Score a strong, sexy stomach without ever doing a boring "abs workout" again!
Get Fab Abs Having Fun!
1 of 5All photos
It's easy to get locked into a routine of performing the same abs exercises over and over again. But if you want to change your body, regularly changing up your routine is key. And you don't always need a complicated core training plan—some of the most effective ways to tighten your middle are also the most fun! So instead of dreading your workout, try one (or all) of these fun-in-the-sun activities that not only build core strength, but are also proven to boost mood and mental focus.
2 of 5All photos
If you live near the water (or plan on taking a beach vacation), this surfing type of activity is a great way to improve your core strength, balance, focus, coordination and upper- and lower-body strength. It's truly a full-body workout! Just be sure to follow these instructions for proper form:
Stand with feet hip-width apart and keep a slight bend in knees the entire time. Draw shoulder blades down and together and keep core engaged (imagine you're about to be punched in the stomach). When paddling, keep top arm straight and bend bottom elbow straight back as if performing a row in the gym. Continually alternate sides, keeping chest lifted the entire time. Try to paddle at a moderate pace for an hour. You'll definitely feel the burn the next day!
3 of 5All photos
Swimming has many physical and psychological perks, including increased circulation and endurance, weight loss, and an overall sense of well-being. It's a killer cardio workout that also builds core strength—the ideal combo for helping you get the defined look you're after.
Try this 25-minute swimming workout three times a week:
Warm-up: 10 minutes at a moderate pace, alternating laps of freestyle, backstroke, and breast stroke.
25-yard “sprint” at 90 percent maximum effort (any stroke).
25-yard cool-down at 50 percent maximum effort (any stroke).
Repeat this pattern for 10 minutes.
Cool-down: 10 minutes at a moderate pace, alternating laps of freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke.
4 of 5All photos
If you've ever tried beach volleyball you know it's a tough workout. Jumping and landing in sand gives leg muscles a serious toning session and burns tons of calories, helping uncover your toned abs.
There's even science to prove the amazing power of sand workouts: A new study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found greater fitness benefits when athletes trained on sand versus grass. The researchers also note that working out on sand reduces stress on bones and results in less muscle soreness afterward.
You don't need to be an experienced volleyball athlete to reap the rewards. Grab some friends and hit the ball around! The goal is for one person to pass the ball, another to set, and then a third person to hit the ball over the net. Try to keep the ball in play as long as possible (games are played to 21). You should feel your heart pumping and muscles shaking by the time there's a winner.
5 of 5All photos
The myriad benefits attributed to yoga—stress relief, muscle toning, weight loss, mood enhancement—are enough to get anyone on the mat. And while becoming a regular at your local yoga studio is great, it's not realistic for every lifestyle. Simply aim to fit these three poses into your daily routine. Do them in morning before you hop in the shower or after work each night (it only takes five minutes!) and you'll soon start to notice tighter abs and a brighter disposition.