The No-Gym Workout for Six-Pack Abs
Baby, it's cold outside, which means you really don't want to face the brutal temps to head to the gym. We totally get it, which is why we've put together the best workout for six-pack abs, no gym required. If you're looking to strengthen your core, we have just the right expert-backed movements in order to achieve that fitness goal of yours.
Nico Gonzalez, Balanced Body master instructor and certified personal trainer, shares with Eat This, Not That!, "So many clients ask me the dreaded question, 'how do I work my abs?' Specifically the area above the pubic bone up to and around the belly button. This area is actually where all four of our abdominal muscles meet. The transverse (TVA), interval, external, and rectus abdominals all meet in this highly talked about area."
According to Gonzalez, performing exercises that target and challenge these ab muscles will put you on the road to success. So let's walk through five of Gonzalez's favorite exercises that make up one productive workout for six-pack abs. The best part is, you don't have to leave your home in order to do them! Read on, and next up, check out The 5-Minute Standing Ab Workout for a Strong Core.
1. Rolling Like a Ball
For the first exercise, Gonzalez suggests an activity that'll target your abs and be pretty fun. All you need to do is roll around like a ball! Although, we're providing some expert direction on how to approach it properly so you can soak up the benefits.
To set up, sit on a mat or comfortably on the floor, and bend your knees, keeping them as close to your torso as possible. Then, hover your feet slightly above the ground. As you do so, keep your body rounded and balanced. From there, let your entire body roll back onto the mat. However, don't let yourself go back higher than your shoulder blades. Keep things rolling—quite literally—by allowing yourself to come back up into the seated position you were first in. During the entire movement, make sure your knees remain tucked into your chest and your back rounded.
Gonzalez offers a tip, saying, "Use your hands to hug your shins close to your body, but once you get better at the movement, try releasing your hands to see if you can keep your knees close to your body without help."
2. Side-Leg Banana
If you thought the first exercise sounded fun, then you'll surely love the side-leg banana. To set up, start out on your side with one leg on top of the other. Rest your head on your arm, which should be stretched out beneath it. Place your other hand on the floor in front of your chest to offer support. Now that you're in the right position, lift both your torso and legs off the floor in one movement before letting them come back down in a smooth motion.
Gonzalez has a tip for this exercise, explaining to put your top hand on the floor to support your body, then remove it for more of a challenge. You can also make things slightly more difficult by holding off the floor for around five to 10 seconds before you let yourself come back down.
3. Mini Swan
This exercise may be called the mini swan, but it offers some pretty big benefits. Before you get started, Gonzalez explains, "A reminder that your abdominal muscles 'wrap' around your waist and into your lower back. Abdominal muscles are working even when you are facing down. They actually work together with your back muscles to create amazingly strong movements."
To set up, position yourself face-down on the floor while letting your legs stretch out. As for your hands, keep them up in front of your forehead in a way that will make it seem like you're about to salute someone. However, instead, pull your belly button in as you brace your core and lift your torso off the floor. Twist your body a little first to the right, and then to the left, before letting your torso come back down to the floor. "Slightly hover the legs off the mat and try keeping everything from the hips towards the feet stable while you perform the movement," Gonzalez adds.
4. Forearm Plank
For the forearm plank, you'll start out on the floor, and brace yourself on your forearms as you face down. Keep your legs stretched out behind you so that your body forms a straight line. Once you get yourself into position, keep your upper body steady as you begin to twist your hips. First, move one side down below you toward the floor before coming back up and doing the same with the other hip.
Gonzalez has some advice for completing this movement successfully, explaining, "If you start to feel your upper body twisting, step your feet further away from each other for more stability."
5. Single-Knee Tuck (Stretch)
Finally, put your abs to work by adding a single-knee tuck into your workout routine.
Get down on the floor, and lie on your back. Then, move your feet until they're flat on the floor and your knees are bent. Now, curl your upper body up until it's off the floor. In this position, begin to bring one knee in toward your chest. At the same time, let the other leg stretch out over the floor. Keeping your back steady, stretch your first leg back out while bringing the other one in. Continue to switch your legs while using your core to steady your body.