“Whenever I’m ready to get a six-pack, I will go into beast zone and work my [butt] off until I have it.” – Beyoncé
Working to get a six pack but not sure where to start? You’ll need a core-boosting Beyoncé-worthy abs routine.
An Abs Workout for the Perfect Six Pack
Many people hoping for a six pack get stuck in the same abs routine without any results. Shake things up by trying the following 20 exercises to start your journey towards stronger abs and a sexy six pack.
Believe it or not, pull-ups are one of the most essential choices for a core boosting abs workout. When performing pull-ups, you are engaging your abs by contracting them as you pull yourself up. During the exercise, your abs’ attempt to stabilize is really what will help to tighten your core.
To do pull-ups properly, use a pull-up bar and both hands. With an overhand grip, begin to pull yourself up as you brace your abs, cross your feet, bend your legs, and pull both shoulder blades back and down.
2. Wood Choppers
Have a medicine ball handy? The wood choppers exercise is an excellent abs workout for beginners. The exercise uses the medicine ball to help you tone and strengthen your core. The twisting motion of wood choppers helps to twist the core as you build your abs.
This exercise should be executed standing with both feet apart while holding the medicine ball in both hands. Once you are holding the ball, reach up above your head, turning to the right. Then, twist down and bring the ball towards the outside of the left knee. This is where you will start to feel the fat-burning twisting of your muscles. Repeat on the other side.
3. Barbell Floor Wiper
If you have a barbell nearby, the barbell floor wiper is a great addition to your abs workout. This workout starts with you lying on the floor. Hold your barbell above your chest, making sure to keep the arms straight.
As you perform the exercise, keep raising your feet above you. Then, begin to lower the feet toward one side. Finish the exercise by returning to the starting position, ensuring your feet never touch the floor.
4. Jack Knife Sit-Up
Crunches are often a staple in an abs workout for beginners, but it is hardly the only exercise needed to build your abs. Trade in your crunches for the jack knife sit-up. This exercise has been proven to be successful for defining that six pack.
Jack knife sit-ups start off with you sitting on the ground, holding your medicine ball with both hands. Keeping your feet in front of you, slightly bend your knees. Then, lifting both feet slightly, lean back into a 45-degree angle.
As you hold the medicine ball, begin to twist your torso to one side. Repeat this exercise on each side.
5. Single-Leg Stretch
Another great abs workout for beginners is the single-leg stretch. While you may not think of stretching as the fast track to a six pack, it is a crucial abs workout to include as part of your routine.
Transform this simple stretch into an abs exercise by lying on your back with both knees bent. Next, lift your shoulders and head, making an effort to curl the chin towards your chest. Then, using both hands, grab the left knee and bring it towards the chest.
You’ll then point the right leg outward, letting it hover over the floor. As you successfully stretch your muscles with this exercise, you’ll also be working to build your six pack.
6. Lower Belly Leg Reach
This exercise really gets into the nitty-gritty of a core-busting abs workout. This exercise specifically targets the lower abs, a common problem area for many people. While it can be a challenge to eliminate fat in this area, the lower belly leg reach will help you do just that.
Start this exercise off by lying on the ground with your knees bent in a 90-degree angle. Next, place both hands behind the head, making sure to keep your elbows out. Then, contract the abs and begin to crunch upwards, holding your position for three to five seconds.
Once you start to feel the burn in the lower belly region, you’ll know that the exercise is working. Continue the exercise in a series of 10 to 15 reps.
7. Physioball Pikes
While this exercise may be a bit of a challenging workout, it is a great way to help tighten your core. This workout uses a medicine ball and the push-up position to help sculpt your stomach.
Begin the exercise by placing the shins against a physioball. Your body should be in a relatively straight line. Start to roll your ball toward you while raising both hips into the air.
Take a moment to pause, then lower the hips, rolling the ball backwards into the initial starting position.
8. Exercise Ball Crunches
One of the most popular and effective exercises for an abs workout, exercise ball crunches are crunches with the addition of an exercise ball. Using an exercise ball allows you to rely entirely on your abs as you complete the crunches. This is what will ensure that your core gets a complete workout.
Begin this exercise by sitting on your exercise ball. Then, start walking both feet out, allowing your lower back to rest on the ball. With your back arched, stretch your abs, keeping both legs in a 90-degree angle.
Once in the correct position, start performing the crunches.
