10 Best Ab Workouts – Ab Exercises to Build Core Strength


A strong core is the foundation of a fit and healthy body. Whether you’re aiming for a six-pack, improved posture, or better performance in your favorite sport, working on your core is essential. Here are the ten best ab workouts that will help you build core strength and achieve your fitness goals.

1. Plank

The plank is a classic core-strengthening exercise that engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously. To perform a plank, start by getting into a push-up position, but rest on your forearms instead of your hands. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core to prevent your hips from sagging. Hold this position for as long as you can, aiming for at least 30 seconds to start, and gradually increase the duration as you build strength. Planks are excellent for building endurance in your core, shoulders, and back, making them a staple in any ab workout routine.


2. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches are highly effective for targeting the oblique muscles, which run along the sides of your abdomen. To perform this exercise, lie on your back with your hands behind your head and lift your legs to a tabletop position. Bring your right elbow towards your left knee while straightening your right leg, then switch sides, bringing your left elbow towards your right knee. Continue this pedaling motion, keeping your core engaged and your lower back pressed into the floor. Aim for three sets of 15-20 repetitions on each side. Bicycle crunches not only enhance core strength but also improve coordination and stability.

3. Russian Twists

Russian twists are excellent for working the obliques and improving rotational strength. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat. Lean back slightly while keeping your back straight, and clasp your hands together in front of you. Twist your torso to the right, bringing your hands beside your hip, then twist to the left. For added intensity, hold a weight or medicine ball. Perform three sets of 20 twists (10 on each side). This exercise is particularly effective for athletes who need rotational power, such as golfers and tennis players.

4. Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are a dynamic exercise that combines cardio and core strengthening. Start in a push-up position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Keeping your core tight, bring your right knee towards your chest, then quickly switch legs, bringing your left knee forward as you extend your right leg back. Continue alternating legs in a running motion. Aim for 30-60 seconds of continuous movement, maintaining a steady pace. Mountain climbers are great for increasing heart rate while also working the abs, shoulders, and legs, making them a perfect addition to any high-intensity workout.


5. Leg Raises

Leg raises are effective for targeting the lower abs. Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and arms by your sides. Slowly lift your legs towards the ceiling, keeping them straight and together. Lower your legs back down without letting them touch the floor, maintaining tension in your core throughout the movement. Repeat for three sets of 10-15 repetitions. Leg raises help in strengthening the hip flexors and lower abdominal muscles, which are often neglected in many ab exercises. This workout is particularly beneficial for those looking to enhance their lower body strength and stability.

6. Flutter Kicks

Flutter kicks are another excellent exercise for the lower abs and hip flexors. Lie on your back with your hands under your hips for support. Lift your legs slightly off the ground and perform small, rapid scissor-like movements, alternating between lifting one leg higher and then the other. Keep your core engaged and your lower back pressed into the floor throughout the exercise. Aim for 30-60 seconds of continuous flutter kicks. This exercise not only strengthens the lower abs but also improves endurance and coordination, making it a valuable addition to your ab workout routine.

7. Ab Rollouts

Ab rollouts are a challenging exercise that require an ab wheel or a barbell with plates. Kneel on the floor and hold the ab wheel or barbell with both hands, keeping it directly in front of your knees. Slowly roll the wheel forward, extending your body into a plank position while keeping your core engaged and your back straight. Roll back to the starting position, using your core muscles to pull the wheel back towards your knees. Perform three sets of 8-10 repetitions. Ab rollouts are highly effective for building strength in the entire core, including the lower back and hip flexors.

8. Hanging Leg Raises

Hanging leg raises are an advanced exercise that targets the lower abs and hip flexors. Hang from a pull-up bar with your arms fully extended and your legs hanging straight down. Engage your core and lift your legs towards your chest, keeping them straight throughout the movement. Lower your legs back down in a controlled manner. Aim for three sets of 8-12 repetitions. This exercise not only builds core strength but also improves grip strength and upper body stability. It’s an excellent addition for those looking to take their ab workouts to the next level.

9. V-Ups

V-ups are a dynamic exercise that targets both the upper and lower abs. Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms reaching overhead. Simultaneously lift your legs and upper body towards each other, forming a “V” shape with your body. Reach your hands towards your feet, then lower back down to the starting position. Perform three sets of 10-15 repetitions. V-ups are effective for building explosive core strength and improving overall body coordination. They also engage the hip flexors and can help enhance your performance in other physical activities.

10. Dead Bug

The dead bug is a beginner-friendly exercise that focuses on core stability and coordination. Lie on your back with your arms extended towards the ceiling and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Slowly lower your right arm and left leg towards the floor, keeping your core engaged and your lower back pressed into the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Aim for three sets of 10-15 repetitions on each side. The dead bug is excellent for strengthening the deep core muscles and improving overall stability, making it ideal for those new to ab workouts.

Incorporating these ten ab workouts into your fitness routine will help you build a strong and resilient core. Remember to focus on proper form and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as you build strength. With consistency and dedication, you’ll see significant improvements in your core strength and overall fitness.

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