As spring break season approaches, so does ab season. It seems the popular process is to hit the gym hard and try to maintain a crash diet of carrots and self-hate.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get great abs with a consistent home workout and keeping an eye on what you eat.
Below are some of the best exercises you can do at home in the morning before work for some killer abs. You will do them in a circuit doing one exercise after another with little to no rest. If you find completing one round is too easy, do as many circuits as you can.
1. Alternate Heel Touches
Let’s start things off with an easy one. This one hits your obliques, and doesn’t need much movement or physical strength. Start by lying on your back, lift your body of the floor and try reaching your heels with your fingers.
Do 20 reps per side.
2. Leg Raises
Now that you’ve gotten warmed up, let’s kick things up a notch. Leg raises are great for your lower abdomen and doing them requires a bit more strength.
Lie on your back with your arms either under your butt or by your side; try both and see what feels best for you.
Next, raise your legs up to a 90 degree angle, and lower them in a controlled motion. If you want an extra challenge, do not let your legs touch the ground before doing another rep. This will keep your muscles under tension and will result in better results. If you are unable to keep your legs from touching don’t worry, you can work your way up to that.
Do 20 reps of this exercise.
3. Bicycle Crunch
So far we’ve hit the obliques and the lower abs, now it’s time we hit your upper abs. This one is a bit more complicated but nothing you can’t handle. Bicycle crunches hit your abs, obliques, and increase functional strength.
Lay on the floor (or an exercise mat) and put your hand behind your head with your fingers interlocked. Bring a knee towards your chest and bring your opposite elbow towards your knee. Repeat this process with the other side.
Quick tip: don’t be lazy, simply touching your elbow to your knee will not be as effective.
Aim for as many reps as possible.
4. Windshield Wipers
Windshield wipers are an effective exercise that will build a killer six-pack.
Lying on a fitness mat or floor, stretch your arms out to your side and hold your legs as if you’re about to do leg raises. Shift your legs and lower body to one side, while maintaining the upper body glued to the floor.
Swing your legs side to side, only bending them if the exercise is too difficult.
Do 10 reps, or five per side.
Now that we’ve covered the hard stuff, let’s break a sweat with some finishers.
Don’t worry though, they won’t be as brutal as getting frozen and knocked out by Sub-Zero; it will be much worse.
5. Mountain Climbers
This exercise will test your conditioning, legs, abs, and upper body. Mountain climbers engage your core the whole time, making this exercise effective.
Start from a push up position, then bring your knee towards your chest and return to a push up position. Repeat the process with your other knee, and do that until you start seeing the light at end of the tunnel.
If this is like a walk in the park, try to complete your knee raises as if you were sprinting. Go at your own pace and strive to get faster.
Strive to do mountain climbers for 30 to 60 seconds.
Let’s face it; you knew it would come down to this. You’re tired and about done with everything, and now you have to plank. These are painful and tiring, but they are great for core strength and building an awesome six pack.
Instead of doing one long plank, let’s try something a bit different. You will do three planks – left side, right side, and a regular plank. This way you are able to hit all angles of your abs.
All three planks should be completed one after the other. Try hitting the one minute mark with your planks in total, meaning each one would last 20 seconds.
Start at 10 seconds each side and move your way up.