6 Basic Exercises for Strong Abs

07 December, 2018

It’s very important to learn how to work your abs properly to avoid straining your back or otherwise injuring yourself.

As you know, your abs accumulate more fat than almost any other area of your body. Although it varies depending on each person’s metabolism, it’s often a problem area for people who want to lose weight. Work your abs and get more toned muscles plus endurance and protection from injuries to your extremities and lower back.

While some like to go to the gym, there are also basic workouts you can do at home when you don’t have the time or money to go to a gym.

Interested? Let’s get exercising!

  1. Crunches

    woman doing a crunch on an exercise mat

Crunches are a basic exercise that strengthens the lower and upper abs and tones the area.

How to do it

  • Lie on your back on an exercise mat.
  • Bend your knees and cross your hands over your chest.
  • Contract your abdomen and lift your upper body, keeping your back to the mat.
  • Lie back down on the mat and do 12 to 15 repetitions.
  • Do 3 or 4 sets.
  1. Planks

Planks strengthen your abs and practically every major muscle group. They take some endurance, but practice makes perfect!

How to do it

  • Lie face down on the mat, resting on your forearms and toes.
  • Make sure your back is straight and contract your abdomen for 30 seconds.
  • Rest for a minute and do 4 repetitions.

We recommend that you read: Do These 5 Chair Exercises at Home to Reduce Abdominal Fat

  1. Mountain climbers

    woman doing mountain climbers for abs.

Mountain climbers will strengthen the transverse abdominal muscle and the rectus abdominis muscle. It is a cardiovascular activity that helps burn fat.

How to do it

  • Lie face down on the mat and support yourself on your forearms (or hands) and toes.
  • Bring your knees to your chest one at a time, as quickly as possible.
  • Contract your abdomen the whole time and do 3 sets of 10 repetitions per knee.
  1. Side Planks

Side planks take a lot of balance and concentration. It’s a classic variation of the traditional plank, and ups its level of difficulty. It builds strong obliques and works the lower back too.

How to do it

  • Lie sideways on the mat, leaning on your forearm and side of your foot.
  • Place your other arm close to your body or, if you have more endurance, raise it towards the ceiling.
  • Contract your abdomen to keep your balance and lift your body for 20 seconds.
  • Rest for a minute and do 3 repetitions per side.

See also: Drink This Tea to Burn Abdominal Fat

  1. V Crunches

    woman doing a v crunch

V crunches are great for strengthening your abs, particularly your lower abs. It’s a perfect addition to the other exercises we mentioned and will help tone your muscles.

How to do it

  • Lie on your back with your arms at your sides and your legs extended.
  • Contract your abdomen and bend your knees, so that your legs and hips form a 45-degree angle.
  • Then lift your upper body, forming a letter V.
  • Slowly return to the starting position and do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.
  1. Leg Raises

Lifting your legs towards the ceiling helps tone your abs. Leg raises tone your rectus abdominis muscle and obliques.

How to do it

  • Lie on your back on the exercise mat, with your arms at your sides and your legs extended.
  • From this position, lift your legs towards the ceiling until your knees are almost entirely extended.
  • Contract your abdomen to hold the position and try to lift your hips up off of the floor.
  • Slowly return to the starting position. Try to not let your legs fall down quickly.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

Please remember that you must do these exercises consistently if you want to see results.  There’s no point in giving it your all a few times and then quitting. Also, take a look at your eating habits and see if you’re eating foods that encourage your body to build up fat around your abs.

  • Cordero, A., Masiá, M. D., & Galve, E. (2014). Ejercicio físico y salud. Revista Espanola de Cardiologia. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.recesp.2014.04.007
  • Harvard Medical School. The real-world benefits of strengthening your core. Recuperado el 7 de septiembre de 2020. https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-real-world-benefits-of-strengthening-your-core