What Are The Best Workouts For Abs?


Do you want those killer abs everyone at the beach is jealous of? Of course, you do. Who doesn’t!? Well, if you really want those shredded abs you’ll discover abs are made in the kitchen.

You need to shred away the fat if you want to showcase your abs.

But let’s say you’re already working on that. What should you do now?

Well, you should check out some of these different ab workouts. With these badass ab workouts, you’ll target every area of your abdominal muscles while increasing muscular size and strength. On top of it all, while your abs make up just a small portion of the rest of your muscles, you will discover that a strong core helps improve the rest of your body’s performance.

So get ready to target your abs with these best ab workouts. 

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Things To Consider Durning Workouts For Abs

Whether at the gym, talking with friends or even searching for YouTube ab workout videos, you may find some people are putting in 30 or more minutes of a workout.

You can do that if you want. But in reality, you really don’t need to.

Your ab muscles are not big. In terms of actual muscular size, your glutes have more mass than your entire abdominal region (usually).

That just means you don’t need to spend 30 minutes hitting your abs. 10 minutes or so is more than enough time to hit your upper, lower and obliques.

How Often Should You Work Out Abs?

With most of your workouts, you don’t want to hit the muscles more than, at the very most, once every other day. You at least need that off day to recover (and usually it’s best to have two days in between hitting those areas of your body).

Should you follow the same pattern with your abs?

Not exactly. 

You see, your ab muscles are a bit different.

These are stabilizing core muscles, which mean the muscles are used to being engaged and used on a daily basis. Plus, because the muscles are small the fiber recovers faster.

In fact, if you want the best as possible, try to hit your abs every day for about 10 minutes. Thankfully you can easily squeeze in those 10 minutes at just about any point of the day (either with your normal workout or just when you have the free time).

And with all the different great ab workouts available, you can shift it up and differentiate your workout so every time it’s new, unique and exciting. 

Equipment Workouts For Abs

You don’t need equipment for a great ab workout.

With that said, equipment can add that added level of resistance necessary to take your workout to the next level.

Equipment is also good if you’ve been doing the same basic ab workouts for a while now and you’re no longer feeling challenged.

Ab Wheeler

The beauty of the ab wheel is it stretches and pulls your abdominal muscles, which increases the tear of the muscle fiber.

Extending the level of tension is an excellent way to boost strength and size (think of it like an incline curl where you increase the stretch of the muscle and really amp up the intensity). Start with your knees on the ground (if you have sore knees place your knees on a towel). Hold the wheel against the ground out in front of you.

Tighten your core and allow the wheel to slowly roll out in front of you.

Make sure to keep your back and your glutes tight, otherwise you’ll begin to sag (you’ll be amazed at how much your booty burns after this move as well). Stretch out as far as you can without touching the ground. Hold here for a moment than roll back to the beginning.

Do as many of these as you can until you just can’t roll back. 

Barbell Rollout

Don’t have an ab wheel?

This works along the same lines. Grab a barbell and place 10 pound or so plates on each side. Position yourself on your knees and grab hold of the barbell against the ground, as if you’re going to push the barbell up along the floor. Push the barbell out along the floor while keeping your abs, back and butt tight. Stop when you’re hips are about to drop to the ground, then pull yourself back.

The real difference between the barbell and the wheel is the wheels will naturally roll backward.

This one you have to work harder at it and it likely has more weight resistance. So think of this is an even larger step up from the wheel exercise (WebMD 2018).

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How To Workout Your Upper Abs

You probably know enough upper ab workouts to use until the cows come home. But let’s spice it up a bit with these alternative upper ab workouts.

Situp and Throw

This one uses a medicine ball. You can mime it, but it really helps when you have the added weight of resistance. 

Begin by tucking your feet under dumbbells. If you don’t anchor your feet you’ll scoot all over the place. 

Hold the medicine ball to your chest, then go down in a regular sit up. Now, explode up, As you’re moving up, chest pass the ball to the wall in front of you. Crunch down and catch the ball on the rebound as you go back up. Go back down with the ball then on the next up movement repeat the chess pass. This is one move you can perform with a partner as instead of throwing into a wall you’ll toss it to your partner.

We tend to go with them against the wall move just because it forces you to explode out more, throw the ball harder and work on your timing as well.

Weighted Situp

It’s the classic abs workout move, but with resistance.

While you can get a solid workout putting in just the regular situp, tossing in some weight will fire up your routine and not only tighten your midsection, but help increase its size and definition. If you’re not looking to increase the physical size of your abs, steer clear of the heavy weighted situp moves (you can still use a medicine ball as that’s only a few pounds).

