Before we get into the exercises, you might be wondering why you’d even want to work your abs in the first place. And no, it’s not only about getting a six-pack!
A strong core means having an easier time picking up your kids, participating in the activities you love, and doing everyday tasks like cleaning and shopping. Core exercises help with stability, prevent back pain, and improves balance.
In the case of athletes or anyone who has goals with their fitness, starting with your core is essential. Without core strength, you’ve got nothing!
Long story short, core strength helps with absolutely every movement your body makes. From reaching fitness goals to taking part in everyday activities, a strong core is key.
So, without further ado, here are 10 killer ab exercises you need to try!
For this exercise, you’ll be doing twisting crunches while your legs do a pedaling motion.
Start lying on your back with your hands behind your head. As you bring one knee in towards your chest, lift your shoulders and twist to reach your opposite elbow toward your knee. The other leg is straight and reaches away from your body. Repeat, alternating sides.
Keeping your elbows underneath your shoulders, come onto your forearms, activating your core. As you lift your knees off the ground, your body should be in a straight line from the crown of your head to your heels, looking down at your hands.
This is a tough exercise that’s often a full-body experience, so remember to breathe!
Hover Tap Punches
Start in a plank position, but this time on your hands instead of your elbows (like at the top of a push-up). Lift one hand to tap your opposite shoulder. Then, using the same arm without putting it down, punch forward. Switch sides and repeat, alternating sides.
Leg Raise Toe Touches
Lying flat on your back with your arms reaching toward the wall behind you and your legs out straight, press your lower back firmly into the floor to activate your core. Lift your legs toward the sky, allowing them to bend slightly, then lift your shoulders as you crunch and reach your arms toward your toes.
Repeat the movement without letting your legs touch the ground between reps while keeping your lower back pressed firmly into the floor.
V Hold Punches
Start by leaning back from a seated position and lift your legs, creating a V-shape with your body. Keeping your legs slightly bent to activate your abs and avoid using your hip flexors, take alternating punches across your body while maintaining the V-shape.
Bird Dog Crunch
Start on all-fours with your wrists right under your shoulders and your knees right under your hips, activate your core, and press into your hands and the tops of your feet for stability.
Reach one arm forward and in line with your shoulder while reaching the opposite leg back and straight away from your body. Bend the elbow and knee of your extended arm and leg, squeezing into your midline for a crunch before returning to the extended bird dog position.
Start by lying flat on your back with your arms and legs wide like a starfish. Lift one leg while reaching the opposite arm towards your toes, creating a twisting motion as you activate your abs and lift your shoulders off the floor. Release and repeat, alternating.
Starting in a plank position on your hands, bringing one knee in towards your chest and quickly switching to the other knee, alternating and bringing up your heart rate. Be sure your core is activated during mountain climbers and do your best not to use your hip flexors to do the work.
Start in a plank position on your hands and jump both feet in slightly, bringing your knees towards your chest. Return to a plank position and repeat, picking up the pace to increase your heart rate.
Lean back slightly from a normal sitting position and place your hands down gently behind you. Kick both legs out as you lean back even more and activate your abs before returning to the starting position. Squeeze your inner thighs together to take the pressure out of your hip flexors.
Incorporate these killer ab exercises into your OOMPH app kickboxing routine and see your skills improve! You might even get a six-pack while you’re at it...