Not too long ago, I shared the Stronger Abs in 7 Exercises workout with you and all of those ab/core exercises required no equipment. Those exercises could be done pretty much anywhere and I got some great feedback from that workout. One piece of feedback was: “Chris, this workout seemed a bit too easy for me…How can I make it more difficult?”
Well…ask and ye shall receive!
Here are 9 core/ab exercises that will definitely challenge you; if you stick to the rep count and rest duration detailed below! I have included a description as well as a video demo for each exercise.
- Toes to Bar – 20 reps
- Decline Crunches – 30 reps
- Mountain Climbers – 30 reps
- Weighted Torso Twists – 20 reps
- Hanging Knee Raises – 30 reps
- Frog Crunches – 20 reps
- Decline Med Ball Twists – 30 reps
- In & Out – 30 reps
- Air Bicycles – 50 reps per leg
You’ll need some equipment in order to complete this workout as I have demoed below, but modifications can be made where applicable.
Several different options here…
Over-the-door Pull Up Bar
Wall Mounted Pull Up Bar
DIY – Build Your Own!
I Want This!
Bench or Chair
A bench that has a decline position is optimal, but if not available, you can still use a flat bench. A chair (without arms…) can work as well, with some modifications.
Weight or Medicine Ball
If you are working out on a hard surface, you’ll want something to protect your tailbone and lower back.
These should be executed in the order they are listed below along with the rep count detailed for each. Move from one exercise to the next with little to no rest.
Toes to Bar
Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder width, wrapping your thumbs for a secure grip—when you kick your feet up, you don’t want to kick your hands.
Squeeze both your butt and abs, creating a “hollow-body” position where your feet are slightly in front of your torso. With these muscles flexed, your body’s ready to swing.
Kipping generates momentum, taking your body from the hollow position to an arc or superman position. Open your shoulders, squeeze your butt, then drive with your hips.
To transition from backswing to upswing, simply drive your knees toward your elbows, then extend your legs, kicking your feet toward the bar as they rise.
As soon as your momentum toward the bar ends, pull back into an arc and squeeze your butt to load your hips for the next rep.
Reps – 15-20
Sit on a 25-degree decline bench and place your feet under the holding pad and both hands on your temples. Keeping your abs tight at all times, lean back to a 45-degree angle (never go all the way, as that can endanger your lower back). Crunch forward toward your knees, rolling your abdominals together, and tighten them in the top position. Release slightly to the 45-degree angle and repeat.
Reps – 30
Start the exercise by lying face down on the floor.
Straighten out your arms and then touch your knees down to the ground or floor.
Now you are ready to lift yourself up into position. When doing this, be sure that your hands are directly under your chest at a width that is slightly more than your shoulder length distance.
Once you have settled into position and checked the position of your hands you should be sure to keep your legs stretched out, ensuring that they are properly lined up with the rest of your body. Pay special attention to your knees as many people tend to create a gap here but that should be avoided. If the recommended position is uncomfortable for you, it is alright to modify it slightly as long as you maintain the correct posture.
Now you should stretch out your left leg for stability. Bend your right knee and bring it up in the direction of your right hand. At this point, you should be in a similar position to the one you would be in if you were climbing a mountain or tree (hence the name) except horizontal instead of vertical.
After bringing your right knee up, return it to the original position and do the previous step with your left leg. (Once again, bend the left knee and bring it up towards the left hand mimicking the actions of a mountain climber).
Reps – 30 each leg
Weighted Torso Twist
Stand holding a weight with your feet should be far enough apart to balance, and ideally not much wider than shoulder-width.
Rotate your torso (upper body and shoulders) from one side to the other side (left, right, left, right, etc.), squeezing your obliques and abdominals as your reach the end of each rotation. You may briefly hold at the terminal aspect of each repetition.
Fix your eyes forward and keep your pelvis stationary by isometrically contracting your gluteal muscles.
Make sure to breathe.
Reps – 20 rotations
Hanging Knee Raise
Grab a chin-up bar with an overhand grip and let your legs dangle. This is your starting position.
One at a time, bend your knees and bring your legs towards your stomach. Hold briefly and then return legs to starting position, alternating to the opposite leg for each repetition.
Reps – 30
Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent or resting on a bench. Bring the soles of your feet together, so that your knees angle out.
With your hands together and out in front of you, slowly raise your head and shoulders in a forward-curling motion off the floor.
Hold for a second or two and lower yourself back to the starting position.
Reps – 20
Decline Med Ball Twist
Sit on a decline bench with your butt on the elevated end of the bench. Secure your feet on the anchors.
Leaning back halfway from the pad, hold on to a medicine ball or clasp your hands in front of you.
Twist to your left. As you come up to the starting position, twist to your right, bringing your body to the center.
Lower your body halfway back, rotating your arms toward your right side.
Reverse directions as you come back up to the center.
Reps – 30
In & Outs
While sitting down on the ground or on the edge of your bench, bring your feet together, bend the legs and raise them a bit. Lean back the upper body a little, but the back is straight the entire time.
Bend the legs and bring the knees towards the chest, the knees come up to touch or nearly touch the upper body.
Guide the legs back to the starting position.
Reps – 30
Begin by lying flat on your back with your hands to the side of your head.
Lift your legs and bend your knees so they are at a 90-degree angle, then begin rotating your legs in a manner similar to riding a bicycle.
Lean up and turn to touch your right elbow to your left knee, then lay back down; repeat this with the left elbow, touching it to the right knee.
When you’ve touched both elbows to your knees, that is considered one repetition.
Reps – 50 per leg
Core Workout – Demo
Here is a video compilation of all of the exercises detailed above. Do your best to maintain form throughout each exercise. If you need to lower the rep count in order to maintain form, do so accordingly.
Need a Coach?
If you need to find someone that will hold you accountable, answer your questions, help you, and PUSH YOU for the entire duration of your workout! Luckily for you, that’s what me and my team are here for. If you don’t have a coach yet and want one, I’d love to be your coach and help you through a fitness program. I am available to help you reach your goals!