With the weighted situp, position yourself on the floor and hold a plate above your chest. You can hug the weight if you want, but we like to hold it a few inches in front of the chest. This way, it’s not just engaging your abs but also your biceps and triceps as well. Crunch your body up so you reach 90 degrees. If you keep going the strain will not hit your abs but instead hit your back, which isn’t the goal of the move.

Also, if you feel yourself throwing your body up, this means the weight is too heavy.

You should still be able to move freely while performing the move, just under the added weight. If your throwing your back and body into the situp either reduce the amount of weight you’re using or don’t use any weight at all.

There are two ways to do this. Perform it for as much as you can for 30 seconds to a minute (increase the time as the situp will go slower due to the weight), or shoot for 30 reps. If you can make it to 30, increase the weight next time around.

Medicine Ball V-Up

Yup, you’re going to want to break out the medicine ball again. If you really want a great workout at home without spending much money, grab one of these items. It’s not only perfect for ab workouts but it can really take your cardio workouts to the next level.

Begin laying on the ground. Have your legs straight and up into the air, hanging just a little bit toward the ground.

Hold the medicine ball up in front of your chest. Now, lift your legs to straight (perpendicular to the floor) and, while keeping your lower back on the ground, push your chest with the outstretched ball towards your feet. Basically, the legs moving forward crunches the lower abs while the weighted medicine ball crunches the upper abs.

Perform this move for 30 seconds in your ab circuit, then repeat the circuit (WebMD, 2018).

How To Workout The Lower Abs

The upper portion of the abs receives the most attention. Crunches and most moves with a sit up motion use the upper abs. Even most of your daily movements will bring in the upper abs. It’s why your upper abs are much more pronounced (not to mention these are the first to become identified as you drop weight). So it’s important to add in lower ab exercises like these.

Flutter Kick

This is a classic lower ab exercise but a great one to do. Lay on the ground with your legs out straight. Now, lift your legs off the ground while keeping your knees straight. Kick one up off the ground, then repeat with the other. You can do the flutter kicks as hight off the ground as you want, but greater resistance is placed on your abs the closer to the ground your feet are.

It’s best, in our opinion, to not shoot for a set number during your ab workouts. Instead, go for a time. Perform the flutter kicks for 30 seconds, then move immediately to the next move.

Scissor Kicks

We like performing these back to back. The scissor kicks are just like the flutter kicks, only instead of moving up and down your swaying your legs left to right, having the feet cross one another. You can alternate which foot is above and below the other (Mayo Clinic, 2018).

How To Workout Your Obliques

The obliques often receive the least amount of attention when working abs because it requires a twisting motion. Few other exercise moves target the obliques, so you need to do it yourself. Thankfully, you don’t need to bring in many oblique moves to really target the area.

Russian Twist

With this move, position yourself in the up position of a sit up.

You’ll want a subtle V-shape with your torso and your thighs. The further you lead back the more tension you’ll place on your abdominal muscles, but you want to keep your lower back off the ground. Hold your arms out in fists, with one hand over the other. Now, twist, without bending your back, and touch your fists to the floor, then twist to the other side and touch your fists to the floor. Like the other ab workouts, do this for 30 seconds.

If you want a bit more resistance you do have a few options. You can use a medicine ball, which is great as it’s easy to hold and helps the move feel more like an athletic training move. Or you can use a weight plate, which makes it possible to increase your resistance amount as you improve your oblique strength.

Plank Side Crunch

The plank is a bit basic. It’s a static move that can be improved.

Thankfully, there are all sorts of ways to improve the plank, and this is one of them. So get into plant position, on your toes and elbows while keeping your back straight. Now, rip your right elbow down to the side while pushing your right knee up.

Touch your elbow to the knee. Return to the beginning and repeat on the other side. This way, you work your entire core with an emphasis on the obliques (Mayo Clinic, 2018).

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If you want great abs you need to work for it. Chipping away the fat and exposing the abs is done in the kitchen.

Shaping your abs, strengthening the abs and increasing the size though is done with the right ab workouts. So by following through with these different abdominal exercises, you’ll begin to see improvements in not only your core strength but your definition and abdominal size.

There’s no time like the present, so now that you’re done reading this, why not roll out the yoga mat and squeeze out 10 minutes of some of these great moves!? 

-Terry Asher

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Terry Asher

Owner & Founder at Gym Junkies LLC
After changing his best friend’s life by helping him lose over 70lbs, dropping him down to an amazing 7% body fat, Terry was inspired to be a full-time internet trainer knowing he could do the same for many more. In 2010, Terry published his own diet and fitness e-book that can be purchased on this website. Let Terry help you change your body for the better!
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