6 Core Exercises for Six-Pack Abs
First and foremost, abs are made in the kitchen. Once you've established the proper diet, you have to focus on the muscles surrounding your abs—the core.
The core is the body's center of power. It contains the muscles that lie deep within the torso and stabilize your body, whether it's stationary or dynamic movement. Balance and stabilization workouts help define the abdominal muscle groups, which results in the defined stomach many desire.
The following six exercises will strengthen your body while sculpting your abs. You don't need fancy machines: all you need is your own body weight, a med ball and a stability ball.
Note: Do each move for one minute. Complete 4 to 5 rounds.
Supported In and Outs1 of 7
Sit on your sitting bones and place your feet on the ground with your knees bent. Place your hands behind your back for support.
Lift your feet off the ground so your legs are in a tabletop position. Hold here. Once you have your balance, slowly move your torso back and extend your legs until they're straight.
Lean back to a 45-degree angle and then return to starting position. Do this for one minute.
Mountain Climbers2 of 7
Start in a plank position with your forearms flat on the ground, elbows under the shoulders, spine straight and legs straight back. Engage the core.
Bring your right knee to your chest. As you return to the starting position, simultaneously bring your left knee to your chest. Continue to alternate knees for one minute.
Stability Ball Push-up3 of 7
Begin in a push-up position with your feet on a stability ball. Lower down until your face is about to touch the ground, and then push back up. Note: If you don't have a stability ball, try performing push-ups with your feet raised on a chair, a couch or a small platform.
Side Plank4 of 7
Start in a high-plank position (just like traditional plank, but on your palms instead of your forearms). Stack your left foot on top of your right and shift all your weight onto your right arm. Hold for one minute and switch sides. Tips: Bring your top foot in front of the bottom for a little more stability. Or, place the bottom knee on the ground and keep the top leg straight.
Stability Ball Plank5 of 7
This exercise is similar to a traditional plank, but you will place your forearms on the ball instead of the ground. The stability ball adds an extra balance challenge to your core muscles. If you don't have a stability ball, stick with a traditional plank.
Medicine Ball Balance6 of 7
Start in a high plank. Place your feet on a medicine ball. Hold for a minute.
If you're feeling strong, increase the intensity by lifting one foot a few inches off the ball for an added challenge. Alternate feet every 3 to 5 seconds. If you don't have a medicine ball, you can do this without a ball.