Best Core Workouts
A strong stomach doesn't require any complicated equipment. Get back to basics with these easy yet effective moves for a strong, tight core.
We've proven that achieving six-pack abs is possible (if not enjoyable), but getting a stronger core doesn't have to involve shunning carbs and spending hours on end in the gym. Enter a simpler (and much more sane) way to tone and strengthen your stomach: bodyweight exercises.You might also like
After all, your abs exist for more reasons than looking good at the beach. The core (composed of the oft-mentioned upper and lower abdominals as well as the side, back, psoas, and glutei muscles) provides a muscular framework that protects internal organs, aids movement, and lends balance and stability to the whole body.
Try the 12-minute workout (at the bottom of the page) to train your upper and lower abs and obliques, and work on deep core strength, or mix and match any of the exercises in the gym or at home. And don't forget that proper nutrition plays a huge role in seeing the results you want, so be sure to supplement your workouts with healthy meals and high-protein snacks.
Targets: Upper abdominals
Lying flat on the ground with knees bent and hands behind the head, push lower back into the ground and lift upper back off the ground and slightly forward.
Vertical Leg Crunch
Lie flat on the floor with lower back pressed to the ground. Place hands behind head. Extend legs straight up, crossed at the ankles with a slight bend in the knee. Contract abdominal muscles by lifting torso toward knees. Make sure to keep chin off your chest with each contraction. Exhale as you contract upward; inhale as you return to the starting position.
Lie faceup with legs and arms extended. Keeping knees and elbows locked, simultaneously raise upper body and lower body while trying to touch fingers to toes.
Targets: Lower abdominals
Lie on back, arms along sides, palms down and just under lower back and butt. Press the small of your back against the floor and extend legs outward, with heels about 3 inches above the floor. Keeping lower back against the floor, lift left knee toward chest. Your right leg should remain hovering above the floor. Hold, then straighten left leg to the starting position and repeat with right leg.
Lie flat on the floor with lower back pressed to the ground. Place hands behind head or extend out alongside body. Crossing legs at ankles, lift feet up. Pull lower back off the floor as you contract abs. Reach legs toward the ceiling with each contraction.
Lie faceup with legs extended, toes pointed, and hands tucked underneath glutes to support lower back. Lift both legs off the floor a few inches and alternately kick legs up and down.
Lie on side with lower arm bent at the elbow. Place lower elbow beneath shoulder and place upper hand on hip. Align ankles, hips, shoulders, and head. Push body toward the ceiling, balancing on the edge of your bottom shoe with one foot directly over the other.
Lying Side Crunch
Lie on on your side with knees bent at a right angle and twisted to the left. Curl upper body, lifting shoulders off the floor a few inches. Pause at the top of the contraction and slowly lower back down. Switch sides and repeat.
Lie on side, arms folded across chest. Keeping legs together, lift them off the floor as you raise top elbow toward hip. Place opposite hand on the floor if you need extra stability.
Sit on the floor, knees bent and feet flat. Hold arms straight out in front of chest, with palms facing down. Lean back so that your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Twist to the right as far as you can, pause, then reverse movement and twist to the left.