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The Beginner Abs Workout That Burns Fat and Builds Muscle

 

A strong core looks good, but it's about more than that—a stable and strong core makes daily tasks a lot easier and safer. Not to mention, it gets you through dynamic workouts (like running, kickboxing, and weightlifting) injury-free. Toning your abs and burning fat are just the bonus effects. These core moves are perfect for beginners—or advanced athletes who want to bang out some extra sets. 

How it works: Grab a mat if you're on a hard floor. Otherwise, no equipment needed. You'll start with a 5-minute core warm up and progress into the workout: 2 circuits with 4 exercises in each circuit. Do each circuit 3 times.

Circuit 1

Single-Leg Scissors
A. Lie faceup on the floor, palms flat next to hips and legs extended straight up toward the ceiling.
B. Inhale and slowly lower right leg toward the ground, stopping when your lower back lifts off the ground.
C. Exhale and engage lower abs to lift leg back up to start. Repeat on other side. 
D. Do 15 reps on each side.

Bicycles
A. Lie faceup on the floor, legs in tabletop position and hands behind head.
B. Extend left leg and drive the right knee in toward chest, rotating to tap left elbow to right knee. Repeat on other side.
C. That's 1 rep. Do 15 reps.

Crunches
A. Lie faceup on the floor, with feet flat, knees pointing toward ceiling, and hands behind head with elbows pointing out.
B. Engage abs and maintain a neutral neck while lifting shoulder blades off the floor. Slowly lower down to starting position.
C. Do 15 reps.

Scissors
A. Lie faceup on the floor, palms flat next to hips and legs extended straight up toward the ceiling.
B. Slowly lower right leg toward the ground, stopping when your lower back lifts off the ground.
C. Engage lower abs to switch legs, lifting right leg back to start while lowering left leg. 
D. That's 1 rep. Do 15 reps.

Repeat 3 times.

Circuit 2

Planks with Single-Leg Lifts
A.
Start in plank position on elbows or palms (depending on which you prefer).
B. Keeping hips lifted and core tight, lift right foot up about 6 inches, then return to plank. Repeat on left side.
C. That's 1 rep. Do 15 reps.

Supermans
A.
Lie facedown on the floor, arms extended out to the side forming a "W" shape, and legs outstretched.
B. Keeping neck neutral, lift arms and legs off the floor as high as possible, stretching body long.
C. Hold for 30 seconds.

Side Planks
A. Balance on right elbow and outside of right foot with hips lifted. Make sure shoulders and hips are stacked.
B. Hold for 30 seconds on each side.

Russian Twists
A. 
Sit on the ground with chest lifted and feet extended forward with bent knees, heels resting on the ground. Lean back slightly and clasp hands in front of chest, elbows out.
B. Twist at the waist to rotate torso to the right, then come back to center. Then rotate to the left, then come back to center.
C. That's 1 rep. Do 15 reps.

Repeat 3 times.

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