Did you know that the area you think of as “abs” is made up of different parts? There are four muscle groups found in your midsection: transverse abdominis (TVA; the deepest muscle in your abdomen and the closest one to your spine), rectus abdominis (the outer layer of the “abs”), internal obliques, and external obliques (both of which run along the sides of your torso). All these parts work together to stabilize your core. Even when you perform an exercise that targets only one of the four, the rest of the muscles are still engaged—none of these work alone.
But the best part about ab workouts is that none of them are complicated. There are also so many to choose from that it’s hard to get bored. Below are fun, effective moves you can add to your existing routine. Ready?
The Best Ab Workouts You Can Do At Home
Workout for abs at home: Plank
Place your palms flat on the floor. Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart. Your shoulders should be directly above your wrists. Your feet need to be hip-width apart. Engage your core, quads, and butt. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.
Workout for abs at home: Side Crunches
While kneeling, lean all the way over to your right side, placing your right palm on the floor. Slowly, extend your left leg and point your toes. Place your left hand behind your head to help keep you balanced, pointing your elbow upward. Lift your leg so that it’s aligned with your hip and extend your arm. Repeat this 10 times before switching to the other side.
Workout for abs at home: Side-to-Side Crunches
Lie on your back, keep your feet flat on the ground, and bend your knees. Your arms should be on your side, with your shoulder blades and head slightly lifted off the mat. Without raising your chest, reach your right hand to your right foot, return to start and quickly repeat on the opposite side, making that one rep. Complete 15 reps.
Workout for abs at home: Leg Lift
Lie on the floor with your legs extended and your arms by your sides. Some people choose to put their hands under their butt for more cushion or support. When you’re ready, slowly lift your legs up and toward your face. Make sure to keep them together. Then, lower them back down to the ground, maintaining control. Your back must be glued to the floor. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
Workout for abs at home: Rainbow Plank
In a plank position, keep your core and butt tight. Rotate your hips to the left side and tap the floor. Do the same thing on the right. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Workout for abs at home: The Cobra
With your face down, lie on the floor. Place your hands near your chest and lift your head, shoulders, and chest off the floor. Pull your shoulder blades down. If you need this move to be more challenging, you can lift your hips off the floor when you go up. Hold this position for three counts and lower back down.
Workout for abs at home: Mountain Climbers
Start in a traditional plank position, keeping your palms flat on the floor. Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart right above your wrists. Extend your legs and engage your core. Slowly, draw your right knee to your chest. Return to the starting position and immediately bring your left knee to your chest. Once you return to plank position, that’s one rep. Continue this, moving your legs quicker. If you notice your form slipping, slow down.
Workout for abs at home: Scissors
Lie down with your back to the floor. Extend your arms overhead and keep your legs straight. Lift your right leg up so that it's perpendicular to the floor, and bring your hands behind your right leg, pulling it toward your face. Your left leg should be a few inches off the floor, ready to switch. As you bring the left leg towards your dace, lower your right leg without letting it touch the floor. Do this 20 times.
Workout for abs at home: Warrior Balance
Stand on your right foot and lift your left knee in front of your body. Bend your elbows so that your hands are by your shoulders. Move forward at the hips and extend your arms forward. At the same time, extend your left leg behind you. Hold for a second, then reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Repeat for 10 to 12 times before switching to the other leg.
Workout for abs at home: Russian Twists
Sit on the floor and balance on your tailbone. Bend your legs and lift your feet so that they’re elevated. Cross your ankles, clasp your hands by your chest, lean back, and rotate to the right side. Squeeze your ab muscles and rotate your upper body to the left side. Do 15 to 20 reps.