18 Perfect Ab Workouts To Do At Home

Couple flaunting their flat abdomen after doing ab workouts

Check out some of the best ab workouts to do at home to burn your abdominal fat, strengthen your core, and chisel your belly muscles into sculpted perfection.

Without a doubt, working out can be incredibly beneficial to preserving your mind and body. But having a lean, well-trimmed figure feels incomplete without one last ingredient: perfectly sculpted abs. They are the crowning jewel to a rocking physique.

Searching through the web, you will find several ab workouts to do at home. But, sadly, like every other good thing, abs are not easy to come by. Most people attest this to the difficulty of the training sessions.

The truth is most people find it so challenging because they haven’t developed proper strength in their core. Developing a stronger core can make simple daily activities such as swinging a golf club, getting a glass from the top shelf, and even bending down to tie one’s shoes, a lot easier.

The best exercises for abs involve the use of your abdominal and back muscles. For example, planks, sit-ups, fitness ball exercises, and so on. These exercises can be done quickly at home to help develop a strong core and well-chiseled abs.

If you prefer to work out at home, with or without any equipment, then look no further. The following exercises have been carefully chosen to help you do so. Let’s take a look at some exercises to help you get a well-crafted physique.

Importance of having a strong core/abs

You might probably be wondering why you need to chisel, shape and strengthen your core with all these workouts. The truth is, the benefits attached to exercising your body’s core are limitless. Nevertheless, let’s quickly take a look at some top benefits it provides:

Improved posture and balancing

Building a stronger core helps improve stability and control in your entire body, allowing you to move in any direction and have a proper posture and balance. This is achieved by enhancing your body’s ability to stand upright and not waver easily.

Easier everyday living

Everyday lives and its routine activities are easier and less strenuous when you have a stronger core. Some of these activities could even be as minor as learning to pick something off the ground, standing for long periods, and being able to sit upright. In a nutshell, it makes you more functional for daily work.

Evergreen and aging well

A distinct quality of wine is its ability to taste better even as it ages. Maintaining a healthy workout routine makes you look younger and livelier, and like fine wine, you will look better even as you age. 

Pain prevention and reduction

Studies [1]Cleveland Clinic: Abdominal Muscles have shown that regular workout also helps in increasing your endurance and immunity, ensuring that your health is preserved for longer periods. 

Improved sport performance

It takes a lot of endurance to build a strong core, as most sessions are a bit difficult. However, paying that price yields resilience, a necessary ingredient for most sporting cultures. So, do you want better endurance? Then exercise to improve your core strength.

Burning belly fat

Working routines that focus on the abdominal muscles help to burn calories. Belly fat is usually hard to reach because it is isolated and slowly burned off through repeated motions in their specific areas. So, get to work and put your rectus abdominis muscles in the right shape.

Best ab workouts to do at home – for men

Due to the anatomical makeup of the human male physique, there are specific exercises suitable to them. Let’s see some exercises that can provide the perfect ab workout for men:

1) Tuck and extend crunch

Crunches are among the best exercises for abs, but you can take it a bit further by adding two other motions while crunching. This exercise focuses on the internal and external obliques [2]KENHUB: External abdominal oblique muscle, by strengthening these muscles and toning your abs.

How to perform the tuck and extend crunch

  • Lay flat on your back, having both hands behind your head and your knees curled towards your chest area.
  • Slowly extend your legs in a way that it hovers about a foot above the floor. Ensure you remain in that position for a few seconds.
  • Go back to the starting position and repeat the motion another 9 times. Making it a total of 10 reps.

2) Half sit-ups 

Your upper abs can be easily shaped by consistency with your sit-up routine. Sit-ups are pretty effective, and you should feel your muscles stretching as you extend your legs back and forth.

Half sit-ups work on your rectus abdominis and transversus abdominis muscles. Simultaneously, it also strengthens your hip flexor, chest, and neck.

How to perform half sit-up

  • Start by sitting up straight with knees bent and your feet placed directly in front of you on the ground.
  • From that position, lower yourself slowly, a few inches away from your feet with your back not too far from the floor.
  • Return to your initial position and repeat this motion 14 more times.
  • You can increase the reps you do as you gain strength and proficiency.

3) Planks

Planks are one of the most common workout routines. Doing planks consistently helps strengthen the muscles of your lower back while contributing to the development of your six pack abs.

How to perform planks

  • Start by lying face down on the ground
  • With your legs straight, hold yourself up with your forearms ( basic plank position)
  • Make sure your elbows are appropriately aligned underneath your shoulders, then bring your hands together to make a fist.
  • Stay still, resting in this position for as long as possible, but ensure that you do not go lower than 30 seconds.

