Exercises for Your Best Abs Workout at Home
Getting a set of enviable abs doesn’t mean you need a gym membership and a bunch of equipment. All you really need is own bodyweight, some motivation, and the right abs workout at home to challenge your muscles.
And working your core isn’t just for looks! “Your abs are a part of this amazing muscle group in the center of they body,” says Melanie Webb, ACE-certified personal trainer. They’re at the center of every functional move you do, so it’s important to keep them strong.
What Are Your Ab Muscles (Abdominals)?
The abdominals are actually a muscle group that consists of several different layers:
- the rectus abdominus, AKA the “sick-pack” muscles that run vertically between your ribs and the pelvis.
- the transverse abdominis, which runs horizontally across the stomach.
- the internal and external obliques, on the sides of your torso, running from your lower ribs down and across to the hip bones.
Aesthetically speaking, strengthening these can help you get a trim midsection and a cut six-pack (it’ll show if you’re lean enough). Functionally, a strong core helps with stabilization, good posture, and injury prevention.
How Do You Get Better Abs?
You need to do more than just a few ab workouts to get a set of killer abs; proper nutrition is crucial. Webb explains that you need a very disciplined nutrition regiment to get a stellar six-pack. This is because you need to be lean for your abs to show — otherwise, the muscles will be blocked by a layer of fat. More on how to eat for abs here.
But when it comes to ab exercises, you should do more than just crunches. “Crunches alone simply will not do it,” she says. “They are really a one dimensional movement and they are strictly just working the rectus muscles.”
Instead, focus on variety of ab exercises. There are plenty to choose from within Openfit’s ab-focused workouts, like the ones listed below.
If you’re ready to get working, check out these abs workouts at home with Openfit.
Best Abs Workouts At Home
For a no-brainer workout that targets your abs at home, look no further. We’ve gathered Openfit’s top workout programs to sculpt your core.
It may sound like a lot, but these workouts come out to just 10 minutes! Train with Devin Wiggins in 600 Secs, and choose from 42 different workouts, including cardio, strength training, individual muscle group workouts, and total-body training. Here are the specific 10-minute ab workouts:
- 600 Secs of Abs
- 600 Secs of Abs II
- 600 Secs of Total-Body Core
- 600 Secs of Core Recovery
Build strength, increase flexibility, and reduce stress, all in one workout. The Yoga52 classes range from 20 to 60 minutes, and are lead by a variety of Openfit yoga instructors. The core-specific flows include:
- Core Vinyasa Flow with Micki
- Core-Focused Flow with Micki
- Core Flow Express with Micki
- Total Core Flow with Micki
- Core-Centric Flow with David
- Core Vinyasa Flow with Brent
For workouts that make you feel strong and powerful, check out Rough Around The Edges on Openfit. The mixed martial arts-style workouts are led by a crew of professional stunt women who will help you punch, kick, and move your way to a fitter body. The core-focused workouts include:
- Total Body Killer Core
- Core Incinerator
- Karate Core
Want to do a barre class, but prefer to work out at home? Cue up Xtend Barre with trainer Andrea Rogers! It mixes the elements of a traditional barre class with some fat-blasting cardio for a full-body workout, no barre required. You’ll focus on your core in these workouts:
- Core 1
- Core 2
If you’re gearing up for a Tough Mudder, T-Minus 30 will get you prepped and ready in just 30 days. Tough Mudder champion Hunter McIntyre will help you increase your strength, endurance, speed, and mobility, all of which you’ll need on the course. For a total core burn out, try:
- Sheriff Abs
Ab Exercises at Home
If you want to choose your ab exercises at home a-la-carte, choose from this selection 15 moves. They’ll work your core from every angle so you can get fit, strong, and stable.
- Start in a push-up position, but with your forearms on the ground instead of your hands.
- Engage your core and glutes, and keep your body in a straight line from your head to heels; don’t let your hips sag or raise too high up.
- Hold the plank for up to 90 seconds. Rest, and then repeat.
- To make this easier, perform a high plank, so the weight is on your hands, and your hands are directly underneath your shoulders.
2. Side Plank
- Set up with your right forearm on the floor and the outer edge of your right foot on the floor. Stack your shoulders above your elbow, and stack your left foot on top of your right. Place your left hand on your left hip.
- Engage your core and glutes to keep your body straight from head to heels. Don’t let your hips sag down to the floor.
- Hold for up to 90 seconds. Rest, and then repeat on the opposite side.
3. Plank Up and Downs
- Start in a high plank position with your feet hips-width distance apart and your body in a straight line from head to heels.
- Lower to your right forearm down to the ground, and then your left forearm down to the ground, so you’re in a forearm plank with your elbows below your shoulders. Don’t let your hips rotate side to side as you transition.
