AB Workouts

8 Moves For Better Abs

Let’s cut to the chase – flat abs with just a hint of definition are the holy grail for most of us. It’s not about a bodybuilder’s carved six-pack on which you could grate cheese but more about a sexy, sculpted stomach that says yes, I’ve worked hard and I’m proud of this! Sadly, fluctuating oestrogen, testosterone and cortisol levels (dependent upon your menstrual cycle) can work against your aspirations but this unique workout is designed and guaranteed to chisel your midsection like a Michelangelo statue

    • Ab pike

      Start in the full press up position, your hands directly under your shoulders with your hips down and your tummy in.

    • With your feet on your towel, slide them towards your hands, raising your hips and keeping your legs straight. Focus on the pull coming in from squeezing your abs and try to keep your shoulders away from your ears.

    • Slowly return to the start position, ensuring that your hips don’t drop, which would lead to your back arching.

    • Side plank and reach under

      Assume the side plank, with your upper hand reaching to the sky.

    • Without dropping the hips, slowly bring the upper hand down and reach under your body. Allow your hips to rotate and follow the free hand with your eyes.

    • Contract through the waist to unwind your hips and lift your hand up to the start position, keeping your belly button drawn in throughout the exercise to help protect your spine.

    • Prone oblique crunch

      Start in the full plank position, with your weight balanced equally on your hands and your elbows slightly soft, not locked.

    • Slide your feet on the towel to one elbow by squeezing your abs and twisting your waist.

    • Return to the start position, keeping your backside down and your neck relaxed. After 15 repetitions, switch sides.

    • Sit up and lift

      Lie on your back, holding a medicine ball on your chest, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.

    • Contract your abs strongly to sit up, simultaneously lifting the ball up overhead.

    • Slowly lower down to the start position, working against gravity rather than just collapsing.

    • Sit up and punch

      Lie on your back, with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, holding one light dumbbell by your armpit.

    • As you sit up, extend your arm to push the dumbbell up high and diagonally across the body.

    • Slowly lower down and return to start position with your arms extended. Focus on using oblique muscles to twist your torso rather than your arm doing all the work. After 15 repetitions, switch sides.

    • Sit up and slam

      Lie on the floor with a medicine ball held at arms-length, directly above your chest. As you sit up, keep your arms extended.

    • Once in the raised position, turn to the side and forcefully bounce and catch the ball.

    • Slowly lower down to the start position, keeping your arms extended. On the next repetition, bounce to the other side.

    • Sit up

      Lie on your back, with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor and your hands resting on your thighs.

    • Squeeze your upper abdominals to lift your shoulders off the floor, reaching your hands forward. At the same time, strongly contract your lower abdominals to lift your feet off the floor as well.

    • On the return to the start position, lower down slowly, working against gravity. For additional benefit, hold the raised position for a couple of seconds before descending again.

    • Lean

      Kneel on the floor, with a wide base and your buttocks lifted up so you are not sitting on your legs.

    • Hold the ball in both hands, directly above your head, slightly forward of the line of your body.

      8 Moves For Better Abs

    • Keeping your belly button pulled in and your hips in line, slowly hinge at the waist to lower to one side. Ensure your upper body moves as one unit and maintain a long spine. You may only move a small distance, but don’t cheat by letting your chest twist.

    Personal trainer: Dean Hodgkin (deanhodgkin.com)
    Clothing: Active in Style (Running Bare)
    Hair and makeup: Roisin Donaghy
    Model: Danielle Holbrook, W Athletic
    Studio: Cliqq Studios (cliqq.com)

Dean Hodgkin