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11 Exercises That Will Make Your Abs Cry

That stronger core you've always wanted? Just learn these moves and do them regularly.

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Incredible core? Abs-olutely.

No one doesn't want a stronger core. That's why BuzzFeed Life asked Rob Sulaver, C.S.C.S, personal trainer and founder of Bandana Training, to tell us his favorite exercises for building better abs. He came up with 11 awesome, crunch-free moves that you can do whether you're a fitness beginner or a more experienced exerciser.

Be sure to scroll down for important info on how perform these moves and incorporate them into your current routine, thanks to Sulaver and fitness expert Holly Perkins, C.S.C.S, founder of Women's Strength Nation.

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1. Side Plank from Knee

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Get into a side plank position with your knees on the mat, bent about 90 degrees. Your arm should be on the mat with your elbow under your shoulder and your head and neck aligned with your spine. Lift your hips and hold the position.

Do

Keep both the hips and feet stacked.

Place elbow directly under shoulder.

Start with knees bent.

Don't

Separate your feet.

Point your toes.

Tilt forward or backward.

Bend at your hips.

Make it easier

Place your back against a wall.

Use your upper hand on floor to stabilize.

Place your top foot forward on the floor.

Lift only a few inches off the floor.

2.

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Get into a side plank (with your knees bent behind you about 90 degrees). Your arm should be on the mat with your elbow under your shoulder and your head and neck in line with your spine. Lift your top knee toward the ceiling, and lower it back down again to meet your bottom knee. That's one rep.

Do

Stack your hips.

Stack your knees.

Place your hand on your hip.

Lift your top knee toward the ceiling.

Firmly press your bottom knee into the floor as you lift.

Keep your feet together the entire time.

Don't

Allow your hips to sag.

Rotate forward or backward.

Make it Easier

Try side-lying clam shells before you add the side-plank to the mix. These are done the same as described above, except with your hips on the mat.

3. Single-Leg Plank

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Get into a plank position — your body forming a straight line from the head and neck through the heels — with your elbows under your shoulders. Lift one foot a few inches off of the ground and hold. Then alternate, making sure to spend equal time on both sides.

Do

Place your elbows directly under your shoulders.

Activate the supporting leg.

Keep your supporting leg straight.

Focus on activating your core.

Don't

Lift the opposite leg too high — keep it two to four inches off the ground.

Hold your breath.

Make it easier

Mentally "power" into the supporting leg.

Energetically lift away from the floor.

"Brace" your core as if preparing to be punched in the tummy.

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4. Russian Twist

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Sit on the mat and lean back slightly. Bend your knees, lift your feet off the floor a few inches, and hold your arms in front of you (palms together or hands clasped). Quickly rotate your entire torso 45 degrees to your left, then back to center, then 45 degrees to your right.

Do

Bend your knees, keeping your heels near your butt.

Lean back slightly until you feel pressure in your core.

"Brace" your torso as if responding to a punch in the tummy.

Use your ab muscles to cause twisting movement.

Don't

Use your arms to create movement.

Let your legs flail around too much; a slight swing is ideal.

Make it easier

Keep your feet on the ground.

5. Stability Ball Hands To Feet

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Lie on your back with your arms stretched over your head holding a stability ball. Raise both your hands and legs while sitting up to pass the ball from your hands to your feet. Bring your arms and legs back down (the ball should still between your feet), lightly tapping the stability ball on the ground. Raise your arms and legs simultaneously to again to pass the ball, this time passing it to your hands. Lightly tap the ball on the ground above your head. This is one rep.

Do

Keep your arms straight.

Raise and lower both your arms and legs at the same time.

Allow your legs to bend if needed to pass the ball.

Keep your neck in alignment with your torso.

Don't

Move quickly.

Use momentum.

Hold your breath.

Only use your arms and legs; activate your ab muscles.

Make it easier

Exhale when your arms and legs come together.

Focus on lifting up toward the sky.

Bend the legs when passing the ball.

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6. Plank Rollout

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Get in that plank position (your body forming a straight line from the head and neck through the heels, with your elbows under your shoulders) with your forearms on a stability ball. Pushing at the elbows but keeping your forearms in place, roll the ball four to six inches forward. Return to starting position.

