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The best bodyweight abs workout

Strengthen your core and make your abs pop with this four-move workout.

U.S. troops keep up with their training even when they’re deployed to areas where they have nothing to work out with but the ground beneath them. If the lack of a gym membership and equipment is the excuse you’ve been using for avoiding workouts, let this plan—designed by a 20-year Marine—set you straight.

HOW IT WORKS

Basic exercises like the leg raise and flutter kick will never die. Partly because they can be done anywhere, but mostly because they work. Unfortunately, they also burn. Working with higher reps and holding uncomfortable positions for time will condition your abs along with your heart and may toughen you up mentally, too.

DIRECTIONS

Perform the exercises as a circuit, completing one set of each in sequence without rest. Afterward, rest 60 seconds, and then repeat the circuit once more.

1. LEG RAISE
Sets: 2 Reps: 10 Rest: 0 sec.
Lie on the floor and hold onto a bench or the legs of a heavy chair for support. Keep your legs straight and raise them up until they’re vertical. Lower back down, but stop just short of the floor to keep tension on your abs before the next rep.

2. ARMS-HIGH PARTIAL SITUP
Sets: 2 Reps: 20 Rest: 0 sec.
Lie on your back, knees bent 90 degrees, and raise your arms straight overhead, keeping them pointing upward throughout the exercise. Sit up halfway and then return to the floor.

3. FLUTTER KICK
Sets: 2 Reps: 20 (each leg) Rest: 0 sec.
Lie on your back with legs straight and extend your arms by your sides. Lift your heels about six inches and rapidly kick your feet up and down in a quick, scissor-like motion.

4. STAR PLANK
Sets: 2 Reps: Hold for 30 sec Rest: 60 sec.
Get into pushup position. Move your arms and feet apart as wide as possible—your body will make a star shape. Hold the position with your torso straight and abs braced for 30 seconds

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