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All Time Best 18 Abs Exercises To Crush Your Core

Abs Exercises

Abs Exercises - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

30-Second-Summary
  • The core muscles are muscles between the chest and the hips at the front, side, and back of the stomach or abdomen.
  • Doing abs exercises involving core muscles helps improve overall health, gives you good posture, a healthy heart, and a slimmer waistline.
  • You can do most abs exercises at home without equipment and still crush your core.
  • Abs exercises involve doing pulls, rolls, lifts, push-ups, leg lifts, and twists, among many.
  • To get the maximum benefits of abs workouts, combine lower and upper core exercises.

Introduction

All the muscles between your chest and hips make up your core. The core muscles[1] include:

  • The rectus abdominis at the front of your stomach from ribs to the pelvis
  • The obliques to help twist your stomach on each side of the rectus abdominis
  • Transverse abdominis muscles that wrap around your stomach at the bottom of your stack
  • The pyramidalis muscles at the stomach base in your pelvis help sustain your abdomen’s internal pressure
To get the benefits of abs workouts, maintain the core abs muscles. You get whole fitness and health when you build your core. In essence, a strong core helps you do squats, lift weights, climb the stairs, run distances, stability, and do pulls, plus push motions.

Fortunately, you don’t need any equipment to do most core workouts. You can do the abs exercises at home.

There are several abs exercises that consciously or unconsciously help build your core.

Here are the 18 best abs exercises to help crush your core.

1. The sit-ups

Sit-ups are part of lower abs exercises but help other abs, back, and the hips. You know you are unfit if you can’t complete a sit-up easily.

How to do sit-ups:
Lie flat on your back, your knees bent, and feet firm on the ground. Clasp your fingers together at the back of your head. Raise your upper body part towards your thighs slowly in one motion, and then lie back. Oh, you just did a complete sit-up. Repeat a few times.

Dead bug

2. Dead bug

Another pick of the best abs exercises that works your midsection muscles is the dead bug.

How to do it:
Lie on your back and raise your arms straight above the shoulders. Keep your knees bent over your hips with your legs firm on the floor. Your calves are at a 90-degree angle with your thighs.

Simultaneously, lower one arm back straight above your head and stretch the corresponding leg to the floor. Bring the two back, and do the same for the other leg and arm. Repeat it 15 to 20 times or as you wish.

3. Superman with a twist

Superman with a twist is among the abs exercises at home to twist your core muscles to make them flexible and strong.

How to do superman with a twist:
Place your hands on your head while lying flat on your stomach. Then, lift your upper body high to feel the strain on your abs, and twist your chest. It may help avert back pain after you do other ‘lie back’ exercises.

4. Mountain climber

Sounds simple among the lower abs exercises, but it’s good for all abs, shoulders, hip joint, arms, and legs, besides the core muscles.

How to do it:
Pose like a sprinter, one foot under the waist, with a bent knee, and the other leg straight. Let your hands touch the ground straight under your shoulders. Move your legs forward and back one after the other using your hands as support.

5. Bird dog or quadruped exercise

To work the rectus abdominis and the glutes better, use the quadruped exercise. It’s one of the lower abs exercises that enhances spine movement and balance.

How to master the bird dog:
Be on all fours, your arms straight under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Then, lift one arm and stretch the opposite leg behind you as you kick back. Your palm should face towards your body. Maintain the pose for 1 to 2 seconds, then alternate. You can let your elbow touch your knee.

Glute bridge marches

6. Glute bridge marches

Again, to get more benefits of abs workouts, include the glute bridge exercise in your routine. It works the hamstrings and the lower back. A challenging exercise but good if you can’t do squats.

How to do it:
With your knees bent, lie on your back and arms on your side, palms facing up. Support your body with your feet and shoulder blades, lift your body and make it straight from shoulders to the knees. Then, raise one knee over your hip for more tension to your core. Hold the pose for 5 to 10 seconds, and repeat using the other knee.

7. The side plank

Another one of the best abs exercises that help the side stomach abs. Also, it helps all abs, shoulders, legs, and arms.

How to do it:
Lie on one side, rest on your forearm, and straighten your legs with your other arm resting on your hip. Lift your body to stretch your abs as your body forms almost a diagonal line. Hold for a few seconds, repeat about 5 times, then alternate to get the best of this class of lower abs exercises.

8. The high plank

The high plank[2] packs many benefits of abs workouts with your weight on your limbs. Plank exercises work on all abs muscles.

How to do the high plank:
Get on all fours, hands under the shoulders, and rest on your knees below the hips. Next, straighten one leg, then bring it back under your body with the knee bent. Do the same with the other leg. As you advance, bring your elbow to touch your knee. You can use your elbows to support your body instead of the palms (elbow plank).

9. Vertical crunches

Another of the best upper abs exercises to crush your core. The vertical leg crunch will strengthen the core and the legs.

How to do the leg crunch:
Lying on your lower back, place your hand behind your back, with your legs up straight. Move your body towards your toes to crunch your abs. Exhale while going up, and inhale as you go back to your starting position.

