Best Home Workouts for Abs
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If you think you need to spend hours a week in the gym and dish out big money for a personal trainer in order to effectively train your abs, think again. Even if you watch a professional athlete or celebrity with a top ranked trainer working their abs, you will see their workout is comprised almost entirely of bodyweight exercises and does not require much in the way of specialized equipment. Read on if you want to find out the latest and greatest in abdominal exercises at home.
When most people think of abdominal exercises at home, the first things that springs to mind is crunches. While crunches can be effective at first, your body will quickly adapt to them, and your results will gradually slow over time. This is because crunches train only one movement pattern (trunk flexion), and also rely heavily on the hip flexors as well as the abs. Our abs are some of the most dynamic muscles in our body, in addition to being responsible for trunk flexion, they are also involved in twisting, bending, and anti-extension exercises. In order to develop them fully and ensure a healthy, balanced physique, we need to isolate and train them in all planes of motion. Luckily abdominal exercises at home aren't just limited to crunches, give these moves a try and you will be on your way to a stronger, sexier midsection in no time!
The plank (and its various progressions) is one of the most effective ab exercises you can do at home. Simply get down on your elbows and knees, holding your body straight. Brace your abs, tuck your glutes, and try and keep your spine as straight as possible. Beginners should aim for 3 holds of 30 seconds. Every session add 15 seconds until you can hold a plank for 2 minutes. After that you can begin to experiment with more difficult progressions such as raising an arm, raising a leg, or resting your feet and elbows on a ball.
The bodysaw is a fairly new exercise that you likely have not seen before. It also happens to be extremely effective, training both core stability as well as anti-extension. The exercise starts off identical to a plank, with the exception of a small hand towel placed under your feet. While keeping your body tight and straight, push your elbows into the ground so that your feet slide backwards. Push back as far as you can while maintaining a straight back, pause, and then pull your feet back until you reach the starting position. Beginners should start with 3 sets of 5 reps, and build from there.
Whereas crunches focus primarily on your upper abs, and leg raises focus mainly on the lower abs, v sits are the best of both worlds, working your entire midsection with one move instead of two. Start by lying on your back with your arms fully extended over your head. Simultaneously raise your feet and your arms until your body resembles a V, with only your rear resting on the floor. Lower yourself back slowly and under control (one complete rep should take 5-6 seconds).
As you can see you don't need fancy equipment or a gym membership to get the abs you always wanted; the most effective moves are exercises you can easily do from home. Don't think though that this is an excuse to just throw in a few sets of crunches and pat yourself on the back. Try some or all of the moves above, not only will you be shocked feeling your abs work in new ways they never have before, you'll also be shocked with the results!