Ab workouts for a stronger core
Want to build a stronger core? Try these ab workouts which have been tried and tested by personal trainers!
When it comes to training abs, it's common for people to focus on training this body part because they want to achieve a six pack or get defined abs. If that's your goal, training your abs can help make them stronger but it doesn't necessarily mean you will automatically get defined abs. Getting defined abs requires a low body fat percentage which will be different from person to person, so a full-body training approach along with a healthy balanced diet is recommended.
Whilst having aesthetic goals is fine, let's not forget that there are many functional benefits that comes with training your core. This includes maintaining correct posture, helping to reduce strain on your back and improving your functional performance so including some ab exercises as part of your overall fitness routine, can help you develop a stronger core and reap aforementioned benefits.
AB MAT WORKOUT BY @KAYPUREGYM, PUREGYM INSIDER
- Cat cow (warm up) -10 reps
- Deadbugs - 3 sets of 5 reps each side
- High Plank, toes in and out
- Bird dog - 3 sets of 5 reps each side
- Leg raise holding a plate 3 sets of 20-30 seconds
Rest for 20-30 seconds in-between each set.
- Cat Cow
This yoga move is a good exercise to start off with as it can help to bring flexibility to the spine, lightly stretch the back, torso, neck, abs and open the chest.
Start on all fours, with your wrists underneath your shoulders and knees underneath your hips. Curl your toes under and slowly arch your back as you inhale and lift your gaze up. As you exhale, round for cat pose by rounding your spin and tucking your tailbone. Drop your head and take your gaze towards your navel as you do this.
Complete 10 reps.
This exercise is great for working the core without putting strain on your lower back.
Lie flat on our back with your arms held out in front of you, pointing the ceiling. Bring your legs up so your knees are bent at 90-degrees. Push your lower back into the ground by using your core and try to maintain this position. Next, slowly lower your right arm and left leg towards to floor as you exhale. Try not to raise your back off the ground. Slowly return back to starting position and repeat with the opposite hand and leg.
- High plank
Planks are a great exercise not just the core but the entire body.
Plant your hands directly under shoulders, slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Ground your toes into the floor and squeeze your glutes and core – your legs and arms should be working too. Press up into a plank position - keeping your core braced. Really push your hands into the ground to lift your back towards the ceiling.
- Bird dog
Bird dog is a great exercise to challenge your core stability and balance.
Start on all fours with your hands planted directly under your shoulders. Brace your core and slowly reach one arm infront of you whilst extending the opposite leg whilst keeping a straight back. Slowly return to starting position and repeat with the opposite arm and leg.
- Leg raise holding a plate
Leg raises is a good exercise to target the lower abs. Hold a plate with your arms extended to add extra resistance.
Lie with your back on the mat. Hold a plate in both hands and extend your arms so that the plate is infront of your chest. Lift both legs up then slowly lower them till they are about an inch of the floor and repeat.
Anywhere Ab Workout by Lara, PT at PureGym Brighton Central
- Bicycle crunch 20 reps
- Full sit up 10 reps
- Opposite arm and leg out (need to check name) 20 reps
- Side plank (up and down) 10 reps each side
- High Plank knee tap 10 reps
- High Plank shoulder tap 10 reps
Repeat 2-4 times.
Partner ab workout
- Inchworm hand claps 10 reps
- High 5 sit ups 10 reps
- Partner bicycles crunches 20 reps
- Double Russian twists with medicine ball 10 reps
- Wheel barrows 30 seconds.
Perform each exercise back-to-back. Repeat 2 to 4 times.
If you're not sure how to perform any of the exercises above, please ask a personal trainer for guidance.
For more ab workout ideas, check out our free workouts.