- Then, press your body back up into a high plank position by moving on to your right hand and then your left. That’s one rep.
- Repeat while alternating which arm you start to lower and raise with.
4. Plank Toe Taps
- Begin in a high plank position with your feet a few inches apart.
- Without moving anything else, reach your leg out to the side a few inches and tap the floor with your foot. Bring it back to center, and repeat with the left foot.
- Continue alternating side taps while moving faster for an added cardio boost.
5. Plank Hip Dips
This variation of a plank works your obliques.
- Start in a forearm plank with your elbows below your shoulders. Keep your body in a straight line from your heels to head.
- Keeping your core engaged and your shoulders still, tilt your hips to lower your right hip toward the floor. Return to center and repeat with the left hip.
- Continue to alternate hip dips. Keep your core engaged to prevent your back from arching.
6. Spider Climbers
- Begin in a high plank position with your core engaged and your body in a straight line from head to heels.
- Lift your right foot off the floor and bend your knee to bring it toward your right elbow.
- Return to high plank and repeat with your left leg, alternating legs with each rep.
- Start in a high-plank position.
- Engage your core to lift your right foot and and bring your right knee toward your chest, tapping the floor with your toes. Be sure to keep your back flat, your butt down, and the rest of your body still.
- Come back to a high-plank position and repeat with the left foot.
- Continue alternating legs for all reps.
8. Bicycle Twists
Another at-home ab exercise that targets your obliques is the bicycle twist. Plus, once you get the form down, you can speed up this exercise for a slight cardio element.
- Lay on your back with your legs out straight and your hands placed lightly behind your head. Keep your elbows pointed out to the sides and relax your neck and shoulders.
- With your lower back pressed to the ground, lift up your chest and legs a few inches off the ground.
- Rotate your torso to bring your right knee in to meet your left elbow.
- Reverse this motion to repeat on the other side:extend your right leg straight and bring your left knee in to meet your right elbow.
- Continue alternating for reps.
9. Dead Bug
- Lie on your back. Raise your arms straight up to the ceiling and lift your legs so they’re at 90 degrees with your shins parallel to the ceiling. Press your lower back into the mat.
- Lower your right arm back so it moves to the side of your head, and extend your left leg toward the floor. If your lower back disengages from the floor, you’ve lowered too much.
- Raise your arm and leg back to the center and repeat with the left arm and right leg.
10. Scissor Kicks
- Lie on your back with your arms down by your sides. Press your lower back into the floor and lift both legs a few inches off the ground.
- Separate your legs slightly into a “V” shape, bring them back center and cross your right leg over the left. Open back to a “V” shape and repeat by bringing your left leg over the right.
- Continue to alternate while moving as quick as you can without compromising form. For more of a challenge, raise your chest up off the mat into a partial crunch.
11. Boat pose
- Sit on a mat with your feet flat on the floor, about hips-width distance apart.
- Keeping your spine straight and your core engaged, lean back to sit on your tailbone and sit bones. Let your arms reach forward and begin to find your balance.
- Once balanced, lift your feet off the floor so your shins are paralleled to the ground. If possible, continue to straighten your knees so that your legs and upper body from a V-shape. Keep your shoulders relaxed and away from your ears.
- Hold the pose up to one minute.
12. Russian Twist
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent, legs together, and your feet lifted a few inches off the floor. Hold your hands in front of your chest. Keep your back flat and core engaged.
- Rotate your torso to the right. Return to center and repeat on the left side.
- For more of a challenge, hold a set up dumbbells at your chest as you twist (shown in video).
13. Core Row
- Balancing on your tailbone, reach your arms straight forward and lift your feet off the ground with your legs bent.
- Keeping your core engaged and spine straight, bend your elbows to pull your hands toward your chest with your elbows pointed out to the side (as if you were rowing a boat). At the same time, extend your legs out in front of you without letting your feet touch the ground.
- Return to the starting position by reaching your arms forward and bending your knees back into your chest. Repeat for reps.
14. Bear Crawl
- Begin on your hands and feet with your hands under your shoulders and your knees bent to a 90-degree angle below your hips. Hover your knees a few inches above the ground.
- Keeping your back flat and your core engaged, start to crawl forward by moving your left hand and right foot simultaneously, and then your right hand and left foot simultaneously. Don’t let your hips dip or raise.
- Continue crawling forward with opposite hands and feet in unison. Then, reverse the move to crawl backward for the same number of steps.
15. Hollow body hold
- Lie on your back and reach your arms and legs straight up toward the ceiling. Tighten your core and press your lower back into the ground.
- Slowly lower your arms back and legs down toward the floor. Go as far as you can without letting your lower back lift off the floor — thats where you stop and hold.
- Hold for up to one minute, rest, and repeat.