What Are the Best Abs Workouts?

Get rid of your belly fat with these simple yet effective abs workouts.


When it comes to getting a flat stomach, the idea of abs exercises or “ six-pack abs” usually comes to mind. But what are the best complete abdominal exercises for targeting all the muscles in your abdomen?

Today, we’ll discuss exactly that. We’ll explain what are good core workouts to target all four abdominal muscles, as well as how often these exercises should be done and how to progress them. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you plan an effective abdominal routine that can help you get the toned and defined stomach of your dreams.

Core Exercises

Strengthening your core is key for overall health, fitness level, posture, and athletic performance. Working your core muscles through exercises such as crunches and planks can help you build strength and stability in the entire abdomen and back muscles. Let’s go into further detail about the best core exercises to help you build your dream abs.


Plank is one of the simplest and most effective solutions to strengthen your core. As a full-body exercise, plank engages your entire abdominal wall. To perform a plank, start by getting on your hands and feet on the ground, with your hands aligned in line with your shoulders and feet in line with hips. Make sure to keep your body straight and elbows slightly bent, forming an angled line between your body and the floor. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds then rest for 10 seconds before repeating two to three more sets. This exercise can be easily modified by moving the arms or legs out wider or bringing them closer together. For an extra challenge, incorporate planks into a dynamic movement pattern by alternating arm and leg lifts while maintaining the plank position.

Bicycle Crunch

The bicycle crunch is a type of core exercise that helps to strengthen the abdominal muscles and improve overall athletic performance. To perform the bicycle crunch, start by lying flat on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Place your hands behind your head and slowly lift one knee towards your chest while extending the other leg as far as possible. Simultaneously twist your torso so that you are bringing one elbow towards the opposite knee — like pedaling a bike. Make sure to engage your core throughout the exercise. You should feel the muscles in your abdomen working as you repeat this motion, alternating which leg is lifted each time. The bicycle crunch works each side of the abs equally, resulting in increased strength and improved balance between both sides of the body. For best results, aim to complete 30 repetitions within 1-2 minutes or three sets of 10 repetitions resting for 20 seconds between sets.

Russian Twist

The Russian Twist is a fantastic workout for developing core stability and strength. It works your abdominals and obliques, both of which are important components of strong core muscles. To perform the exercise, sit on the ground with your feet flat and knees bent. Lean back slightly and lift your feet off the ground so that your upper body is at a 45-degree angle. Twist from side to side in a slow, controlled motion, focusing on engaging your core throughout the movement. Depending on your fitness level, you can either hold a lightweight medicine ball or don’t use any equipment at all. Repeat this move slowly for 10-15 repetitions or to fatigue, making sure to keep good form throughout.

Leg Raises

Leg Raises are a standard exercise for building core strength, and they target your abdominals as well as your hip flexors. To perform this exercise, start by lying on your back with your legs bent at the knees and feet flat on the floor. Raise both legs so that they are pointed straight up towards the ceiling. As you raise them, keep your abdominals pulled tight to prevent lower back injury. Lower both legs slowly back down until they just barely touch the floor. Make sure to maintain control while performing this exercise and avoid allowing momentum to take over. For an extra challenge, hold one leg in the air while you lower and raise the other one for a single-leg variation of this classic core move. Leg Raises can also be performed hanging from a pull-up bar or holding onto an elevated surface such as a sturdy chair or countertop for extra difficulty.

Compound Exercises

Compound exercises are one of the best ways to develop strong and powerful abs. They are effective because they involve multiple muscle groups and require you to use more energy and stability to perform them. Compound exercises can also help you build lean muscle faster as they promote overall strength and help you burn more calories. Let’s take a look at some of the best compound exercises for abs.


Deadlifts are a compound exercise that targets the back, hamstrings, glutes, and core. This powerful move involves standing with your feet hip-width apart and holding a weight in both hands while bending at the waist to pick up the weight from the ground. Your legs work as stabilizers but engage quite a bit to help lift and hold the weight. Although primarily an exercise for lower body muscles, deadlifts also help improve your core strength as you need to maintain balance throughout the move. It’s important to practice good form when doing this exercise to avoid injury.


Squats are a compound exercise that works the entire body, making them an excellent choice to help you tone and strengthen your abs muscles. Done with moderate weight and proper form, squats target the quads and glutes while helping to increase overall core strength. Start by standing tall with your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointing slightly outward. Begin by sending your hips back, engaging your glutes and keeping your chest lifted throughout the movement. As you lower down into a full squat, be sure to keep a flat back, pushing your knees outward as low as possible before returning to standing position for one repetition. Be mindful that as you transition up from the squatting position it is important to not just stand straight up in order to protect your spine – keep driving those knees outward until you achieve full range of motion at the top of the movement. Squats can be done effectively with or without additional weights; use a smith machine or grab two dumbbells or kettlebells if you wish challenge yourself further. Adding squats into any abs routine can have great benefits!


