis. However, it is also necessary to reduce the level of fat, especially that located around your abdominal strap. Indeed, it will mask your training. To lose fat, you must lose weight and build muscle.
You can add HIIT or fitness sessions to lose fat. These strength training exercises alone will not be enough. They participate in your posture, as well as your health (especially back pain) and build muscle.
With this selection of the best exercises, you can start your training right away without equipment or coach thanks to Forme & Fitness.