Hundreds is a great abs workout for beginners, taken from Pilates. Though it is harder than it looks, the resultant six pack will be easy to enjoy. Start this exercise by lying on the ground. The knees should be bent and lifted off the ground, keeping your calves parallel to your mat.
Then, curl your chest off the floor and engage the abs. Make sure the lower back is pressed onto your mat and extend both legs outwards. Finish the exercise by lowering your legs into a 45-degree angle, then extend the arms, making sure to pump them for 10 beats.
10. Mountain Climbers
The mountain climbers exercise uses your body weight to really sculpt your abs. While an excellent choice for an abs workout, mountain climbers also help to work the legs, back, and arms.
Start this exercise by getting into the planking position. This exercise is a hybrid between running and planking as it requires you to hold your position while moving your legs up towards your chest. Complete these mountain climbers as quickly as possible during a 30-second period.
11. Dynamic Planks
While you’re still in plank position, try the dynamic planks. An easy workout for sculpting abs, this exercise is actually quite simple.
Begin this dynamic exercise by going into a side plank. Rest your weight on one side of your body and hold the pose. Then, rotate into the standard plank pose, keeping both feet and hands against the floor. Finish the exercise by repeating these in alternating directions.
12. Hanging Leg Raise
This workout targets the harder-to-reach lower stomach area. Though this area is difficult to define and strengthen, it can be accomplished with an exercise like the hanging leg raise.
These raises can be performed by hanging from gymnastic rings or a bar. Keep the legs fully extended as you raise both legs to become parallel with the ground. Start slowly, doing a few at a time.
Looking for the right abs workout to sculpt your obliques? T-bends are it! This exercise uses weights to really help whip your core into shape.
Starting with light weights, stand with both feet apart, holding both arms straight out at the sides. Then, grasp a dumbbell with each hand. Keep the lower body stable and bring the left arm towards the ground while raising the right arm towards the ceiling.
14. Dumbbell Side Bends
Another excellent weighted exercise, dumbbell side bends make for a great abs workout. Much like the previously mentioned T-bends, these side bends also help to target the obliques.
This exercise should be started with a dumbbell in one hand as you stand straight. Then, place the other hand against your hip as you slowly lower the other hand towards the floor while simultaneously bending to the side.
15. Supine Oblique Twist Using an Exercise Ball
Working out your obliques with the addition of an exercise ball is one of the best choices for an ab workout. Perform these twists by grabbing your ball with both feet while lying flat against the floor. You’ll then start to rotate your ball as you engage your entire core.
Then, move your right foot toward the ceiling. The outside of the other foot should be facing the ground.
16. Reverse Crunches
Tired of the regular crunches? Reverse crunches are an effective way to sculpt the core and spice up your abs routine. Begin the reverse crunch as you would a traditional crunch. However, instead of crunching forward, you’ll move both legs towards your stomach and chest and then release.
17. Heel Touches
Heel touches are your go-to exercise for really tightening that six pack. Begin this exercise by lying against the ground and bending your knees off the floor. Once in this position, press your abs into the floor.
Start the exercise by lifting both shoulders and contracting your upper abs. Then, rotate the right hand towards your right heel as this will target your obliques. Continue this exercise on both sides.
18. Swiss Ball Rollout
Another abs exercise that makes use of your exercise ball, the Swiss ball rollout is a great way to really work your core muscles.
Rest your forearms against the exercise ball as you begin to walk your legs behind you. Once both legs are fully extended, you’ll essentially be in plank position. Tighten your core, then begin to roll the ball while extending both hips and arms.
19. Torso Twist
While many core exercises are performed on the ground, the torso twist is one that is easy to do while standing.
Start the exercise with both feet spread a foot apart. Place both hands behind each ear, keeping your elbows pointed outward. Then lift one knee up towards the right while bringing the right elbow down towards the knee. Reverse this movement, switch sides, and repeat.
20. Dead Bug
While the dead bug exercise may appear simple, it can be one of the most challenging core-busting exercises.
To begin this exercise, lie down with both knees bent. Then, start tightening the core, making sure to push your back towards the ground while lifting your legs off of the floor. Next, you ll extend and lower your right leg and left arm, making sure to keep both off the ground.
Final Thoughts on Abs Exercises
These 20 exercises each target your core in various ways. While it is impossible to lose weight in just one area, it is essential to thoroughly workout your abs whether you’re hoping to lose weight or define your core into a six pack.
Be sure to add a few of these exercises to your regular workout routine. By making a habit of doing these ab workouts, you’ll find that your core will be stronger than ever before.