Luckily for us, the recipe for a ripped six-pack doesn’t require a gym and can be done right in the comforts of your home.
Some of the most beneficial workouts for abs are bodyweight exercises.
Today I’m going to show you 8 grueling exercises that will help to build your core muscles.
This post is a more advanced version of Ab training, if you are a beginner and would like to build your way up with some easier exercises you can check out our blog post on ab day for beginners.
Ok, let’s get into these 8 advanced ab exercises….
1. The Dead bug
The first bodyweight exercise on this list is the dead bug.
This core building exercise is a safe and effective way to stabilize and strengthen your core as well as your back muscles.
Often times when we have a weak core our bodies will compensate for this by overworking our back muscles.
As a result, strengthening your core muscles will improve posture and can even help relieve lower back pain and stiffness.
How to: Lay on the floor and place your arms above your shoulders. From there you will bring your knees up, parallel to your hips. Your legs should be making a 90-degree angle at the hip. Next, simultaneously lower your right arm above your head while straightening the opposite leg towards the floor. Repeat on the opposite side.
2. Dumbbell Side Bend
If you don’t have a dumbbell you can use a jug of water or anything that you can grasp with one hand that weighs 5-10 pounds and that should be sufficient enough.
The dumbbell side bend works your internal and external oblique muscles located on the side of your core.
As a result of working your obliques, it also strengthens your Erector Spinae which can improve posture and relieve back pain.
How to: Stand shoulder-width apart and hold your dumbbell/ object in your left hand with your palms facing forward. Contract your core and bend to the side with the dumbbell as far as you can. On your way up, contract your core even harder and return to the starting position.
3. Bird Dog
The bird dog is an intense exercise because it involves you remaining in a stable state which requires you to use your stabilizer muscles to great lengths.
In order for this to be an effective exercise, you must push yourself to maintain proper form.
Work through this movement slowly to increase the intensity of the exercise.
How to: Start in a tabletop position. From here lift your left leg and right arm simultaneously, your leg should be straight. Pause for 2 seconds at the top of the movement then slowly bring them down at the same time, repeat this movement alternating sides. Make sure to embrace your core throughout the movement and make an effort to keep your back and butt down and aligned together.
4. Hardstyle Plank
The advanced version of a plank is the hardstyle plank hence the name.
This exercise takes a normal plank and creates more tension on your core muscles as you maneuver through the movement.
This, of course, is beneficial for building your core muscles as well as your obliques and back muscles.
How to: Lie down on all fours, from here lay on your forearms into a plank position. Every limb should be parallel to one another, hold that position for 30 seconds.
5. Hollow Body Hold
The hollow body hold is a fun and challenging exercise that involves you transferring your energy output from your upper body to your lower body while contracting your abs.
This serves as a great foundational exercise because it will strengthen your whole body which will translate into any lifts or exercises you perform.
Make sure to maintain proper breathing when performing this movement and remember that if you want to intensify this exercise you can do so by slowing the movement down.
How to: Lay on your back and bring your knees to your chest, from there wrap your arms around knees like your hugging them. Then release your legs and arms and lower them while keeping them straight, your legs and arms should stop just before they touch the ground. Once you’ve done this, return to the hugging position and repeat the movement.
V-ups are an enhanced version of crunches because they require the movement of your upper and lower body in an effort to isolate your abs.
They target the abdominal muscles greatly for this reason while also strengthening your quads and hamstrings in the process.
This bodyweight core exercise will light your lower abs on fire to eventually give you that v taper look.
How to: Lie on the floor with your arms and legs lifted slightly above the floor. From here, raise your legs while keeping them straight and simultaneously lift your torso while keeping it straight. Once you’ve made a V like shape, lower back down slowly before repeating.
7. Leg Raise
Leg raises are one of the best bodyweight exercises to target the lower abs.
It will also help improve the range of motion in your hips as well as strengthen them and improve stabilization.
How to: Lie flat on the floor with your legs pointing straight up. Place your hands under your butt or at your sides on the ground. Contract your core and raise your legs higher by pushing your hips off the floor. As you descend down, keep your legs straight and lower them just before they touch the ground and then raise them back up to repeat the movement.
8. Jackknife Sit-up
Jackknife sit-ups are especially good for the rectus abdominus muscle or the “six-pack” muscles.
You will also work your glutes, thighs, and chest with this exercise.
How to: Lie on your back with your legs straight and slightly elevated above the ground. Contract your core and raise your torso as far as you can above the ground without your back leaving the floor. Your legs should be at a 45-degree angle at the top of the movement. As you descend lower back down and maintain your legs slightly above the floor before repeating the movement.