There are tons of ab exercises out there that promise to fulfill your six-pack dreams. However, we believe that the best way to work the abdominals is simplicity – so we picked the tried and true exercises that require no equipment. Just you, your abs, and sheer determination!
Here are the Top 10 from Health Fitness Revolution and author of the book ReSYNC Your Life Samir Becic:
Get into a push-up position, but rest your weight on your forearms instead of your hands. When your body is in a straight line, bring and hold your bellybutton into your stomach. Hold for as long as you can. The record for longest plank is 5 hours and 15 minutes, but you can set your sights on 45 seconds to a minute.
This ab exercise is a throwback to gym class. Lie flat on your back with your feet planted in front of you, legs bent at the knees. Put your hands on the back of your head, webbing your fingers together. Sit up activating the core. Bring your head towards the ceiling.
Very similar to crunches, except you use your core strength to bring your upper body towards your knees. Brace your abs and then raise your body up towards your knees, shoulders should be lifted of the floor. Use ab muscles to pull upper body towards the knees. Lower your upper body back down.
- Side Plank
This abs exercise is for those who have graduated from Planking 101 and are moving into intermediate classes. As you’re supporting your entire bodyweight at just two points of contact, your abs will need to do more work to keep you stabilized. Lie on one side with your elbow tucked under your shoulder and your legs on top of one another. On the side that is facing the ceiling, place your hand on your hip. Brace your abs and lift your hips off the floor until you’re balancing on your forearm and feet so that your body forms a diagonal line. Hold for half a minute and try your best not to fall over.
- Leg Lifts
Lie on your back with your hands tucked under your butt. Suck your belly button in to your spine and lift your legs in front of you at about a 45 degree angle. Hold for about a minute and then lower your legs.
- Flutter Kicks
Lie down on your back with your arms at your sides and legs extended. Then, lift your heels off the floor (about six inches) and begin kicking up and down. Your abs should be burning almost immediately, but push through the pain and continue as long as you can.
Lay on your back with your hands behind your head and your knees pulled towards your chest. Fully extend one leg while keeping the other bent in towards your chest. Twist your abdomen toward the bent leg and then switch, straightening the bent leg and bring the straightened leg in towards you. Now twist towards the newly bent knee and hold for three seconds.
- Double leg stretch
Lie on your back with your knees bent over your hips and heels together. Point your toes outward. Raise your shoulders and hold your arms out on the outside of your legs, palms pointed inward. Inhale. Breathe out as you extend your legs in front of you and bring your arms overhead, palms facing legs. Return to starting position.
Lie face down on an exercise mat with arms fully extended in front of you. Simultaneously raise arms and legs while exhaling. Lower your arms and legs while inhaling.
- Hot Potato
Lie on your right side with legs straight on the floor, placing your feet ahead of your hips. Put your hands under your head. Lift your left leg up to the ceiling, then lower it down ahead of your right foot. Pulse it up and down five to seven times. Raise left leg straight up again, then lower it toward the floor behind right foot and pulse it up and down 5-7 times again. Switch side and repeat.