11 Best At Home Abs Exercises (with 7 min Powerful Abs Workout Schedule)
Who doesn’t want a flat belly? But many are confused regarding what are the best at home abs exercises that would help you get a flat belly. You might wish to have one but think its a lot of effort but that’s not true. If you do proper exercise just 7 minutes daily you can get a beautiful flat belly. Let us first discuss what exercising regularly can do for you. Exercise is any bodily activity that works your body at a greater intensity and enhances your physical fitness and overall well being (1).
A lot of people are unaware of the several health-related benefits of exercising and its major role in improving one’s life. Not only does it improve your energy level and muscle strength but also important for your immune system to function properly and to maintain a healthy weight. In today’s post, we will discuss the best at-home abs exercises that give you a sexy fat belly.
What are Abs?
The rectus abdominis muscle also known as abs are the muscles running vertically to your abdomen. They are located in front of the body below the chest, between the ribs and pelvis. They allow movement and keep the organs in place by regulating internal abdominal pressure. Altogether, there are 6 abdominal muscles (2).
- Transversus abdominis is the deepest muscle layer, its main roles being maintaining internal abdominal pressure, giving support to the spine by surrounding the torso and to stabilize the trunk.
- Rectus abdominis is found at the front of the pelvis, between the ribs and the pubic bone. It has achieved the popular name of six-pack abs and its main function is to move the body between the rib cage and pelvis.
- Two external oblique muscles, one on each side of the rectus abdominus and they allow the trunk to twist.
- Two internal oblique muscles are located just inside the hipbones. They support the spine and are responsible for turning movements.
Getting the desired 6 pack look is no child’s play and demands determination patience and perseverance. It involves both muscle building and losing belly fat. Dieting alone is not the way to get there and you must club this with consistent exercise. In this article, we will discuss some exercises by which you can achieve well-toned and muscular abs. (3)
11 Best At Home Abs Exercises
The cobra stretch or the Bhujangasana as it is called in Yoga, may look like a simple stretch but it helps to stretch your abdominal muscles and strengthen the muscles in your lower back. It also works your spine and helps increase height. It is also one of the best yoga asanas to lose weight. (4)
How to do Cobra Stretch:
- Start by lying flat on your stomach with your face down and palms under your shoulders, press your feet firmly into the floor.
- Lift your chest up by straightening your arms and ensure that your pelvis remains on the floor.
- Look upwards and engage your abdominal muscles.
- Hold this stretch for 40 secs to 2 minutes and maintain relaxed breathing.
- Once you are ready to come out of this pose, exhale and fold down towards the floor.
- Repeat this stretch for 3-4 times.
Read More: Aerobic exercises for weight loss
2. Ballet Twist
How to do Ballet Twist :
- To do this exercise, sit on the floor and extend your legs, firmly keeping them together.
- Lean back 45 degrees. Bring both your arms over your head like a ballerina.
- Keeping your butt and heels on the floor, place your right hand on the mat and twist your torso to the right. Your left hand must be overhead for a count of 3 seconds.
- Repeat this by placing your left hand on the mat and slowly twist your torso to the right and keeping your right-hand overhead for the same count.
- As you return to the center, contract your abs to support your spine, keeping both your arms overhead.
- Repeat this twist twice with 6 to 8 reps on each side.
Credit: Faith & Fitness
3. Bicycle Crunches
It is a perfect way to target the abs especially the rectus abdominus. In simple terms, you can call it horizontal cycling. As cycling is a good exercise for your legs, thighs, and hips, similarly bicycle crunches are one of the best six-pack abs exercises at home. (7)
How to do Bicycle Crunches:
- Lay flat on the floor, face up and put both your hands behind your head.
- Bring your knees in towards your chest in a 90-degree position so that your lower legs are parallel to the floor.
- Lift your shoulder blades off the ground and twist your upper body to the left and as fast as you can bring in your left knee to touch your right elbow. Simultaneously keep your right leg straight.
- Switch sides and do the same motion on the other side.
- Maintain a steady speed and concentrate on your breathing.
- Do 3 sets of 20 reps each.
Read More: How to Do Plank Exercise
4. Reverse Crunches
This is one of the most effective exercises for well-toned abs. It is an exercise for lower abs. (8)
How to do Reverse Crunches:
- Lie flat on your back, with your knees bent feet flat on the ground and place your palms on your sides facing down for support.
- Contract your abdominal core and lift your hips off the floor and bring your knees towards your chest.
- Pause at this pose for a moment and continue to curl up till your spine cannot roll any further.