Lunges are one of the most effective compound exercises for targetting the core and developing abdominal strength. This full-body exercise requires balance and stability, specifically engaging your core muscles as you move back and forth in an alternating pattern. To get maximum abdominal benefits, focus on using proper form while maintaining control throughout your entire lunge set; this will help to recruit as many abdominal muscles as possible. Additionally, lunges can be modified with different variations — such as reverse lunges or overhead lunges — offering further opportunities for challenging your core muscles and providing a more varied workout routine.


Push-ups are a classic exercise and can be an effective part of a abs routine. Push-ups require effort from the core to hold your body in the proper form, working both your abs as well as your chest, back and shoulders. Push-ups can also use variations to increase difficulty or focus on different muscles. Basic push-up form includes laying flat on the floor, hands placed palms down just wider than shoulder width apart, feet close together with body staying in a straight line from head to toe and elbows tucked into the body at an angle that allows for full range of motion. When pushing up out of the bottom position, keep your head neutral with eyes looking straight ahead while contracting your core and glutes to ensure proper form throughout the entire exercise. Beginner variations may include putting knees on ground or raising feet on a step while more advanced versions might include drop sets or single arm versions. Push-ups can be part of any ab workout routine because they work multiple muscle groups but especially engage those abs for extra strengthening support for all other activities throughout the day.

Isolation Exercises

Isolation exercises are a great way to target specific muscles in your abs. These exercises generally focus on one muscle group and can help you achieve more defined and defined abs. There are a number of isolation exercises available for the abs, so let’s take a look at some of the best ones.


Crunches are a great isolation exercise to help target and strengthen the muscles in your abdominal core. This popular stomach workout will help you build abdominal strength, increase stabilization, and improve your posture. Crunches are easy to do and require no equipment making them the perfect abs workout at home or on-the-go. To do a crunch:

-Lie flat on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
-Put your hands behind your head slightly pushing up against your neck as you lift up.
-Lift up shoulders off of the ground towards your thighs, engaging that core without straining your neck or back.
-Slowly lower back down when finished with the repetition.
-Repeat for a total of 10 to 15 reps or perform 3 sets of 10 reps depending on skill level.

Similar exercises such as reverse crunches, bicycles, plank holds and flutter kicks all work muscles ab area in different ways to engage different areas for an effective core workout routine overall. Incorporating isolation exercises into a daily fitness routine can help you achieve greater overall strength and balance for improved performance in few other physical activities like running or playing sports!

Reverse Crunches

Reverse crunches are a great abs isolation exercise that can provide an excellent challenge for both the upper and lower ab muscles. This exercise is quite simple to do, but it does require some strength and coordination in order to perform it correctly. In order to set up for the exercise, you will need to lie down flat on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Then, you will need to use your core muscles to curl your knees towards your chest as far as you can go. Keep your back flat against the ground as you do this and focus on squeezing your abdominal muscles at the same time. Once at the top of the movement, pause for a moment then slowly return back to starting position. Reverse crunches should be performed in slow, controlled movements with a focus on quality reps rather than quantity; they are a great way to work the deeper core muscles while also strengthening and toning ab muscles overall.

Side Plank

The side plank is an effective exercise for working the abdominal and oblique muscles. It is one of the most popular isolation exercises and is often used in core-strengthening programs. To perform a side plank, start by lying on your side (either left or right). Place your elbow directly below your shoulder and raise your body up onto that arm, keeping the torso straight and rigid. Make sure you are balancing on one foot while lifting the other foot off the ground. With proper form, hold the plank position for 15-30 seconds per set. Repeat several sets on each side to feel a good burn in the abs and obliques. The side plank exercise can also be modified by raising a dumbbell or weighted plate over your head while in the static position. This adds more intensity to work those core muscles even harder!

Leg Lifts

Leg lifts are an ideal isolation exercise for achieving an effective core workout without the need for a gym or equipment. To properly perform this fundamental isolation exercise, begin with your lower back pinned against the floor or a supportive surface and your hands extended by your sides. Contract your abdominal muscles and raise both legs off the ground simultaneously as you breathe out. Focus on maintaining balance in order to effectively access your core muscles. Once your legs reach their maximum height, pause briefly before slowly lowering them back to the starting position as you inhale. The number of repetitions will depend on you level of fitness, but sets of 15-20 are advised to maximize results. When performing leg lifts, it is important not to swing your legs back down as this reduces tension in the abs resulting in an ineffective work out


In conclusion, there is no single best exercise for strengthening and toning the abdominal muscles. Different exercises can target different areas or muscle groups of the abdomen, so it’s important to combine a variety of exercises such as planks, sit-ups, side bends, leg raises and mountain climbers to get a comprehensive workout. Proper breathing technique is essential to getting the most benefit from each exercise and avoiding feeling lightheaded or dizzy. It’s also important to listen to your body and watch for signs of muscle fatigue or strain so you can adjust the intensity of your workout accordingly. With consistency and proper form, you will see results over time as you build your core strength and add definition.

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