When it comes to training your abs, you want to make sure you’re targeting all of the key layers of muscle for best results.
That’s why I like to combine a sequence of movements that includes the deep stabilizing muscles of the abs and back, as well as targeting the obliques, lower and upper abdominals.
This circuit is one that hits all the most important elements for abs strength, and will give you a phenomenal result.
There are 3 main moves, but with the other options you’ll actually have a total of 7 different ab moves to try.
Do this circuit 1-2 times per week, ideally with other ab circuits (like the ones in my Hot Abs Workout Guide).
Best Complete Abs Workout
watch this video for workout move demos. use the form tips below for reps, format and more on form.
3-4 Rounds total
Rest briefly between moves, rest 0:30-0:45 between sets.
Move 1: Alternating Walking Plank - 10 each side
- Come into a tall plank position, hands stacked below your shoulders, core engaged, back not arched. Legs are straight, gaze is about 6 inches in front of you, head and neck in neutral.
- Find your balance point and lift your left arm and right leg out straight, keeping your hips stable. Smoothly lower down and extend your right arm and left leg.
- Each time you put your hand back down, be sure it's just below the shoulder.
Option: Bird Dogs - 10 each side
- Come into tabletop, knees below your hips and hands below shoulders. Engage your core, don't let your back arch. Gaze is about 6 inches in front of you, head and neck are neutral.
- Extend your right arm and left leg out straight. Pause and squeeze your glute for a little bonus booty, then return to starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. Keep your hips steady, and core engaged.
Move 2: Leg Raise with Slow Lower - 8-10
- Begin on your back on the edge of a bench, holding the sides above your head. Allow your legs to come down slightly over the sides.
- Engage your core. Press your back down. Use your lower abdominals to lift your legs straight up overhead, lifting your hips up high. Pause and hold here, and then slowly, with control, lower your hips back down to the bench. Your hands will assist you with controlling the descent.
- Extend your legs out straight and repeat.
- Do not rush this movement. If you fatigue quickly with this after 1-2, move into one of the options below and continue to build strength.
Option 1: Small Hip Lift - 10
- Lay on your back on the edge of a bench, holding the sides above your head. Legs out straight, slightly over the bench.
- Smoothly lift your legs up straight, lifting your hips up. Bring them directly back down to the bench without pause and straighten the legs.
- Keep your core engaged. Don’t let your back arch.
Option 2: Bent Knee Lift - 10
- Lay on your back on the edge of your bench, holding the sides above your head. Knees are bent, feet are over the edge.
- Engage your core and be sure your lower back is making contact with the bench.
- Lift your knees up straight over your body, lifting your hips and pressing up. Bring them back down without pause and repeat.
Move 3: Hanging Knee Raise Side to Side - 8-10 each side
- Grab the overhead bar and lift yourself up. Palms face forward, and hands are wider than shoulders.
- Engage between your shoulder blades, drawing them in and down slightly to protect your shoulders.
- Engage your core. Don’t let your back arch excessively, your spine is in neutral.
- Draw your knees up toward your left chest. Lower them down, then draw them up to your right chest.
- Don’t swing your hips around, if you start to swing, bring yourself back to a stable and secure position before continuing.
- It’s absolutely fine to perform half of your set, take a break from hanging and finish.
Option: Side to Side Knees (on Floor)- 10 each side
- Lay on the mat on your back with your knees bent, core engaged back not arched. Hands at your sides, feet together.
- Using your lower abdominals, draw your knees up and to the right side of your chest.
- Smoothly lower, optionally touching the feet down, or keeping them lifted slightly (more challenging) then draw them up and to the left side of your chest.
Check in Below and let me know how you do, and post any questions that you have!