7 Best Ab Workouts to Improve Core Strength

by Nicole Abigail

Developing strong core muscles is important not only for aesthetics, but for your overall health and fitness—and these 7 ab workouts will put you on the path to get there!

1. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are a great full-body exercise that improve strength, balance and endurance. This is how to do them:

  • Start in a push-up position and bring one knee up towards your chest, holding it for a few moments.
  • Return to the starting position and then bring the opposite knee up towards your chest.
  • Keep alternating your legs, making sure not to pause between sets.

2. Bulgarian Split Squats

Bulgarian split squats target both your quads and your core muscles. By having the back foot elevated, you’ll use more balance to stabilize yourself. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start with your back foot elevated on a bench or a box.
  • Lower into a lunge position, making sure to keep your balance and your core engaged.
  • Push off your front foot and return back to the starting position.

3. Reverse Crunches

Reverse crunches are a great way to target your lower abs. Here’s how to do them:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift your feet up and bring your hips off the floor, then slowly lower them back down to the starting position.

4. Plank Holds

Plank holds are a fantastic way to build core strength, while also building stability and balance. This is how to do them:

  • Start in a push-up position, making sure to keep your back flat.
  • Engage your core by tightening your abs and glutes.
  • Hold this position for as long as possible, making sure to breathe throughout the entire set.

5. Russian Twists

Russian twists are one of the most effective core exercises to target the obliques and the lower abs. Here’s how to do them:

  • Start with your feet off of the floor and your knees bent.
  • Squeeze your abs and twist your torso to the left, and then to the right.
  • Continue alternating to the left and right, making sure to keep your abs engaged throughout the entire set.

6. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are a great way to target the entire core. Here’s how to do them:

  • Lie on your back with your knees up and your feet flat on the floor.
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the ground, and bend your left knee while simultaneously straightening your right leg.
  • Continue alternating your legs, twisting your torso as you move.

7. Ab Wheel Rollouts

Ab wheel rollouts are an effective core exercise that will target your entire midsection. Here’s how to do them:

  • Start with the ab wheel on the ground and your hands on the handles.
  • Bend your knees and engage your core.
  • Extend your arms and roll the ab wheel away from your body, making sure to keep your back straight.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.

These 7 ab workouts are sure to get you on the path to a stronger and more toned midsection. Make sure to do them consistently and you’ll see results in no time!

What are the benefits of ab workouts?

1. Improved Core Strength: Ab workouts help to increase strength in your abdominal muscles. This can help to increase your overall stability, posture, and balance.

2. Improved Posture: Regularly engaging in ab exercises can help to strengthen the muscles that support your spine. This can help to improve your posture and prevent aches and pains.

3. Weight Loss: A strong abdominal wall can assist in weight loss. By performing ab workouts, you can burn fat and calories, which can help you to shape up and slim down.

4. Injury Prevention: Strengthening your core muscles can help to prevent injury from physical activity, as your body will be less likely to become easily overwhelmed by the strain of exercise.

5. Improved Sports Performance: Regular ab workouts can help to build strength and endurance, which can improve your performance in sports and other physical activities.

What types of ab workouts should I do?

1. Crunches: The most basic and well-known ab exercise out there. They target the rectus abdominis (the “six-pack” muscles).

2. Plank: Hold your body in a straight line while balancing on your toes and forearms. This exercise helps build both strength and endurance in your core.

3. Sit-ups: Sit up all the way with an upright posture and lower your body back to the mat. This is a great exercise for targeting your lower abdominals.

4. Reverse crunches: Begin in a sit-up position and lower your torso to the floor, draw your knees in toward your chest, and reverse the motion to return to start. This helps target your lower abdominals and hip flexors.

5. Mountain climbers: Start in a push-up position, bringing one knee in towards your chest repeatedly, alternating legs with each rep. This exercise helps target your entire core.

6. Russian twist: Begin seated, leaning back a few degrees, with your knees bent and feet flat. Twist your upper body from side to side for each rep, targeting your obliques.

What muscles do ab workouts target?

Ab workouts target the muscles of the abdominal region, including the rectus abdominis (the “six-pack” muscle), the internal and external obliques, the transverse abdominis and the erector spinae.

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