You don't need complex machinery or expensive gym memberships to sculpt great abs. in fact, the only real piece of kit you need is a few square feet of floor. Based on workout recommendations from Greenwich personal trainer Danny Fisher, we've sifted through some tried-and-tested moves to find the best abs workout you can do from the comfort of your own home. But if you think that means we're going to be taking it easy on you, you're wrong. This workout culminates in a gruelling three-circuit superset designed to hit every part of your abs. Can you stomach it? If the answer's yes (we hope that it is) then here's the workout you'll be doing, and you can find out how to perform the moves below.
•Spiderman Press-up •Hanging Leg-raises •Oblique Crunch •Sit-up •Star Plank •Crunch •Reverse Crunch •Side Plank •Russian Twists
Sets: 1 Reps: 15 Rest: None Get into a traditional press-up position. Lower yourself toward the floor and bring your right knee to your right elbow, keeping it off the ground. Press back up and return your leg to the starting position. Repeat with the alternate leg. Why? The spiderman press-up is designed to do target your core, so while it's targeting your chest and triceps like any other press-up, because you're only being supported on three points of contact when you move your leg forward, your abdominals and other core muscles have to work harder to maintain stability.
Sets: 1 Reps: 15 Rest: None Grab a pull-up bar and lower yourself into a dead hang. Let your legs straighten and pull your pelvis back slightly. Tense your core and raise your legs until your thighs are perpendicular to your torso. Hold then lower slowly back to the starting position. Why? One of the hardest ab exercises around is also one of the most effective. It does need a pull-up bar to work, but can still be done in the comfort of your own home. Variations such as the hanging twisting knee raise keeps the exercise fresh.
Sets: 1 Reps: 20 Rest: 2 mins Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Put your right hand behind your head, elbow flared out, and your left palm down perpendicular to your torso. Contract your abs to lift your shoulders off the floor and rotate your body to bring your right elbow towards your left knee. Slowly lower and repeat all your reps before swapping sides.
Sets: 1 Reps: 25 Rest: None Lie down on the floor with your knees bent and, if possible, hook your feet under something that will prevent them from moving. Place your hands behind your head and tense your core as you lift your torso up so your upper body forms a V shape with your thighs. Lower under control back to the start position.
Sets: 1 Reps: 1 minute Rest: 2 mins From a press-up position, walk your palms and toes out and away from your body until they form an x-shape. Brace your core to keep a flat line from your head to your hips and toes. Hold for the required time then walk back to a normal press-up position. Why? This tricky variation on your average plank engages your entire body as your core works to centre yourself. Your whole body needs to be held in place by your core for the duration of the exercise. Brutal.
The final circuit needs either a weight plate or a medicine ball and is also ran as a superset.
Lie flat on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands on either side of your head. Push your lower back into the floor as you lift your shoulders a few inches off the floor – make sure your lower back stays in contact with the ground at all times. Tense your abs hard at the top point of the movement, then return under control to the start position.
Why? These old-school favourites have gone the distance for a reason. A study by the American Council of Exercise looked at crunches alongside the effectiveness of popular core-busting kit such as the Ab Roller, Ab Lounge, and Circle Pro, and the humble crunch showed the greatest muscle activation overall. If it ain't broke...
Sets: 1 Reps: 20 Rest: None Lie on your back with your arms on the floor at your sides, palms facing down. Bend your knees and bring them towards your chest by contracting your abs. As they rise, roll your pelvis to lift your hips off the floor. Squeeze at the top then slowly lower until your thighs are perpendicular to the floor.
Sets: 1 Reps: 1 minute each side Rest: None Lie on your left side with your knees straight and prop your upper body up to take its weight on your forearm. Brace your core and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line. Hold this position while breathing deeply. Then roll over and repeat on the other side. Why? As well as providing a new angle for the classic plank, the muscles targeted by this move end up supporting the lower back and preventing back pain in later life. Researchers at Kuopio University in Finland found those with stronger hip and back extensor muscles suffered less from lower back pain. Straighten up by lying down.
Sets: 1 Reps: 25 Rest: None Sit holding the weight plate with your arms extended and feet off the floor. Quickly twist at the torso, turning from side to side. Why? The only other exercise on our list that requires any equipment, the Russian Twist works with either a weight plate or a medicine ball. Much more effective than static rotations standing up, your core must be continually engaged to keep you balanced while the twist works either side of your body. Both sides? That's one rep.
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