Do

Keep your hands together.

Keep your feet separated.

Keep your legs extended and still.

Don't

Arch your lower back.

Rest your weight on the ball.

Lift your butt in the air.

Make it easier

Make smaller movements forward and back.

7. Knee-Up With Feet On Towel

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Get into that plank position — your body forming a straight line from the head and neck through the heels, with hands under your shoulders and your feet on a towel. Then pull your hips toward the ceiling and tuck your knees into your chest. Return to the starting position.

Do

Keep your feet hip-width apart.

Place your hands directly under your shoulders.

Think about lifting throughout the exercise.

Squeeze your abs at the top.

Don't

Sag in your upper body or shoulders.

Move your hands or arms.

Make it easier

Don't bring your knees all the way into your chest.

8. Circle With Feet On Towel

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Get into a plank position (your body forming a straight line from the head and neck through the heels, with your hands under your shoulders), with your feet on a towel. Move your feet in a full circle around a small object, like a cone or water bottle. Go both clockwise and counterclockwise.

Do

Maintain a solid plank position.

Squeeze your knees to your chest.

Think about lifting as you circle your feet out and up.

Don't

Sag into your shoulders or lower back.

Knock over the water bottle.

Make it Easier

Remove the object from the center.

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9. Circle On Stability Ball

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Get into a solid plank position with your forearms on the stability ball. Make sure your elbows are under your shoulders and your hands and forearms are resting on the ball. Without losing the plank, draw small circles with the ball.

Do

Keep your hands pressed together.

Keep your feet separated by six to eight inches.

Keep your head and neck in alignment with your spine.

Place your elbows directly under your shoulders.

Don't

Sag into your lower back.

Allow your chest to sink toward the stability ball.

Make it easier

Make smaller circles.

10. Prone Pike with Stability Ball

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Get into a plank with your hands under your shoulders and the tops of your feet on the stability ball. Pointing your toes and keeping your legs straight, lift your hips toward the ceiling until you create a 90-degree angle at your hips. Return to starting position.

Do

Keep feet separated by a few inches.

Keep legs extended.

Pull deeply from your core to create the movement.

Think about lifting through the movement.

Don't

Bring your feet together.

Lose control of the ball.

Sag into your shoulders or lower back.

Make it easier

Try prone pike with feet on towel. (See above)

Try knee-ups on stability ball. (See above)

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11. Bandana Sit-Up

Lauren Zaser / Justine Zwiebel / BuzzFeed

Lie on a mat and clasp your hands lightly behind your head. Cross your legs at the ankles and curl into a ball, squeezing your elbows against your knees. Have your partner place his hands on your knees and then press your elbows to the backs of his hands. Slowly roll your torso to a vertical position. Try not to allow your elbows to separate from your partner's hands.

Do

Contract your abs deeply and hold.

Keep your elbows firmly pressed against the back of your partner's hands.

Keep your chin tucked.

Don't

Tug on your head with your hands.

Use your neck or legs to create the rocking motion.

Hold your breath.

Make it easier

Start from the top position and just work the down movement.

How to perform these exercises:

1. For any exercise that require movement: Start with 8 to 10 repetitions, and do 3 sets per workout. If 8 to 10 reps feels super doable, go for 12 to 16 reps. If you can do more than that pretty easily, move on to a more challenging exercise.

2. For moves that require a hold: Start with 30 seconds and keep adding 5 seconds until you're challenged. Never hold a position to the point of failure; stop holding when you feel you can no longer keep proper form.

3. Proper form and full range of motion are more important than how many reps you can do or how long you can hold a position. To get the most out of every exercise, and to minimize risk of injury, be sure to master the movements before challenging yourself by increasing reps or time, or experimenting with a more advanced exercise.

Special thanks to our fitness models Noelle Nieva (moves 5 and 6), Sandee Shin (moves 7 and 8), Brett Vergara (moves 1, 3, and 4), Tamerra Griffin (move 2), and Rob Sulaver (moves 9, 10, and 11).

Thumbnail from Thinkstock.

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