When I first started training abs I had absolutely no core strength and I could barely do a sit up without my feet springing up. My stomach has always been flat but it was never firm or toned which was the look I wanted. I still have a long way to go and I find my tummy changes throughout the day. When I wake up and whilst exercising I seem to have defined abs, but as soon as I eat carbs they seem to disappear, so bare in mind my stomach doesn’t look toned all the time. I have spent the last few months gradually engaging my core following Youtube videos and with the exercises I have learnt at Warrior Bootcamp. I train abs between 3-4 times a week in short bursts and usually after cardio. This is the abs circuit I swear by:
- Leg raises
The key to this one is not letting your feet touch the floor and raising them as high as you can. I find it a lot easier putting my hands under my bum like the photo but it works the abs more if you lie your arms out flat by your sides.
2. In and outs
This one I find really difficult as I find myself often pulling up with my shoulders and neck instead of my core. I try to do around 20 reps in a minute.
3. Medicine ball sit ups
I think this is my favourite one. I twist from side to side with the medicine ball to tone obliques in between situps. It’s more fun if you have somebody to train with and you can pass them the medicine ball at the same time, but it’s still a good one to do alone. I still have issues with my feet springing up a little so find it easier to tuck my toes under a weight.
4. Mountain climbers
I usually start with standard mountain climbers and then occasionally throw in a few mini burpees to switch things up. I have learnt it seems to work better if toning to do them slowly whilst tensing your abs, rather than racing to do lots and it becoming more of a cardio exercise.
5. Standard plank
It hurts but it works… the plank. I try and keep my stomach tensed and look down so as not to strain my neck. If I am really struggling towards the end, I lift a leg off the ground to change it up a bit, or go back into slow mountain climbers but in the plank position.
Again I find this one can strain my neck a bit if not done correctly. Make sure to pull up using your core rather than your shoulders for toned abs and to avoid injury.
7. Side plank
This one requires good balance but it is one of my favourites. If you are struggling you can keep both feet on the floor in a sidewards position. I Also use the arm in the air to reach through the gap between the floor and my stomach to tone obliques.
8. Exercise ball leg raises
Another one which requires good balance as you can easily go wobbling all over the place. Keep your abs flat against the exercise ball and lift your legs backwards to flatten your stomach and also practice flexibility.
I usually do each exercise for 1 minute each with a 30 second rest in between. I aim to repeat the circuit 2-3 times and if I get bored or my core really aches, I throw a few squats in to give my abs a break.
Here’s some of my progress pics since I’ve been following this circuit:
I hope you enjoy my abs workout! You’ll know if you’ve done it right because it will hurt to cough for a few days after…