Abdominal muscles or abs are central to any physical activity or exercise. Be it cardiovascular or weight training your abs are activated to deliver core strength. Here are 60 core exercises to strengthen your abs.
Core Exercises #1: Crunches
Maintaining posture, lie flat on the floor. Hands behind your head for stability and balance. Crunch forward so as to squeeze the muscles just below the ribcage. The form involves the upper back and the middle back. Crunching forward to squeeze the upper abs. While doing this do not bend your neck forward. After reaching peak position return back to neutral posture position. During this movement remember to breathe in as you come up and breathe out as you go back.
Core Exercises #2: Reverse Crunches
The reverse crunch is a core exercise that targets the glamour muscles. Simply place your hands underneath your bottom. Bend your knees a little or a lot, depending on how challenging you’d like to make the movement. The more you bend, the easier it will be. Point your toes begin by hovering the feet above the floor and by drawing the legs in towards the torso and slightly up towards the ceiling.
Core Exercises #3: Bicycle Crunches
A great exercise for your entire core. This is a fairly challenging exercise but it’s something that’s safe on your lower back and that a lot of trainees can do. So it’s something definitely you should try.
Core Exercises #4: Sit-Ups
Very few people know the correct form of sit-ups. The thing that people do mostly wrong in the gym is they tug on their neck and try to get themselves up.
Core Exercises #5: Plank
The first thing you gonna do is get your body on the ground. And usually, you wanna do this with some sort of stopwatch so you can see how long you’re doing the plank. What you’re gonna do is put your arms on the ground. The reason why it’s called a plank is because you’re gonna have your body as straight as a plank during the whole exercise. Make sure your butt’s not in the air, make sure your butt’s not hanging down like. Keep your body tight. Flex your core and stay as straight as a plank. Then what you’re simply gonna do is hold this for as long as you can.
Core Exercises #6: Wiper Plank
You’re not only going to get all of the core benefits of doing a plank position, You’re also going to be incorporating some oblique training as well and your inner-outer thighs are going to be firing up too.
Core Exercises #7: One-Arm One-Leg Ab Plank
This is a great advanced core variation that adds an element of rotary stability that you don’t get from traditional planks.
Core Exercises #8: RKC Plank
RKC plank is much different than just a standard plank. This is a lot more intense than a typical plank, it looks pretty similar and may look like a regular plank. This is a great exercise to strengthen the core. And I think instead of doing regular plank you should do this.
Core Exercises #9: Hollow body hold
The hollow body hold is a gymnastics position that is used to train core stability. I love this exercise because it activates the whole front part of core. This will also improve your handstand and your overall core strength.
Core Exercises #10: Hanging Bicycle
This exercise is similar to Bicycle Crunches. The only difference is that you have to do this exercise on a pull-up bar. Now, grab the bar and pretend like you are riding a bicycle. This exercise is great for your lower abdominals. The key to remember is your core should be tightened.
Core Exercises #11: Lying Knee Raises
It is a beginner abdominal movement for your lower abs. Most people, including me, love this lying position. I love this exercise because it is strengthing my core by just lying down. You should do 10 reps daily after your workout in the gym or home.
Core Exercises #12: Scissor Crunch
This exercise also hits your lower abs. Personally, I think this exercise is the best for lower abs. If you are a beginner you should do 3 sets of 10 reps.
Lie back, we’re gonna reach our hands down towards our toes. Bring your chin to your chest to keep your neck supported. Lifting your shoulder blades off the earth. You’re going to lift the legs and just simply scissor those legs back and forth.
Core Exercises #13: Sit-through
We start in a bear crawl position, knees under your hips, hands under your shoulders, from there you gonna lift one hand, squeeze the upper arm against your torso and point to yourself with your upper hands. Return to bear crawl position and do the other side. You can pick up speed as you get better at this exercise. But at first, you want to make sure that you’ve got the control.
Core Exercises #14: Stomach Vacuums
Stomach vacuums really aren’t all that hard to do but in the beginning, it can be a little painful. You’re stretching your abdominal wall and you’re forcing it into ways that have never been before. So in the beginning, if you want to see the most progress then you have to push your body to its limits. You can do slow progression for four weeks and then finally see an amazing change or you can push your body to its limits every single day.
Core Exercises #15: Hanging Knee Raise
It is one of my favorite exercises – the hanging knee raises. Just raise your legs until the knees almost at his chest, then slowly lower the legs to starting position. This is a great exercise for working the lower abs. Now if you can’t hang for long just use those hanging elbows traps that will you be able to do as many reps as you can. You also want to make sure that you’re doing the exercise properly. You want to avoid the mistake of arching your back when you’re doing this exercise. The problem with arching your back is that you’ll be using the hip flexors more instead of engaging the ab muscles.
Core Exercises #16: Flutter Kicks
This is an exercise you’ve probably seen that looks pretty simple. This was my favorite exercise when I was in school. I am sharing this because many people do this exercise wrong. And this exercise is very dangerous for your lower back if you do it wrong.
Core Exercises #17: Vertical Crunches
Lay down, you can put a mat down if you need comfort. You’re going to lay back on your back and your legs are going to be vertical on the ground. Take your fingers put them straight up and do a crunch. You’re focusing on crunching your core muscles and having a goal to try to reach those toes.
