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7 Must-Try Exercises for a Slimmer Core in Just 30 Days

Get ready to fire up your abs and feel the burn.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

Slimming down your core is among the most challenging fitness goals. To achieve a lean six-pack and shredded core, you need to work all the muscles in your core, not just your "rectus abdominis," which is the common focus of many traditional core workouts that rely on sit-ups. Your workouts should include medium to high-repetition core work that will help build up your core muscles for more definition. We're here to share seven must-try exercises for a slimmer core in 30 days, so get ready to fire up your abs and feel the burn.

It's important to note that you need to burn fat around the midsection to reveal your hard-earned six-pack, obliques, and abdominal v-taper. This requires the right workout and a healthy diet that keeps you in a sustainable, moderate caloric deficit.

The following exercises are our favorite go-to exercises for a slimmer core in 30 days or less. You can perform these as a single workout and complete it two to three times per week, or integrate the exercises into your existing workout routine. As always, make sure that you are following a generally healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Consider adding a few days of cardio for some extra calorie burn. If you follow that protocol and stick with these exercises, you'll achieve a slimmer core in no time.


fit woman doing planks, concept of at-home exercises for women

The plank is a fundamental exercise for core strength. It engages the entire core, including the rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, obliques, and lower back muscles. Additionally, it improves posture and enhances overall stability.

To perform a plank, start by positioning yourself face down on the floor with your forearms flat on the ground and your elbows aligned directly under your shoulders. Engage your core and straighten your body, supporting yourself on your toes and forearms. Maintain a straight line from your head to your heels, avoiding any sagging or arching of your back. Hold the plank position for the target time, keeping your core muscles tight and your breathing steady. Repeat for three sets of 30 to 60 seconds each.

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Russian Twists

woman doing russian twist exercise

Russian twists target the oblique muscles, which are crucial for rotational movements and a slim waistline.

To perform Russian twists, sit on the ground with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Lean slightly back while keeping your back straight at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Clasp your hands together in front of your chest, engaging your core. (You can also hold a medicine ball.) Twist your torso to the right, bringing your clasped hands toward the right side of your body. Return to the center, and then twist to the left side. Keep your feet on the ground and your core tight throughout the exercise. Repeat for three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.

Bicycle Crunches

woman doing bicycle crunches, concept of strength exercises for women to melt muffin top belly

Bicycle crunches engage both the rectus abdominis (six-pack muscles) and the obliques, providing an effective workout for a slimmer core.

To perform bicycle crunches, lie flat on your back with your hands behind your head and your knees bent. Lift your head, shoulders, and feet off the ground, keeping your lower back pressed into the floor. Bring your right knee toward your chest while twisting your torso to the left, bringing your left elbow toward your right knee. Straighten your right leg while bringing your left knee toward your chest and twisting your torso to the right, bringing your right elbow toward your left knee. Continue alternating in a pedaling motion while keeping your core engaged throughout. Repeat for three sets of 20 to 25 repetitions on each side.

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Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers exercise

Mountain climbers are a dynamic exercise that targets the rectus abdominis and hip flexors, helping you burn calories and slim down your midsection.

To perform mountain climbers, start in a pushup plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line. Engage your core, and bring your right knee toward your chest, keeping your left leg extended. Quickly switch legs, bringing your right leg back and your left knee toward your chest. Continue alternating legs in a running motion while keeping your core tight and your hips level. Repeat for three sets of 30 to 45 seconds.

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Dead Bugs

dead bug

The dead bug exercise targets the rectus abdominis and transverse abdominis, helping to stabilize the core and prevent lower back pain.

To perform the dead bug, lie on your back with your arms extended toward the ceiling and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Engage your core, and slowly lower your right arm and left leg toward the floor while keeping your lower back pressed into the ground. Return to the starting position, and repeat on the opposite side, lowering your left arm and right leg toward the floor. Maintain control throughout the movement, and avoid arching your back. Repeat for three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions on each side.

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Standing Side Bends

woman doing side bend with arm extension

The standing side bend is a simple yet effective exercise to target the oblique muscles and create a slimmer waistline.

To perform standing side bends, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and place your right hand on your hip. Extend your left arm overhead, keeping it aligned with your left ear. Slowly bend your upper body to the right, feeling a stretch along your left side. Repeat for three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions on each side.

Reverse Crunches

woman performing reverse crunch, legs raised to lose weight fast

These exercises for a slimmer core wrap up with the reverse crunch. Reverse crunches target the lower abs, helping to tone and tighten the lower part of your core.

To perform reverse crunches, lie on your back with your arms by your sides and your legs extended toward the ceiling. Engage your core, and lift your hips off the floor, bringing your knees toward your chest. Lower your legs back toward the ceiling with a controlled movement, avoiding swinging or using momentum. Repeat for the target repetitions, squeezing the lower abs at the top of the movement for about one second. Repeat for three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions.

Tyler Read
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler