When you're yearning for a rest day—or simply a day of fewer steps—take it; but don't assume all you can do is laze around. You don't have to get off your bottom to get in a good workout. In fact, resting on your rear could be the perfect approach to take when toning your tummy. Take "tush time" to a productive level by implementing these ab exercises into your routine.
Strengthen your obliques—the sides of your abs—with this twisting motion. With every rep, aim to make your elbow reach past the opposite leg.
- Sitting on the floor, bend your knees and elevate your upper body to create a V shape with your torso and upper thighs.
- Twist to one side, keeping your legs parallel to the floor. For added resistance, hold a weight plate or dumbbell as you perform the movement.
- Hold the contraction on one side before performing the movement on the other side. Repeat for reps.
Target your hip flexors and lower abs with a small, kicking motion. This is one exercise where minimal movement equals maximum gains.
- With your back pressed into the floor and hands by your sides (or under your glutes), lift your legs about six inches off the ground.
- Keeping your knees slightly bent, move your feet in a scissor or flutter motion (bringing one foot down as you bring the other up). Repeat for reps.
Take the classic crunch to the next level by getting your lower body involved.
- Lie down on your back with your legs straight and arms over your head.
- Contract your core to propel your arms and shoulders up, raising your legs to meet your toes at your fingers in the air. Slowly lower your arms and legs back to their starting position. Repeat for reps.
Challenge your lower abs and engaging the transverse abdominal (the deepest muscle in the stomach) with this exercise.
- Lie on your back with your knees tucked in toward your chest in tabletop position.
- Place your hands behind your head for support as you bring your head and neck up off the floor.
- Exhale as you lift, bringing your chest to your thighs and your nose to your knees. Hold for one second before lowering back down. Repeat for reps.
Spend time bicycling without heading outside.
- With your back on the ground, bring one knee up toward your chest as you keep your other leg fully extended. Keep your hands by your sides.
- Switch legs, pressing down one leg as you bring the other up, just as you would while peddling on a bicycle. Repeat for reps.
Strengthen your core, specifically your lower abs, with this movement that makes the most of time under tension.
- With your back flat on the ground and your arms by your sides (or under your glutes), bring your legs straight up towards the ceiling.
- Lower your legs down slowly until your feet are just a few inches above the ground. Keep your back pressed into the ground and shoulders back and flat.
- Bring your legs back up before lowering again. Repeat for reps.
There's a reason this tried and true movement always makes the list. Finish your workout strong by closing with a traditional crunch.
- Lie on the floor. Your back should be pressed into the ground and your knees should be bent.
- Place your hands across your chest, contracting your abdominals as you bring your shoulders up.
- Exhale at the top of the movement, making sure not to arch your neck. Hold the position for one second before lowering down. Repeat for reps.
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