Talk to anyone in the fitness industry and they'll tell you that training your core is vital for your health and well-being. Follow this abs workout to get the stomach you've always wanted while strengthening your core.
Our workout starts with a truly classic abs exercise for toning your stomach. This exercise will target the entire abdominal area and work deep into the core. To perform crunches properly and with good technique, start by lying flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your fingers by your temples with your elbows kept back. Keep your chin tucked in to protect your spine and prevent you from over-stretching your neck. Using your stomach muscles (not your shoulders or back) lift your shoulders and upper back off the floor.
The difference between crunches and sit-ups is that crunches are a much smaller movement. With sit-ups, you fully sit up so that your entire back is off the floor. With crunches, you are just doing micro movements for a more intense burn. For an added benefit, pause at the top of the movement and then lower back down very slowly.
Perform continuous reps for 30 seconds as a beginner, 45 for an intermediate exerciser, and 60 seconds if you're more advanced.
Plank Shoulder Taps
This exercise truly targets deep into the core to strengthen your abs muscles and improve your overall fitness and conditioning. Start in a press up position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your back flat and straight. Slowly pick up one hand and touch it to the opposite shoulder. Squeeze your abs as you put it back down and then do the same with the other hand. As you swap hands be sure not to rock your hips; keep them as still as possible. This exercise should be quite challenging so take it slow and make it count.
Beginners should do this movement continuously for 30 seconds, 45 for the intermediate, and 60 seconds for the more advanced.
If you thought you'd be able to make it through this workout without having to do the dreaded plank, you'd be wrong! This exercise is a classic for a reason as it works the core and abs very effectively and is a great way to test your core strength. To perform the plank properly and with best technique, place your forearms flat on the floor with your hands flat, palms facing up. Keep your elbows directly under your shoulders at all times and place your feet hip-width apart. Keep your head in line with your spine but allow your eyes to look at the floor (or close your eyes if it helps!) Squeeze your belly button upwards towards your spine to keep your core tight.
Hold for as long as you can! 60 seconds is an excellent milestone.
This cardio exercise is not one many people would associate with being a core exercise, but when done correctly it can really work your abs and help you target this area effectively.
To perform kettlebell swings, start with your feet wider than hip width, holding the kettlebell by the horns with both hands. Bend your knees and start to swing the kettlebell between your legs. As you straighten your legs, swing the kettlebell up to shoulder height. You can swing it higher than this, but this is a safe and effective height for most exercisers. As the bell swings up, squeeze your core as tight as you can. As it starts to swing back down, don't let it drag your shoulders down with it. Instead, keep your shoulders up and your chest proud, looking up and ahead of you.
A beginner will do well to perform this exercise for 30 seconds, intermediate 45, advanced 60 seconds. 4kg-8kg is a good weight range for a beginner.
Read more about the benefits of the kettlebell swing
Having a strong core is vital for everyone whether you practise a sport or not. A strong core will allow you to stay healthy in everyday life and will prevent related injuries such as a sore back. Try some of these suspension trainer ab exercises to really see results.
The main muscles which make up a strong core are:
- The External Obliques: The muscles which run along the sides and front of your stomach.
- The Internal Obliques: These muscles sit behind your external obliques and run in the opposite direction.
- The Transverse Abdominis: These muscles are the deepest abdominal muscles which wrap around your spine to protect and stabilise it.
- The Rectus Abdominis: These muscles are the glamour muscles, located at the very front of your abdomen, it is these muscle which create the elusive six pack.
Core Suspension Training
In order to develop a strong core, you need to train your abdominals like you would any other muscle group, with a variety of exercises using multiple ranges of movement in multiple planes of motion, to maximise training results.
Suspension training can maximise your core strength because it puts your abs under constant tension. The premise of suspension training is that when you are suspended you are unstable and because of this every single exercise you perform on a TRX or suspension trainer fires up your abdominals as your core is forced to constantly work at keeping you stabilised and hold your body balanced using your own body weight as leverage. When we then start adding exercises designed to target your waist, not only will your abs be on fire, but you’ll fire up your results too!