- Now gently exhale and lower your spine back to the floor with your knees in the 90-degree position directly over your hips.
- Maintain a proper form to avoid straining your lower back and do not lift your neck at any point during the exercise.
5. Climb Ups
Climb up is a simple six-pack abs exercise at home. (9)
How to do Clim ups:
- For this exercise begin by lying flat on your back and bend your hips to 90 degrees, keeping your legs as straight as possible.
- Contract your abdomen and reach up to your legs as if you are climbing your legs and this phase is complete once you touch your foot.
- Once you do this, climb down your leg making sure your abdomens were contracted throughout and don’t let your trunk fall suddenly.
- Now switch legs and perform the same number of repetitions as done with the previous leg.
Here is a 5 min workout plan by Kasia Rain
Read More: Simple Knee Pain Exercises
6. Opposite Arm and Leg Raise
Though it look simple at the start, this is a difficult exercise with many health benefits. The most common health benefit is it helps in shedding fat from arms, belly, thigh, etc.
How to do Opposite arm and leg raise:
- Get down on all fours and keep your eyes facing the floor and neck in line with your back.
- Breathe out as you simultaneously extend your right hand and left leg, pause and breathe out as you get back to the starting position.
- Look up to work your shoulder muscles.
- Do three sets of 8 to 12 repetitions and to make it tougher to use ankle and wrist weights. (10)
7. Side Crunches
How to do Side Crunches:
- Begin by lying on your right side, with your legs lying on top of each other and knees slightly bent.
- Place your left hand behind your head and the right hand should be extended out in front of you in line with your shoulder.
- Lift your upper body and bring your left elbow as close to the hip as you can.
- Do not crane your neck forward; let the abs do the work.
- Do two sets of 10-15 reps on each side.
8. Glute Bridge
How to do Glute Bridge:
- Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground and place your hand at your side with palms down.
- Contract your abdominal muscles and exhale while lifting your hips upwards off the floor by contracting your glute or butt muscles.
- Hold this bridge position for a few seconds and do not push your hips too high.
- Inhale and ease back down to the starting position. It is one of the best exercises for the hips.
9. Prone Plank
How to do Prone Plank:
- It is similar to doing a push up except the forearms are flat on the ground and the elbows are bent.
- The neck should be in alignment with the body and eyes should be looking downwards.
- Using your elbows and toes lift your body upwards off the ground.
- Make sure your back is flat and your abs are tight throughout and do not look ahead or lift your head up as it will strain your spine.
- Hold this position for at least a minute and then repeat. When done correctly, the plank promotes good posture, glute activation, and trunk strength.
10. Normal or Lunge Twist
How to do Normal Twist:
- To begin, sit with your knees slightly bent.
- Exhale and while swinging your left hand, reach across your body to the right.
- Inhale and come back to the starting point.
- Repeat to the other side, this is one rep.
- Do two sets of ten reps in each direction.
11. Bear crawl
The bear crawl is one of the simplest and best at home abs exercises.
How to do Bear Crawl:
- Get down on your fours and keep your hands below your shoulders.
- Keep your knees bent at 90 degrees below your hips.
- Keeping your abdomen tight and back flat crawl upward and backward by moving opposite hands and legs simultaneously.
Precautions to Be Taken While Doing Abs
Abdomen exercises, when performed in the wrong way, can injure your back and neck. Warming up before doing any exercise is essential. Certain safety measures should be taken so that these exercises do more good than harm to your body.
- If you are a beginner it is advisable that you choose 3 to 4 sets of exercises for a single session. Understand your body and its needs. Putting an unnecessary strain on your abdominal muscles does not mean that you will get better results.
- During abdomen workouts, the lower back faces the maximum pressure. While doing crunches or leg lifting make sure your back completely touches the ground so that the pressure falls on your abdomen only. Keep your tongue pressed against the roof of your mouth as you exercise; this keeps your neck muscles engaged, helping to prevent neck pain and injury. While doing planks or push-ups make sure the abdomens are the center of pressure. Do not overdo any exercise if you are a beginner and stop if it hurts.
- You can save yourself from injury if you follow the proper procedure for abdomen workouts. Specific exercises work best for specific muscles and you must not miss out on steps while performing the exercise.
- Always remember to maintain your breathing cycle while exercising.
As the age-old adage goes, health is wealth. It is very important that while we take special care of our diet, we also combine it with daily and intensive exercise. A good looking and toned body instantly boosts our confidence and self-esteem. Exercising does not only make us look good and fitter, but it also makes us feel younger, more energized and happier.