Core Exercises #18: Lying Leg Raises
Lying leg raise is one of the best core exercises. Particularly for working the lower abs and just your whole abs in general. You want to pre-stretch the ABS as much as possible.
Core Exercises #19: One Arm Bridge
If you really want to increase your core-strength fast, then this exercise is for you. To do this exercise, you want to know the Basic Bridge Exercise. This exercise also targets your butts.
Core Exercises #20: Knee Wheel Roll Outs
Start off with a small range of motion of you can control. Maintaining a straight line from your knees to your head, slowly roll the wheel out front. Roll the wheel back to the starting position and continue for the remainder of the set. As you improve try rolling your hands further away from you but make sure you keep a straight line from your knees to your head. You’ll fill this working your torso, core, and shoulders.
Core Exercises #21: V-ups
The V-up is a really great exercise and targets your upper and lower abdominals. But it really puts a lot more emphasis on targeting the lower Abdominals or at least in my opinion it does because by the time I finish these my lower Abs are fried. The way this exercise works is you are putting pressure on the lower back. If you have a tight lower back It might be a really good idea to loosen up before you perform the movement, but this movement also requires a bit of coordination. So if you can’t do multiple reps in a row, Start off just doing three to five and take a rest.
Core Exercises #22: Hanging Leg Raises
We’re going to do them using the pull-up bars. So what you first want to do is if you’re not tall enough get a stool. You want to hold on nice and tight. The arms are a little bit wider than shoulder length. Bring your feet together. Now what you want to do is keep your core nice and tight. So you want to flex your abs and what you’re going to do is simply lift your knees up as high as you can. Bring your legs back down, and then go back up again.
Core Exercises #23: L-sits
The L-sit is a great move that’s going to help strengthen your arms, your core, and also your legs if done properly.
Core Exercises #24: Hanging V-Hold
1. Hands shoulder-width apart.
2. Elbows Locked out.
3. Knees locked and feet together.
4. Bring legs up as close to the bar as possible.
5. Focus on compression.
Core Exercises #25: Hanging V-Hold
I found this exercise very difficult. This exercise is not for beginners. It has many health benefits of this exercise, especially for the brain.
Core Exercises #26: Hanging Flutter kicks
If you can do flutter kicks on the ground, then only you should try this exercise. Grab the bar or rings, raise your legs in L-shape, then start doing exercise by alternating the legs up and down.
Core Exercises #27: Inchworm
It is the best alternative to the ab wheel rollout. The Inch Worm is gonna work your shoulders, you’re core and it’s gonna give you a nice stretch of your hamstrings. This exercise is really gonna get you warmed up for your workout.
So you’re gonna go ahead and start with your feet shoulder-width apart. And you’re gonna keep your legs nice and straight, as you bend down and touch your hands as close as you can to your feet. From there, you’re gonna walk your hands out, one at a time, really keeping those legs straight, as you go. Keep walking until you’re out into a push-up position, keeping the core tight in a nice straight line, not letting your hips sag. But also, not raising those hips up. So, right in between. If you can, keep walking those hands over your head, all the way out there, really putting some pressure on your core. And then you’re gonna go ahead and walk right back up, all the way to those feet. Legs stay straight and stand back up.
Using this exercise before your workout is gonna get your shoulders warmed-up, your core engaged, and stretch out those hamstrings to get you ready for your workout.
Core Exercises #28: Dragon flag
The dragon flag is a compound exercise that mainly targets your core, but it also requires other muscle groups to perform this exercise, like your lats, lower back, and your rear delts.
If your goal is to work towards more advanced, more difficult exercises like the front lever or the muscle-up, then it is very important to do training exercises like these that require several muscle groups to work together to perform the exercise.
When performing exercises like the bicep curl you’re mainly relying on the bicep to perform that exercise. However, when doing compound movements, like the muscle-up, you’re required to use several muscles, and at the right timing, to execute the exercise.
The more you train these types of exercises, the more comfortable you’ll be at doing compound exercises and using your body as a whole, which is something you don’t often train if you’re solely doing isolation style workouts.
Lacking in compound-style exercises will hinder you from reaching your best PRs and overall performance. Most people that don’t train compound exercises normally cannot perform advanced skills. Which is why it is very common to see really big guys who can curl a lot of weight but cannot even do 10 pull-ups.
Core Exercises #29: One Arm Leg Raises
This exercise is the progression to the leg raises. Grab the bar with one hand. Raise your legs to 90 degrees ( Your shape should be L). From this position raise your legs to the bar. And slowly come back to starting position.
Core Exercises #30: Standing Ab Wheel Rollout
If you’re anything like me you’ve probably always wanted to be able to do standing abb rollouts because not only are they clearly badass but possessing that level of core strength has a massive carryover to strength on the big lips.
Core Exercises #31: One Arm Wheel Rollouts
This is just a progression to Standing Ab Wheel Rollout. Both exercises are the same, the only difference is that you have to do this exercise with one arm. Yes, this exercise much harder than that. Try this, when you are comfortable with normal wheel rollout.
