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The 30-Day Ab Challenge to Sculpt Flatter Abs By the End of the Month

This month, we're asking you to skip the sit-ups. Instead, let PROJECT by Equinox trainer Lauren Williams take you through a core-blasting series that not only nails each of your abdominal muscle groups, it works your core's endurance too. Every week there's a fast ab workout that you'll do for four days of the week, plus a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) day, a sprint day, and a rest day. Each week this month, the ab workout gets a little bit harder (and a minute longer) so that by the end of our 30 days, you'll be ready for our 9-minute ultimate ab assault superset. (Sound crazy? We promise if you stick with us, we'll get you there!)

30 Day Ab Challenge

Week 1

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Week 1: 2-Minute Blast

On Days 1, 2, 4, and 5, complete 30 seconds of each exercise (lemon crushers, toe reaches, mountain climber holds, and plank up/downs). We've thrown in two days of cardio bursts: On Day 3, you'll perform three 40-second sets of high knees with 20 seconds of rest in between, and on Day 6, you'll complete six sets of 30-second sprints with 75 seconds of recovery. Give yourself a rest on Day 7.

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B

Lemon Crushers

A.

Lie flat on back and lift toes and hands, reaching away from each other.

B.

Sit up as you pull knees into chest and extend arms forward, then lie back again in extension and reset. Repeat for 30 seconds.

A
B

Toe Reaches

A.

Lie flat on back and lift toes and hands, reaching away from each other.

B.

Sit up as you pull knees into chest and extend arms forward, then lie back again in extension and reset. Repeat for 30 seconds.

A
B

Mountain Climbers

A.

Get in a straight-arm plank position, stacking shoulders over wrists. Bring one knee in toward chest, making sure to keep hips level and in line with shoulders.

B.

Switch feet and hold for a few seconds. Repeat for 30 seconds.

A
B

Plank Up/Downs

A.

Get into a forearm plank position; stay tight in core.

B.

Push up with one arm at a time into a straight-arm plank, and then return to forearms. Repeat for 30 seconds.

Week 2

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Week 2: 3-Minute Crush

On Days 8, 9, 11, and 12, complete 45 seconds each of dead bugs, leg drops, alternating toe touches, and scissors for a three-minute lower-ab blast. And similar to last week, we've added cardio bursts on Day 10 (40 seconds of HIIT tuck jumps, followed by 20 seconds of rest) and Day 13 (30 seconds of all-out sprints with 75 seconds of recovery). Take a breather on Day 14.

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B

Dead Bugs

A.

Lie on back with legs in tabletop, calves parallel to the ground, arms extended up toward the ceiling.

B.

Extend one arm back and the opposite leg down, hovering an inch off the ground, then return and switch sides. Alternate repeatedly for 45 seconds.

A
B

Leg Drops

A.

Support back by placing hands underneath butt, and extend legs straight up toward the ceiling.

B.

Lower legs together, keeping them straight and stopping a few inches above the floor, then raise back to starting position. Keep the core connected and be sure not to arch back. Repeat for 45 seconds.

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B

Alternating Toe Touches

A.

Lie flat on back, arms by sides and legs straight.

B.

Reach up arm and lift opposite leg to touch fingertips to toes. Lie back down and switch sides. Repeat for 45 seconds.

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B

Scissors

A.

Start on back, hands under butt for support and legs extended straight on the floor. Lift the right leg up to point toward the ceiling.

B.

As you lower right leg, raise left leg to point to the ceiling. Alternate for 45 seconds.

Week 3

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Week 3: 4-Minute Burn

As in the previous weeks, Days 15, 16, 18, and 19 are your ab exercise days. You'll complete one minute of Russian twists, side plank rotations, opposite arm/leg lifts, and banana rolls. Day 17 and Day 20 are your cardio days with HIIT froggers and sprinting. Rest on Day 21.

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B

Russian Twists

A.

Sit with sacrum on the floor, legs up in tabletop position and back off the ground, hands in prayer. Twist to the right, tapping right elbow to the floor.

B.

Twist to the left, tapping left elbow to the floor. Repeat for 1 minute.

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B
C

Side Plank Rotations

A.

Come into a side plank, elbow on the floor below shoulder and feet stacked.

B.

Turn downwards into an elbow plank on both elbows.

C.

Turn to come back up into a side plank on the opposite side. Alternate and repeat for 1 minute.

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B

Opposite Arm/Leg Lifts

A.

Lift and extend left arm and right leg up, then alternate with the opposite side. Repeat for 1 minute.

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B

Banana Rolls

A.

Lie on back in a hollow hold, arms overhead and legs extended off the ground.

B.

Roll over onto stomach while keeping arms and legs off the floor. Hold in superman pose, then roll back. Repeat for 1 minute.

Week 4

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Week 4: 5-Minute Meltdown

This week is a little different (and longer!): You'll do ab exercises on Days 22, 23, 25, and 26. They include kneeling medicine ball chops, kneeling medicine ball slams, resistance band bicycle presses, resistance band plank jacks, side plank leg lifts, and bicycles. For the cardio days, we added burpees to the mix (yay, Day 24!), followed by your standby sprints on Day 27. On Day 28 and 29, you'll repeat the same ab sequence you did at the beginning of the week. Then, on Day 30, you'll do every ab exercise in the 30-Day Challenge for 30 seconds.  

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B

Kneeling Medicine Ball Chops

A.

Come into a tall kneeling position, squeezing glutes. Hold a medicine ball down by right hip.

B.

Lift the ball across and up over left shoulder. Repeat for 50 seconds.

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B
C

Kneeling Medicine Ball Slams

A.

Start in tall kneeling position, with the medicine ball on the floor on one side.

B.

Bring the ball up and overhead.

C.

Slam the ball down on the opposite side. Alternate sides. Repeat for 50 seconds. 

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B

Resistance Band Bicycle Press

A.

Flip onto back in a tabletop position and wrap the resistance band around feet. Rest back with hands behind head, elbows out. Begin to reach each elbow toward the opposite knee, extending the other leg out and alternating in bicycle style. Press the band to push feet away from you. 

B.

Switch, driving the opposite knee in and rotating shoulders. Repeat for 50 seconds.

A
B

Resistance Band Plank Jacks

A.

Come into a straight-arm plank position, hands below shoulders and a resistance band wrapped around ankles.

B.

Bring the feet closer together, then jump out to a wide stance and back in again. Repeat for 50 seconds.

A
B

Bicycles

A.

Start in bicycle position on back in tabletop. Twist to bring left elbow to right knee.

B.

Twist to bring right elbow to left knee. Repeat for 50 seconds.

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