Good news for anyone who’s living room doubles as a fitness studio: You can totally, 100-percent score a hard core by doing ab workouts at home.
Yep, even from home, all you need to create an effective abs workout and sculpt your midsection is to incorporate exercises that target all four of the major muscle groups in your midsection—the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, internal obliques, and external obliques.
You see, your abs are a complex muscle group, so it’s important to work ’em in different planes (front-to-back, side-to-side, and diagonally). The good news here: You can officially stop doing a million crunches and sit-ups, which just work your rectus abdominus, the muscles that run down the front of your stomach. (Hallelujah!)
The better news? Switching up your abs exercises will stop you from getting bored (or landing yourself an overuse injury) and actually help you carve your core faster.
Oh, and the best news yet: All you need at home is enough space for a yoga mat to make the magic happen. Nope, you don’t need a shred of equipment for a scorcher of a home abs workout.
But what does this core-sculpting home workout look like, exactly? This 10-move abs circuit workout. Crank it out two or three times a week and you’ll be well on your way to more toned abs without having to leave home.
Ready to sweat? Turn off Netflix, put on your favorite playlist, and brace that core for the work ahead.
Time: 20 minutes
Good for: abs, core
Instructions: Complete the indicated number of reps for each move below (demo-d by certified trainer Kara Liotta). From there, immediately continue to the next exercise without resting until you’ve finished all of them. Then, rest for one minute and repeat all 10 moves a second time. (If you’re feeling up to it, go for a third!)
How to: Lie on back with hands behind head. Lift shoulder blades off mat, raise legs so knees are bent at 90 degrees, and gaze at thighs, keeping neck relaxed. This is your starting position. Engage abs and rotate right elbow toward left knee while extending right leg to straight, lowering it as close to the floor as possible without resting it on mat. Return to start and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps. Continue to the next move.
How to: Start by lying on right side with left foot on top of right and right forearm on mat, elbow under shoulder. Your palm should be flat with your fingers spread, left hand on hip. Engage obliques and lift hips up until body forms a straight line from head to heels. Pause for one breath, then lower back down to start. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps on right side, then flip to left side and complete 10 reps on that side. Continue to the next move.
How to: Start lying on back with hands by sides and legs lifted off the ground at a 45-degree angle, toes pointed. Push down into arms and pull knees into chest until hips lift off mat, keeping core engaged. Slowly return to start. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps. Continue to the next move.
How to: Start standing with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Arms should be raised overhead, elbows bent so that hands can be clasped behind body and biceps are framing face. Engage arm muscles and, with control, swing arms forward and down, stopping when they reach chest level. Return slowly to start. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps. Continue to the next move.
How to: Start in a plank position. Keeping hips level, touch left shoulder with right hand, then place palm back on the floor. Repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps. Continue to the next move.
How to: Start in a plank position. Engage core and lift left arm and right leg off the mat at the same time, keeping hips as level as possible. Slowly return to start. Repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps. Continue to the next move.
How to: Start in a plank position with feet wider than hips. Keep toes in place but lower heels down to the right until they reach the mat while rotating torso to face left side of mat and lifting left arm into the air in line with shoulder. Return to start and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps. Continue to the next move.
How to: Start in plank position. Engage lower abs and lift hips to pull body into an upside down “V” shape while reaching right hand back to touch left ankle. (Heels stay high the whole time.) Slowly return to start. Repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps. Continue to the next move.
How to: Sit on the floor and lean upper body back until abs are engaged. Legs should be lifted and bent at 90 degrees, and arms should be bent, hands clasped, with elbows wide. This is your starting position. Rotate torso to right side so that right elbow is hovering just off mat. Keep lower body still while rotating upper body to left side until left elbow is just off mat. Return to start. Gaze follows hands as you move. That’s one rep. Complete 10 reps. Continue to the next move.
How to: Start lying on back with arms and legs extended and on the floor. Raise arms and legs, leaving just bra line and lower back on mat so body looks like a banana. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Rest for one minute then repeat entire circuit from the top until you’ve done two or three rounds.