Good ab workouts for men are hard to come by. It’s hard to tell the good ab workouts from the bad ones on Instagram, which is why a fast Google search reveals that there are nearly as many as there are Instagram models. Choosing an unsuccessful ab workout at home is more than a waste of time.
In fact, badly performed exercises can cause back injuries or severe pain. For an ab workout that isn’t boring or stinky, go no further than this video. This no-nonsense ab workout will give you a steel core by the end of the month.
First, some basic anatomy: The midsection is made up of many muscles. You probably know the rectus abdominis best. This muscle, which runs from your sternum to your pubic bone, is commonly referred to as a six- or eight-pack. Then there’s the obliques, which are two muscles. They run diagonally under the rectus abdominis, from the ribs to the hips. The transverse abdominis is deeper, encompassing your torso and anchoring your core.
Of course, no effective ab workout ignores the lower back muscles, which assist define your core both visually (by reducing side-fat overhang) and functionally (a strong lower back helps you rotate your core and stand more erect and will help you with all that toddler-picking-up you probably do).
If you’re at-home ab workout doesn’t include them, we recommend Photoshopping them on. It’s considerably easier and looks much better.
But our workout targets them all: abs, obliques, and back. These 10 motions can trim your midriff without a gym membership or a bathroom mirror selfie. Of course, no amount of planking will ever result in a flat stomach if you don’t eat right and exercise regularly. But if you follow us, we’ll bring you there faster than you think.
The 15-Minute Ab Workout for Men
Once you’ve completed the workout below comfortably, increase the number of reps in your set or the number of sets in your circuit to continue challenging yourself.
Knees bent, feet flat in front of you, sit on the floor. Between your feet, place a medicine ball. Lean back and raise your feet off the floor, straightening your legs until your weight is evenly distributed in a V shape. From here, you can either hold this position for 30 seconds or, for a more difficult challenge, alternate between bending and straightening your legs while keeping the V-hold. Remain relaxed and then repeat.
Lie on your back with your legs extended and your heels approximately 6 inches off the ground. Support yourself with your hands by your sides or beneath the small of your back. Begin scissoring your legs up and down, as if you were swimming backstroke. Flutter kick for 20 seconds, pause for ten seconds, then repeat for another 20 seconds.
Extend your pushups and then lower yourself to your elbows. Hold the position for 60 seconds, keeping your body in a straight line from head to toe. Consider a side plank as a variation on the concept (prop yourself up on one elbow, then raise your hips off the ground to create a straight line from your feet to your shoulders).
Lie face down on the floor with your legs straight up in the air and your feet together. Support yourself with your hands by your sides or beneath the small of your back. Lower your legs to just above the floor without bending your knees, then bring them back to their upright posture. Perform ten reps, pause for ten seconds, and then repeat ten reps.
Engage your core and raise your hips into the air from an extended pushup stance until your body forms an inverted V shape. Hold for three counts, then return to an extended pushup posture while maintaining a flat back. Rep the pattern for a total of 60 seconds.
Pullup Knee Raise
Perform a conventional pullup using an overhand grip. Hold the contraction while bending your knees to your chest after your head clears the bar. (For a more straightforward version, hang from the pullup bar with your arms extended.) Bring your knees to your chest and then let go.) Perform 8-10 reps with a 30 second rest in between. Repeat two sets.
Take a medicine ball or dumbbell weighing between 8 and 10 pounds. Knees bent, feet flat in front of you, sit on the floor. With both hands, hold the weight straight in front of your chest. Lean back until your body is at a 45-degree angle (mid-situp position). Twist to the right, allowing your arms to swing to the right. Reverse the twist to the left, swinging your arms to the left side of your body. That is one repetition. Perform ten repetitions, followed by a ten-second pause. Perform three sets.
Knees bent, feet flat in front of you, sit on the floor. Lean back until your body is at a 45-degree angle (mid-situp position). As a counterweight, extend your arms in front of you. Engage your abs and sink lower into the floor (avoid letting your shoulders touch the floor), then instantly return to the starting position. For 30 seconds, pulse up and down. Ten seconds of rest. Rep for another 30 seconds.
Side Cable Pull
For the next two, you’re going to need to be near a cable machine. However, long, elastic bands secured firmly to a doorway make an effective substitute for the machine. To accomplish this, stand perpendicular to the cable machine or doorway, with your left side closest to the cable machine or doorway, with the pulley or band at chest height. Maintaining a stable base of support for your feet and hips, swivel your torso to the left and hold the pulley or band handle with both hands, arms straight. Pull until your arms are parallel to your body and your chest is parallel to your legs. Twist back toward the machine for one count, then return to the starting position. Rep on the opposite side for 8-10 reps. Perform two complete sets.
Half-knee perpendicular to the cable machine or band with your left knee bent in front of you (right leg on the floor). Place the pulley or band just above the level of your head. Maintaining a stationary lower body, spin to the left and grip with both hands, arms straight. Pull diagonally until your arms are at your right hip and your torso is turned to the right. Hold for one count, then return to the starting position by twisting to the left. Rep on the opposite side for 8-10 reps. Perform two complete sets.