With all these exercises, it is important to keep good form; squeeze your shoulder blades together to prevent arching your back and keep your core tensed to protect your spine. Suck your stomach into your spine and then imagine you're pulling it up towards your rib cage to engage your Transverse Abdominis.
Grab your handles and face away from the anchor. Begin with the straps by your sides and slowly with control, fall forward as you bring your arms straight up above your head to align with your ears in one swift movement. Keeping your arms straight return them back to the starting point. The further away your feet are from the anchor point, the easier the exercise is as you are using less of your body weight as resistance.
TRX Mountain Climbers
For this one you need to start in a plank position; hands underneath your shoulders with your feet in the trainer’s stirrups. Make sure you have shortened the length or the straps. Keeping your hands stable, crunch and bring each knee in towards the chest individually for a suspended mountain climber.
TRX Oblique Crunch
This one really works your obliques, to the sides of your core. Start in the same position as the previous exercise, but this time both legs move in unison. Crunch your knees in diagonally towards your elbow and then straighten up into your regular plank, now match up the other side.
TRX Pendulum Swings
Pendulum swings start in the plank position, with your shoulders over your hands. This exercise requires you to balance and hold your core steady under momentum. Swing your legs side to side to gather some momentum, then begin bending the knees to perform a crunch on either side of your swing. This really targets your core from every angle.
Pull and Twist
Grab both handles and stand so that you are facing the anchor point. The closer your feet are to the anchor, the harder this will be as you're using more of your bodyweight. Lean back with your arms extended in front of you, pull your body weight up maintaining a neutral spine and twist your arms to point to the left, return to the start and repeat for the other side.
Spiderman crunch to plank up downs
Head back to the ground and return to your plank position, this time you’re going to bring each knee up towards your elbow. You should look like spiderman climbing, hence the name. Complete one per side and then progress into your plank up down. From your hand plank, take each arm down to an elbow plank and then return to start. All of this counts as one complete rep.
It can be very easy to neglect your abdominal muscles when planning a workout. Having a strong core is crucial to being fit, strong, and healthy so follow Sundried's flat stomach abs workout and see the results for yourself!
How to get a flat stomach
Unfortunately, doing endless crunches won't get you a flat stomach. You can't 'spot reduce' an area, which means you can't just target your tummy by doing ab exercises and expect it to lose weight. By following a healthy, balanced diet, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep, you will be well on your way to getting a flat stomach. Adding a great core workout like this one into your weekly routine will then help to tone and strengthen the area to help enhance the appearance of your abs.
Exercises for a flat stomach
There are lots of core exercises out there, so we have consolidated all the best ones to give you a fantastic workout routine that you can do anywhere. Using resistance like you'd find on a gym machine will certainly get you good results, but this bodyweight workout can be done at home or outdoors so it is more accessible to everyone.
Slim tummy abs workout
Roll Back Mountain Climbers
Start by lying on your back and bring your knees into your chest. Rock back onto your shoulders and use the momentum of your movement to roll forward. Place your hands in front of you and then jump your feet back into a plank. From here complete 4 mountain climbers, bringing your knees in towards your hands. Then lift your hands off the ground and roll back. That’s one rep. Go for 10 reps.
Plank Split Squat Thrusts
Get into a press up position keeping your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your body in a straight line. Jump your legs forward towards your hands, splitting your legs so a foot lands by either hand. Jump your feet back to meet in your plank position. Complete 10 reps.
Oblique Plank Pull Throughs
Lie on your side and prop yourself up on your forearm, keeping it underneath your shoulder. Lift your hip so you are in a side plank position. Reach up over your head extending your arm out straight and then sweep it down through the gap between your stomach and the floor, keeping your hips lifted at all times. Complete 10 on each side with 30 seconds rest between each.
This is the exercise shown in the image above. Start seated with your back straight and knees slightly bent, lean back until you feel your abdominal muscles engage. When you're ready, extend your legs out straight in front of you and raise your arms above your head. You may well feel your body shudder and shake, so try to control your abs as much as possible. Hold this position for as long as you can.
Walk The Plank
Doing the plank just got even harder! Take up a plank position, and then lift yourself up into a press up position (straight arms) one hand at a time. Then lower yourself back down. Repeat this for 30 seconds and feel the burn!