4) Side planks

The side plank is pretty similar to the Plank Pose in yoga. This exercise activates all your muscles along your sides, ranging from your traps down to your obliques.

How to perform side plank

  • Start by lying on your left hand side with both legs fully extended.
  • Raise your upper body with the help of your forearm, making sure that your elbow is placed directly under your left shoulder.
  • Your feet should be resting comfortably one above the other.
  • Lift your hips off the floor and hold one rep for about 30 to 60 seconds.
  • When you complete the reps on one side, rollover and repeat the same motion on your right hand side.

5) Reverse crunch

This exercise targets your lower abs. The beauty of this exercise is that it can be done anywhere, and you don’t need any equipment to perform it.

How to perform a reverse crunch

Start by lying on the floor with both legs fully extended in front of you. Place both hands beside you on the floor for stability.

  • Slowly lift your legs, with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle towards your chest.
  • Use your abs to curl your hips off the floor and towards your chest as you raise your knees.
  • Pause for a second at the top of the curl then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat this motion 10 more times to complete one set.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions to complete the workout.

6) Mountain climber

This is a high-intensity compound exercise that will strengthen multiple muscles and help you develop perfectly toned six-pack abs and ripped bodies.

How to perform mountain climbers

  • Start in a push-up position with your palms flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart.
  • Keeping your back straight, bring your right knee as close to your chest as possible.
  • Switch legs, bringing your left knee forward and right leg back.
  • Continue alternating legs in a smooth, fluid motion.
  • Do this for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

7) Hanging leg raise

You will need a bar to perform this exercise. The hanging leg raise is a great resistance exercise to target your lower abs.

How to perform hanging leg raises

  • Hang from a chin-up bar with your palms facing you and your legs fully extended.
  • Keeping your back straight, raise your legs until they are perpendicular to your body.
  • Slowly lower your legs back to the starting position.
  • Repeat this motion 10 more times to complete one set.

8) Push-ups

Push-ups are not effective for the chest muscles alone. They also help in strengthening the core as an ab workout. 

Alternating between the different push-up routines will help achieve the desired goal faster. You could do the conventional push-ups, incline push-ups, and knee push-ups.

How to do different push-up routines

  • The regular push-up routine starts with you laying down your hand extended forwards in a way that it stays level with your shoulders.
  • From that position, lift your body and go back down without touching the floor. Repeat this motion a total of 15 times.
  • The only difference in the inclined push-up is the addition of any object (a chair or a bench) that lifts your body slightly above the ground.
  • While doing the knee push-ups, every other motion remains the same, with the only difference being your starting position is on your knees.
  • Alternate between the different styles for specific days doing 15 reps for each.

9) Dead bug

You can consider the dead bug one of the best muscle-building options deep in your core. It is an abs workout routine that focuses solely on your abdominal muscles. 

How to perform a dead bug

  • With your arms straight, lay on the ground about your shoulders, facing up.
  • Bring your knees slowly over your hips and bend slightly at the knee. Do it in a way that your calf forms a 90-degree angle with your thigh.
  • Allow your left arm to be lowered above your head while straightening your right leg and sending it towards the floor.
  • Pause, go back to the starting position, then you can repeat the motions on your opposite side. Do 14 reps to complete one set.

Best ab workouts to do at home for women

As earlier stated, there are primary anatomical differences between the male and female bodies. For this reason, it is advisable for females starting a workout routine, to perform exercises suitable to their bodies. Let’s see some exercises that can provide the perfect ab workout for women.

1) Alligator drag

To flawlessly execute this exercise, you’ll need space to move and an object that will slide effortlessly across the floor. For example, try using a towel on hardwood, tile floors, or a plastic bag.

How to perform alligator drag

  • Startup in a plank position with your feet on a towel.
  • Using your hands only, walk forward and drag your lower body along for 10 to 15 yards.
  • Keep your core and glutes tight as you move forward.
  • Take a minute rest, and then alligator drag back to your starting point.
  • Rest and repeat.

2) Bicycle crunch

These workouts engage ab muscles, the entire torso, legs, obliques, and lower back, making it one of the most effective exercises for a comprehensive workout.

How to perform bicycle crunches

  • Start by lying flat on your back on the ground with both legs in the air and your head and shoulders off the ground.
  • Bring one knee in toward your chest as you twist your upper body to bring the opposite elbow toward that knee.
  • Switch sides, bringing the other knee and elbow together.
  • Keep switching sides in a slow and controlled manner.
  • Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

3) Pilates scissor

This exercise works the lower abs and is a good ab workout for women. It also gives a better definition to the obliques and leg muscles.

