If you’re looking to get sexy, toned ab muscles without spending hours sweating away in a gym, this at-home workout is for you. Not only can you do it in just 15 minutes a day, but it requires no equipment, no special gadgets, and no professional training.
We’ll start by going over the exercises, then put them in the context of a comprehensive workout routine.
Our Top At-Home Ab Exercises
Your new ab routine will consist of three effective and easy-to-perform ab exercises out there. These exercises are specifically designed to target your upper and lower stomach muscles. They provide you with lightning-fast results without the need for equipment. They include:
- Abdominal crunches
- Elbow planks
- Reverse crunches
Below, we’ll take a look at how to perform these exercises properly and effectively.
When it comes to building strong abdominal muscles, this is one of the most popular (and most effective) exercises out there. To perform it, you simply follow the steps below:
- Lay on your back on a gym mat, yoga mat, or carpeted floor.
- Bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground.
- Ensure that your lower back is flat against the floor to avoid putting added stress on your spine.
- Cross your arms so that they are laying on your chest
- As you exhale, contract your abdominal muscles and lift your head and shoulders off the floor.
- Pause at the peak of the movement, inhale, and then return to the starting position.
- Repeat the movement between 15 and 30 times to complete a set.
Tips to maximize effectiveness:
- Don’t slump down as you return to the starting position – use your ab muscles to control the whole movement.
- Alternatively, don’t jerk your body upward. This can lead to injury.
- Remember that you don’t need to lift your entire back, just the top portion. In most cases, you only need to get your shoulders 4 to 6 inches (10 – 15 cm) off the floor. If you lift your back too much, you’ll end up switching focus from your abs to legs.
- Your hand position is important! If you put your arms at your side, the movement will be easier. Putting your hands behind your head, however, will make the exercise more difficult.
- You can alter the exercise by changing the position of your legs. For instance, you might point your legs upward or put your heels on a chair. This can reduce stress on your lower back by ensuring it stays flat against the ground.
Elbow (forearm) Plank
Planks are a great exercise to master. Not only are they good for your abs, but they can really help you develop your core. To perform this exercise properly, follow the steps listed below:
- Assume a position similar to the one you would for push-ups.
- Ensure your hands are flat against the ground and your hands are directly underneath your shoulders.
- Put your toes against the ground to support your legs.
- Start the movement by bending your elbows so that your forearms are parallel to your body and the hands are flat against the floor. Your elbows should now be under your shoulders, creating a 90-degree angle.
- Once you assume this position, you should feel some tension in your legs, abs, back, and shoulders.
- Maintain the position from 30 to 90 seconds.
Tips to maximize effectiveness:
- To make this exercise more difficult, you can attempt it while staying on your hands rather than your forearms.
- Make sure you are breathing normally. Don’t hold your breath! This can cause your blood pressure to go up.
- Try to remain flat (hence “plank”). Not to allow your butt to drop or move upward.
- Squeeze your glutes in order to maintain the proper posture, and keep your head looking downward (toward your palms).
- If you want to check your form, consider setting up a camera. Your body should appear as one straight line!
- If the exercise is too difficult, consider starting with a “knee plank.” To perform this variation, put your knees on the ground while keeping your palms (not your elbows) beneath your shoulders.
Reverse crunches are a great way to target your lower ab muscles. If you’ve spent any time at the gym, the movement should be quite familiar to you. It is performed as follows:
- Lie down on your floor, gym mat, etc. Your back should be as flat as possible.
- Bend your knees and lift your feet so that you form a rough “S” shape.
- Place your arms next to your body for additional stability.
- As you exhale, tense your abs and slowly curl your hips inward toward your chest.
- Squeeze your abs throughout the movement.
- Pause at the movement’s peak, then inhale before returning to the starting position.
- Perform between 15 and 35 reps to complete a set.
Tips to maximize effectiveness:
- When you start off, you may feel the urge to lift your hips instead of using your abs. However, you should try to keep your stomach muscles engaged throughout the movement. This will become easier with time.
- To make the exercise more challenging, trying straightening your legs or putting your hands behind your head. This will further engage the ab muscles.
Your 15 Minute At-Home Ab Workout
The workout routine outlined below is appropriate for most people with at least some exercise experience. Before you start, warm up your body with some basic movements over a period of about 10 to 15 minutes. This will prevent injuries like muscle strains.
- Abdominal Crunches: 15-30 repetitions. Rest for one minute.
- Elbow Plank: 30-90 seconds. Rest for one minute.
- Reverse Crunches 15-35 repetitions. Rest for one minute.
Repeat 2–3 rounds.
End your workout with a 10-15-minute cool-down. Stretch your muscles and allow your body to relax.
Complete this workout once a week for starters, then build up your frequency and repetitions as your body becomes more used to the movements.
Variations of This Workout
Some people prefer to work on their obliques (the abdominal muscles on your side) rather than just the front of their abdomen. To accomplish this, you need only alter these exercises slightly. For instance, instead of a normal plank, you might try a side plank. Instead of a normal crunch movement, you might try twisting your body to the side as you perform the exercise.
Also, if you’d rather not do the workout as a “circuit,” you can do multiple sets of each individual exercise before moving on to the next one. Simply ensure that your rest for 30 seconds a one minute in between sets.
As you can see, it is both fast and easy to get a high-quality ab workout from your own home, apartment, or office. In the end, if you want to keep your body in tip-top shape, remember to add other exercises to your routine that might help you work out your chest, legs, arms, or other muscle groups!
Which other muscles do you like to exercise at home?