Core Exercises #32: V-sit
This is probably one of my favorite exercises of all time and I am excited to share it with all of you. Although the “V-sit” requires some force to execute it, it is a movement that will need more mobility than strength.
Core Exercises #33: LaLanne Push-ups
Lalanne push-up is the variation of push-ups. Before trying this, you should able to 20 regular push-ups or extended plank for 30 seconds.
Core Exercises #34: One Arm LaLanne Push-ups
It’s just the progression to the LaLanne Push-up. You just have to do with one arm.
Core Exercises #35: Side Oblique Crunches
The first thing you’re gonna do is get on the Floor. And what you want to do Is put your legs straight and put them on top for each other. Put your arm flat on the floor and the other arm behind your head. Now pull yourself from oblique towards the feet and come back starting position.
Core Exercises #36: Side Plank
Place your elbow below your shoulder after lying on your side, creating a straight line from your bottom shoulder to your feet, maintaining good posture. Hold this position for 10 seconds. If you start to have poor posture, such as rolling forward, rolling backward, or letting your hip sag, discontinue the exercise. If you’re able to maintain good posture for more than 10 seconds, that is great.
Core Exercises #37: Side Plank Raises
Start with a side plank position. Then raise your leg as shown in the above picture. This will target your obliques. Before trying this, you should be comfortable with side plank exercise.
Core Exercises #38: Thread the Needles
Thread the Needle is a plank variation that works your oblique. Starting in a four-point position. Knees under hips, you’re going to lift that right arm up like a bow and arrow and then extend your right arm up towards the ceiling opening through the shoulder first. From here, you’re going to thread the needle bringing that right arm down towards that left knee. The left forearm is going to come on to the floor and the head may not touch the floor. To come out portion use the left hand, use your core come back to your tabletop position. Take a breath and make sure you do the other side.
Core Exercises #39: Russian Twist
Starting off sitting down onto the floor. Hold the weights (optional) over to your thighs keeping the feet down onto the floor. Now keeping the shoulders back lift the chest up and activate the core. Slowly inhaling in bring the weight down to one side, feel a good contraction onto your obliques and abdominals, exhaling out on the way up. Keep the shoulders nice and relaxed.
Core Exercises #40: Oblique V-up
Obliques are really hard to target in general and so, what makes this so effective is you are using your legs to help really contract the obliques.
Core Exercises #41: Hanging Oblique Crunch
The hanging oblique crunch is an advanced exercise for the ABS that requires a lot of oblique strength. To get started, grip a pull-up bar with a just outside shoulder-width overhand grip. Hang from the pull-up bar with your arms fully extending your legs straight down below you. Next exhale and contract your abs hard as if you’re about to get punched in the stomach while bending your knees and raising them to one side you bring your hip closer to your ribcage. Exhale as you contract hard then under control extend and lower your legs back to the starting position then complete to the other side. Do not use momentum or swinging to complete the side crunch. The side crunch begins by contracting your abs not using momentum.
Core Exercises #42: Floor Wipers
Lie flat on your back. Raise your legs and keep them straight. Then rotate your hips left and right. Keep the motion slow.
Core Exercises #43: Hanging Windshield Wipers
One of the best core exercises that you could do anywhere. This is an awesome exercise for training your entire upper body but it’s also really good for something that nobody really talks about which is your grip strength. This is a lot of movement to hold on to.
Core Exercises #44: Donkey kicks
A donkey kick is a lower body exercise that tones the glutes and isometrically strengthens the hamstrings. Begin in a quadruped position, flex one knee deeper to lift your foot slightly off of the floor. Freeze the knee in this position, dorsiflex the ankle. Exhale and extend the hip to lift that leg until your quad forms a symmetrical extension of your torso. Do not lift the thigh higher than the torso as this could cause compression of the discs in the lower back. Inhale flex at the hip and draw the leg back in.
Core Exercises #45: Reverse Plank
Start by sitting flat down on the ground with your legs straight. From here bend your elbows and support your way on to your forearms. Push your hips and your glutes up off the ground and hold that position. This is gonna be a great exercise to strengthen your core as well as your glutes by extending your hips up.
Core Exercises #46: Single Leg Deadlift
It is the best exercise that you can do for your legs. It puts a demand on the most important posterior chain while challenging the core and your balance.
Core Exercises #47: Superman’s Exercise
Begin by lying on your stomach. Extend your arms straight out in front of you and then raise both arms and legs off of the ground, approximately one foot and hold for one to two seconds before returning to the ground. If you experience any neck pain, you may keep your head closer to the ground.
Core Exercises #48: Alternating Superman
This exercise is the progression of superman exercise. Start with superman position and by lifting the opposite arm and leg–right arm left leg–and alternating. If you experience discomfort, you can keep your head and face closer to the ground.
Core Exercises #49: Bridge (Backbend)
To perform this exercise correctly it is important that your elasticity of the back is good. This exercise is not for beginners.
Core Exercises #50: Reverse leg extension
To do this exercise you need a gym or machine. It is very simple and anyone can do this. Just adjust your weight according to yourself and slowly increase the weight as you progress.