Whether you’re working toward six-pack abs or a stronger core and better balance, the key is consistency. And if you don’t enjoy your workouts, you won’t do them. While most ab workouts consist of planks and crunches, they aren’t the only way to tone your midsection. Far from it.
There are a ton of different ways out there to build a strong and dynamic core, and not all ab workouts are created equal. To build a strong core and achieve the six-pack abs you’ve always dreamed of, you need to be strategic with your ab workouts. It’s no longer enough to simply hit some crunches and call it a day if your goal is building a strong core.
The following workout is an AMRAP workout, which is an acronym that means “as many rounds as possible.” This type of HIIT exercise is an ideal way to trim your torso — no planks or crunches required!
Perform each of the following five exercises. Rest 60 to 90 seconds before repeating the entire set of exercises. Continue for 20 minutes.
1. Windshield Wiper:
Start by performing this exercise with your knees bent, especially if you have a previous back injury or back pain. Work your way up to performing this with straight legs as your core strength improves.
- Lie on your back with your lower back pushed into the ground.
- Place both arms by your side at about a 45-degree angle.
- While keeping your legs straight, lift your legs upward as far as possible.
- Next, while trying to keep both of your shoulder blades on the ground, slowly move your legs and feet to one side of your body.
- Once you have rotated as far as you feel comfortable, rotate your legs and feet to the opposite side.
- Make sure to keep your core muscles engaged, and your arms pressed firmly into the ground the entire time.
- That’s one rep.
- Complete 5 reps.
Related article: 7 Of The Most Beneficial Core Stabilising Exercises In 1 Workout
2: Hollow Hold Leg Raise:
This exercise can also be performed with bent knees, without weight, or with your head on the ground to make it less challenging.
- Lie on your back with your lower back pressed into the ground.
- With your arms straight out in front of your chest, press a kettlebell or dumbbell upward, lifting your head, neck and shoulder blades off the ground.
- Keeping your legs straight, lift both legs up as far as possible.
- At the top, contract your core muscles as hard as possible and hold for 5 seconds.
- Slowly lower your legs back down to the starting position.
- Complete 10 reps.
3. Crawl Hold Row:
Tighten your core and keep your back straight throughout this exercise. If you can’t perform 8 reps without your back sagging, decrease the weight or don’t use any weight at all.
- Start in a crawl position on all fours with your knees bent at about a 90-degree angle and lifted a few inches off the ground.
- Next, grab a dumbbell or kettlebell with one hand and lift it off the ground by pulling your elbow up and close to the side of your body.
- Slowly lower the weight back down to the ground.
- Do all 8 reps on one side before repeating on the other.
4. Banded Chop-Up:
All of this motion should be coming from your core and hip muscles. Your shoulders and arms are doing very little work.
- Start by tying a resistance band low on a secure structure.
- Walk sideways away from the object, increasing the tension in the band.
- Start in a mini squat with your knees slightly bent and your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Next, keeping your arms straight, rotate at your hips and your torso while chopping your arms up and across your body diagonally.
- Slowly return back to the starting position.
- Do all 10 reps on one side before repeating on the other.
Related article: 5 Achievable Oblique Exercises For Core Strength & A Flat Stomach
5. Tall Sitting Pike Hip Lift:
You can place an object like a kettlebell or water bottle directly in front of you and move both of your legs over this object to give you a target.
- Sit with your chest held high and both legs straight out in front of you.
- Press your palms or fingertips into the ground to create tension and stability.
- Next, keeping your legs together and straight, lift both legs as high as possible without leaning backward.
- Move your legs to one side and touch both heels down for a split second.
- Lift your legs and arch them over to the other side.
- That’s one rep.
- Complete 8 reps.