For this at-home abs workout, here are the basics:
- What you'll need: an exercise mat and a dumbbell (or medicine ball)
- What to do: three sets per exercise, resting up to 45 seconds between sets
- When to do it: up to three times per week for results in under a month
Double Reverse Crunch
Target Muscles: rectus abdominis (upper and lower portion)
Set Up: Lie faceup on a mat with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor. Place your hands lightly behind your head.
Action: Keeping contact between your mid-back and the mat, raise your tailbone from the floor as you direct your knees toward your chest. At the same time, lift your shoulders and upper back from the ground. Pause, then slowly return your upper and lower body to the starting position. Complete 12 reps.
Target Muscles: rectus abdominis (lower portion)
Set Up: Lie faceup on a mat. Place your hands underneath your lower back or extend them along the sides of your body. Keeping your legs straight, raise them a few inches from the ground.
Action: Slowly cross one leg overtop of the other in a scissoring motion, keeping them lifted from the ground at all times. One motion with each leg counts as one repetition. Aim for 15 to 20 reps.
Target Muscles: rectus abdominis (upper portion)
Set Up: Begin by lying faceup on a mat, with your legs bent, feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell or medicine ball in your hands with arms extended above your chest.
Action: Slowly curl your shoulders and upper back from the mat, keeping your arms straight and pointing toward the ceiling. Return slowly and carefully to the start. Do 12 to 15 reps.
Crossover Crunch with Reach
Target Muscles: rectus abdominis, internal and external obliques
Set Up: Position yourself faceup on the mat, legs bent with arms extended along your sides.
Action: Lift your upper back from the ground and curl to the right, extending your arms and reaching across your body toward your right foot. Hold, then return to the start and repeat on your opposite side for one rep. Repeat for 10 to 12 reps.
Target Muscles: transverse abdominis
Set Up: From a facedown position on the mat, lift your hips from the ground to support your body weight between your forearms and your toes, aligning your elbows beneath your shoulders.
Action: Contract your abdominals and hold for 30 seconds to one minute, keeping your back straight, your hips lifted and your body supported on your toes.