How to perform Pilates Scissor

  • Start by lying on your back with both legs in the air and your head and shoulders off the ground.
  • Keeping your lower back pressed firmly against the floor, slowly lower one leg toward the floor as you raise the other leg toward the ceiling.
  • Switch legs, lowering the other leg as you raise the first one.
  • Keep switching legs in a slow and controlled manner.
  • Make sure that your knee doesnt bend when you move your legs.
  • Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

4) Pulse-up

This is a rather simple exercise that can engage deep abdominal muscles that other exercises don’t target.

How to perform a pulse-up:

  • Start by lying on your back on the ground with both legs in the air and your head and shoulders off the ground.
  • Keeping your lower back pressed firmly against the floor, slowly raise your legs toward the ceiling as you pulse your hips up and down.
  • Make sure that your knee doesn’t bend when you raise the legs or while you are lowering them.
  • Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

5) Leg raises

Another workout routine suitable for women is the leg raise. It works majorly on the lower abs and the inner thigh, to build hip strength and flexibility. 

How to perform leg raises

  • Lay flat on the ground, raise your foot in the air so that your legmakes an angle of 90 degrees with your body,
  • Take your leg back on the floor.
  • Repeat 25 times in a set of three reps each.

6) Crossbody leg lift

Crossbody leg lifts are excellent for targeting your lower abs. They can also work your obliques a bit, depending on how you do them.

How to perform crossbody leg lift

  • Start by standing straight with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Lift your left leg and bring it across your body to the right side. At the same time, raise your right hand and reach over your body to the left side.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side with your right leg and left arm.
  • Do 3 sets of 20 reps.

7) Russian twists

The Russian twist helps with rotational movement and improves your balance and overall stability. Even though it might seem easy to do, it requires a lot of strength and commitment. Moreover, it focuses majorly on your obliques.

How to perform the Russian twist

  • First, sit up with your knees bent and your feet placed in front of you.
  • Lift your feet above the ground by a few centimeters, and then you can engage your core muscles.
  • Twist your upper body to the right, then left while your legs are kept in front of you.
  • Maintain your twisting motion from side to side, doing 10 reps on each side.

8) Knees to hands

The standing knees to the hand’s workout routine effectively shapes the lower abs. It is easy to do and an excellent way to round up your workout session.

How to do the knees to hands routine

  • Stand up with your arms over your head.
  • Bring your knees to meet your hands by lowering your arms.
  • Repeat the motion on either side for 10 reps before switching legs and repeating.

9) Bird dog with a retraction

This workout is great for your entire core. This workout routine helps in improving the all-round stability by strengthening your glutes, erector spinae, and rectus abdominis, muscles responsible for control, stability, and movement.

How to perform the bird dog with a retraction

  • Start by placing your knees and arms firmly on the ground.
  • Then, lift your right arm in front of your shoulder.
  • Followed by lifting one foot such that your hip stays parallel to the mat.
  • Once you are stable, bend the lifted arm to a position of 90 degrees then you return to the initial position.
  • Repeat the motion for each side 10 times each.

Safety measures to consider while working out at home

  • Ensure you clear out plenty of space as well as sharp or dangerous objects from the space.
  • Wear the right kind of gym clothes. Choose them according to the type of workouts you do.
  • Balance your workout and set aside time for recovery.
  • Check your form and posture.
  • Use proper footwear.
  • Ensure that you warm up properly.
  • Know your body’s limit. 
  • Clean your exercise equipment when done.

Conclusion

Choosing to perform abs exercises on a regular basis is one of the healthiest lifestyle choices you can make. The value of strong core muscles goes beyond carving out six-pack abs out of an untoned belly. It ensures that you are able to perform optimally in all the activities you do, whether it’s playing with your kids, carrying groceries, or going for a run.

Since most ab exercises are compound exercises they often work out your entire body. Your arms, back, torso, abs, hips, legs, buttocks, thighs, and calf muscles are bound to benefit from these. If healthy weight loss or simply maintaining ideal weight are on your agenda, then ab exercises can help you with that too.

Choosing the perfect abs exercises isn’t always an easy task. Hopefully, the lists of exercises above will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Know your strengths and limitations when selecting a particular ab workout. Keep the old adage, “health is wealth” in mind, and ensure that you make the right choice today and live a long and healthy life. And a strong core is always a good place to start!

References

References
1 Cleveland Clinic: Abdominal Muscles
2 KENHUB: External abdominal oblique muscle

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