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The #1 Best Core Workout for Rock-Solid Abs in Your 30s

Get ready to fire up your core muscles and reveal your six-pack.

If you're eager to reveal your abs and sculpt an enviable, rock-solid core that gets some major head-turning action at the beach, listen up. Building any set of muscles calls for targeted exercises that fire up that specific group of muscles, says Ellen Thompson, CPT, Blink Fitness. Know that you won't reveal your abs by simply performing concentric exercises such as endless crunches and sit-ups. Isometric exercises are just as critical in sculpting an impressive six-pack, as they aid in decreasing the "distended appearance" in your midsection. Thompson shares with us today the #1 best core workout for rock-solid abs in your 30s. Get excited and ready to fire up that core of yours.

This routine features both isometric (exercises that take place in a static position and contract your muscles sans movement, such as planks) and dynamic (firing up your muscles through a range of motion, such as bicycle crunches) bodyweight exercises that work all the muscles in your core: your rectus abdominis (six-pack muscles), transverse abdominis (deep core), and obliques (sides of your waist). "This is an effective workout because it involves significant engagement with each muscle and requires that multiple muscles work together," Thompson explains. "By utilizing a variety of exercises, you can progressively add more reps and sets to challenge the muscles."

Keep reading to learn all about the #1 best core workout for rock-solid abs in your 30s. And when you're finished, don't miss The Best Core Workouts for Flatter Abs After 40.

Warm Up

women doing jumping jacks in fitness class

Kick off Thompson's core workout for rock-solid abs with a warm-up. Get your blood flowing by performing five to 10 minutes of jumping jacks and dynamic stretching.

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woman doing pushups, concept of a no-gym workout to melt belly fat

"Planks target both the rectus and transverse abdominal muscles as well as the obliques and lower back," Thompson tells us.

To set up for planks, assume a pushup with your hands directly below your shoulders. Make sure your whole body stays in a straight line, and activate your core. Your hips should remain level—don't let them sag. Hold this position for three sets of 30 to 60 seconds. To make things more challenging, you can perform side planks or Superman planks.

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Bicycle Crunches

women doing bicycle crunches

"Bicycle crunches target the rectus abdominis and the obliques," says Thompson.

To get started, lie down flat on your back. Your knees should be lifted and bent to 90 degrees. Crunch your upper body up as you bring your left elbow to your right knee and extend your left leg. Then, switch sides as you bring your right elbow to your left knee while extending your right leg. Complete three sets of 15 to 20 reps on each side.

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Russian Twists

woman doing russian twist exercise

"Russian twists target the transverse abdonimis and the obliques," Thompson reveals.

For Russian twists, sit on the ground, bend your knees, and lift your feet off the floor. Clasp your hands in front of you. Lean back just a bit without rounding your spine. Twist your torso to the left, then to the right, touching your hands to the floor for each side you turn to. Complete three sets of 15 to 20 reps per side.

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Leg Raises

illustration of leg lifts

Last but not least, this core workout for rock-solid abs in your 30s finishes with the last exercise, leg raises, which activate your lower abs.

To perform the leg raise, lie down flat on your back. Place your hands below your glutes for added support. Make sure your legs stay straight as you lift them while keeping them together to make a 90-degree angle with the ground. Then, gradually lower them with control until they're just above the floor. Complete three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Cool Down

woman doing cobra yoga pose

Finish your workout with five to 10 minutes of static stretching for your targeted area. And give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back—you did it!

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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