Russian twists

10. Russian twists

By doing the Russian twist abs exercises at home, you twist the stomach muscles to crush your core. Those with a medicinal ball can make the exercise more fun.

How to do the Russian twists:
Bend your knees when seated and place your feet on the floor firmly. Then, put your arms in front and palms facing down. Lean back to maintain a 45 degree against the floor. Twist your body sideways, each side, repeatedly. If you have weights, you can hold them as you twist your body.

11. The v-ups

This is one of the advanced best upper abs exercises you shouldn’t miss. But you can start with the less taxing v-up. V-ups strengthen your core abs, hips, and lower back.

How to do the v-ups:
To perform these abs exercises at home, lie on your back with arms and legs straight and slightly raised. Swiftly lift your upper body and legs as if to touch your toes in one motion. Then, go back to your starting pose. That’s one v-up. Do 10 to 20 times.

12. Bear crawls

The bear crawl is among the best abs exercises at home to challenge your core and all abs at once.

How to do it:
On your fours, with your knees bent vertically and slightly above the ground. Ensuring your back remains parallel, move one hand forward and the opposite leg at once. Similarly, move the other arm and leg. Make sure the distance of the forward movement is almost the same for the arm and the leg.

13. Push-up position walkouts

Another perfect but less strenuous among the best abs exercises to crush your core.

How to do it:
Beginners can start on their knees but move to a standing position as they advance. In a push-up position, with your back flat, walk your arms forward as far as possible till your nose hugs the floor. Then walk back to the start pose. You can walk out up to 10 times.

The hollow hold

14. The hollow hold

The hollow hold upper abs exercises seem easy but leave you shaking to the core. You challenge all abs muscles, the hip thighs, and erector spinae muscles.

How to do the hollow hold:
Lie on your back, arms on your sides, and extend your legs. Flex your abdomen muscles as you tighten your thighs. Then, lift straight legs slightly (5 inches). Clasp your hands behind your head and raise the head about 3 inches, with your lower back firmly on the floor. Hold the pause for about 30 seconds. Repeat with the same isometric concentration.

15. Hooked or suspended leg sit-ups

To further crush your core, suspend your legs and do sit-ups[3]. This way, the legs and abs get stretched as you rise and twist.

How to do it:
Get an inclined bench to hook your legs as you lie on your back. Then lift your entire body from your hips and remain there. You may twist your abs muscles. Go back down and repeat it about 10 times.

16. The flutter kicks

Flutter kicks help crush your core abs plus the legs, hip flexors, and thighs muscles.

How to do the flutter kicks abs exercises at home:
Lying on your back, extend and lift your legs at a 45-degree angle. Then, slowly lower one leg near to the ground, then raise it, and lower the other. For a better effect on the abs, don’t let any leg touch the ground.

17. The abs wheel roll or barbell rollout

If you have a rolling wheel, like a barbell[4], this exercise is a must. It works almost all abs muscles.

How to do it:
On your knees, place the wheel in front, and bend to hold the wheel. You may do it standing too when you get used to it. Roll the wheel forward horizontally and extend it as far as you can. Then pull it back. Repeat it a few times as necessary.

Dragon flag

18. Dragon flag

Among the toughest abs exercise to push your core is the dragon flag.

How to do it:
Hold the bench behind your head while lying on it with straight legs. Then, raise your knees to your chest and kick out upwards. Raise your body while supporting it with your shoulders on the bench. Don’t bend your knees, and your lower back shouldn’t touch the bench. Beginners can start with their knees bent, though.

Benefits Of Abs Workouts

You get several benefits if you crush your core through the best abs exercises. The benefits include:

Improved sports performance – Among the benefits of abs workouts is helping play sports like soccer, rugby, tennis, and basketball. Such sports require a stable, strong core to withstand twists, turns, jumps, runs, and physical demands.

Improved balance and postureUpper abs exercises give you a six-pack, maintain balance, and produce an upright-looking posture.

Reduced back painAbs exercises involve motion and stability. Often, they help prevent and reduce lower back pain as you exercise your back.

Improved heart and general health – Crushing core exercises increase your breathing, burn fat, and get all benefits of abs exercises[5].

Slimmer waistline – By burning abdominal fat due to increased metabolism and building stomach muscles, lower abs exercises and upper ones may give you a firmer, leaner, and slimmer waistline.

Conclusion

Core exercises are some of the go-to routines to help strengthen and crush your core. The sit-ups, v-ups, walks, rolls, and kicks help build the core. Fortunately, you can do almost all lower abs exercises and the upper ones at home and without any equipment.

While some are fairly easy, others are taxing and require warm-ups before doing them to avoid injury risk. Those who can afford a gym with expensive equipment will benefit from some hard abs exercises.

It’s prudent to start with the simpler ones before advancing to prevent injury. To avoid injuries and pain, you may want to engage the services of a fitness trainer for more abs exercises benefits[6].

In the end, you will get your abs toned, strong, and healthy-looking. And you will reap the benefits of upper abs exercises and others as you get a six-pack, improve your health, and better posture.

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