20 Minute At-Home Ab Workout
I get asked ALL the time how you can get defined abs or a flat stomach.
The first thing you need to know is that to get lean and fit requires you to train your WHOLE body — you have to do more than just ab workouts!
You will often hear me say that it isn’t possible to spot reduce by focusing only on a certain area. Getting the results you want with defined abs takes disciplined training and a healthy eating plan.
That said, doing extra ab exercises in addition to a full-body workout plan, like my programs in the Sweat app, can help build muscle in those areas you want to pay more attention to.
Core strength is crucial for your overall fitness and helps to improve balance and stability. And, fortunately, this doesn’t mean that you have to do hundreds of crunches each day!
Crunches only target the superficial (outer) abdominal muscles, which isn’t necessarily the most effective way to achieve strong abs.
If you’re looking to build well-rounded strength in your abs, core exercises like planks, ab bikes, leg raises and Russian twists are going to help you get there!
At-Home Ab Workout
This 20-minute ab workout you can do at home will fire up your core, so find a bench or chair and give it a go!
Set a timer and do each circuit for five minutes, with one minute of rest between circuits. Complete the circuits twice each for a 20-minute workout!
As with all my workouts, make sure to warm up first with five minutes of walking or skipping, or you can create your own warm up routine.
1. Bent-Leg Raise
2. X Plank
3. Incline Mountain Climber
20 REPS 10 Per Side
1. Russian Twist
20 REPS 10 Per Side
2. In & Out Plank
3. Modified Burpee & Push-Up
For beginners to my workouts, pay extra attention to your technique over pace. For the more advanced of you, increase the intensity and get into a rhythm with each movement to feel your core burn!
If you don’t have a bench, you can substitute this for a chair instead, but make sure it’s stable and won’t move during your workout.
Which Muscles Does This Workout Target?
Now, let’s get technical... when you think about getting abs, most people think of the “rectus abdominis” which forms the six-pack. You target this muscle with exercises like sit-ups and toe-taps. While this muscle assists with moving the body between the ribcage and pelvis, it’s just one of four major muscles that provide core strength.
The transverse abdominis is the deepest core muscle and stabilises your body. You can target this muscle with exercises such as planks and ab roll outs.
The external oblique muscles run down each side of the rectus abdominis and allows your trunk to rotate. The internal oblique muscles support the abdominal wall, provide stability to the spine and aid with trunk rotation. Russian twists are an example of an exercise that targets these two muscle groups.
A solid ab workout routine will target all four groups of abdominal muscles — so you can see why you need a range of stomach exercises to build your core strength!
Your core is what helps you to balance and provides overall stability for your body. Increasing your core strength can help to prevent injury when doing other exercises — a strong core provides a stable base and aids proper movement patterns so that other muscles won’t overcompensate!
Strengthening your core can also help reduce lower back pain and improve posture.
It takes more than crunches for a complete at-home ab workout!
This complete core workout activates all four groups of muscles in your abs. It only takes 20 minutes, so try fitting it into your week!
Have you tried this workout? Tell me how it went in the comments below!
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.