The 14 Best Ab Bootcamp Workout Moves

women-doing-bootcamp-abs-workout
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

If you've ever looked at a trainer and thought, "I. Want. Those. Abs.," then these are the moves for you. Each one of these ab bootcamp workout moves comes directly from trainers at Barry's Bootcamp, and they're guaranteed to hurt so good.

01 of 14

Side Bend Slide

Woman doing side bend slide ab bootcamp workout move
Peter Ardito

This ab bootcamp workout move from trainer Allie Cohen is great for your posture.

Targets: obliques

  • Hold a light weight above your head.
  • Look up at the weight as you slide down the opposite leg.
  • Return to the start and repeat until fatigue.
02 of 14

Side Plank to Elbow Touch

Woman doing side plank elbow touch ab bootcamp workout move
Peter Ardito

Astrid Swan's best ab bootcamp workout Might just be the hardest side plank variation you've ever tried.

Targets: upper abs, lower abs, and obliques

  • Starting in a side plank position on your hand or on your elbow, stack your feet and make sure your body is in one straight line from the top of your head to your heels, hips lifted.
  • Place your free hand gently behind your head, bending at the elbow.
  • Maintaining your side plank form, bend your top leg and bring the knee towards your elbow on the same side, crunching your side abs.
  • Repeat the ab bootcamp workout move for 30 seconds before rotating to the other side.
03 of 14

Oblique Twist

Woman doing oblique twist ab bootcamp workout move with dumbbell
Peter Ardito

Grab a dumbbell and work your balance with this bootcamp ab workout move from trainer Amer Rees, one of the founders of the super-empowering nonprofit Brave Body Project.

Targets: obliques and lower abs

  • Stand with feet hip distance apart and squat (form check!) while holding a medicine ball or a heavy weight in front of your chest.
  • Keeping elbows out and lifted, stand up straight and twist your right elbow to your left knee, bringing left knee up to your chest.
  • Repeat and bring opposite elbow to opposite knee, twisting your entire upper body.
04 of 14

Weighted Jackknife to Bent Knees Toe-Touch

Woman doing weighted jackknife ab bootcamp workout move
Peter Ardito

Jackknives are hard as-is; add a weight, and your abs will be crushed, thanks to this move from trainer Chris Tye Walker.

Targets: lower abs

  • Start on your back with legs in table top position.
  • Extend arms and legs simultaneously (top image).
  • Lifting your shoulders and bending your knees at a 90-degree angle, reach the weight to your toes. (
05 of 14

Knee to Opposite Elbow

Woman doing knee to opposite elbow ab bootcamp workout move
Peter Ardito

Add a twist to your plank... literally. Try this move from former Barry's trainer Kenneth Ferrer (now a trainer at Project by Equinox) and add it as a progression to your planks in future workout routines.

Targets: upper abs, lower abs, and obliques

  • Start in high plank position.
  • Bend right knee, drop right hip and bring knee to your left elbow, keeping your hip and leg hovering off the ground.
  • Hold for three seconds.
  • Continue for 30 seconds, then switch sides. (Once you've mastered this ab bootcamp workout, try our 30-day plank challenge!)
06 of 14

Bear Crawl Mountain Climber

Woman doing bear crawl ab bootcamp workout move
Peter Ardito

Don't dismiss bear crawls as a basic move. If you're doing them right (and pairing them with mountain climbers, like in this move from trainer Matt Nolan) you'll definitely feel it.

Targets: lower abs

  • Get on all fours with a flat back.
  • Lift knees so they hover off the ground and hold.
  • Bring the right knee to right elbow and quickly switch to the other side, alternating for 60 seconds.
07 of 14

Core Dribble

Core-Dribble

This bootcamp ab workout move from former Barry's trainer Matty Maggiacomo (who's now at Peloton) will test your core strength as well as your coordination.

Targets: lower abs

  • Balance on your tailbone and extend legs out straight, knees slightly bent. (You might want one of these cushy yoga mats under you…)
  • Using a light weight, cross ball under one leg and pass to other hand.
  • Continue for 30 seconds, then switch sides, all while balancing on tailbone.
08 of 14

V Hold to Toe Touch

Woman doing v-hold ab bootcamp workout move
Peter Ardito

How do you level-up boat pose? Make it a moving boat pose. You can thank trainer Mike Espinosa for this ab bootcamp workout move when you're sore tomorrow.

Targets: lower abs

  • Balance on tailbone extend legs straight in front of you.
  • Bring arms out to sides in a "V" shape, maintaining balance, and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Touch arm to opposite toe, alternating sides.
09 of 14

Knee Hover to Standing Split

Knee-Hover
Peter Ardito

Use this yoga-inspired move from former Barry's trainer Natalie Raitano (now with The Wall) to get a little bit of a hamstring stretch and strengthen your core at the same time.

Targets: upper abs and lower abs

  • In high plank position, bring right knee to touch right elbow, hold for 3 seconds.
  • Shifting hips back, thrust right leg straight above your hips.
  • Hold for 3 seconds.
  • Continue this flow for 30 seconds, then switch to do the ab bootcamp workout move on the other side.
10 of 14

Weight Side Bend

Woman doing weighted side bend ab bootcamp workout move
Peter Ardito

Take the Side Bend Slide and add an overhead weight, a là Patrick Frost (now a Nike master trainer), to make it an even harder abs exercise.

Targets: obliques

  • Stand with knees slightly bent and hold a medium sized weight (8 to 10 pounds).
  • With right hand on hip, bring left arm over your head as you bend and crunch to the right side.
  • Bring arm down in a controlled motion with a bent arm and crunch to the left. (
11 of 14

Wood Chopper

Woman doing wood chopper ab bootcamp workout move with dumbbell
Peter Ardito

Like this one? Former Barry's trainer Rebecca Kennedy (who's demoing the moves here) has a total-body workout ready for your right here.

Targets: upper abs, lower abs, and obliques

  • Using medicine ball or one heavy weight, start with feet hip width apart, descend into squat with weight at chest level.
  • Press up overhead.
  • Thrust ball/weight down with force to the right.
  • Do two sets of 30 seconds each side.
12 of 14

Sweeping Planks

Sweeping-Planks

Never underestimate the power of lifting just one limb during a plank. This bootcamp ab workout move from trainer Derek DeGrazio is proof that it's hella hard.

Targets: core, shoulders, and arms

  • Start in low plank position.
  • Lift your left leg off of the floor about 10 inches, keeping a flat back. Hold for 15 seconds.
  • Place leg down and hold a regular plank for 15 seconds.
  • Keep switching legs for 60 seconds; do 3 sets. (Here are 10 more crunch-free moves for killer abs!)
13 of 14

The Hollow Rock

Hollow-Rock

This gymnastics-inspired move from trainer Sam Karl, now with Kamp's Fitness, can get you Simone Biles-level abs (minus the gold medal).

Targets: entire core

  • Lift your legs off the ground and hug your elbows to your eyes. (Your body should be shaped like a banana.)
  • Rock forward and back on your lower back for 30 seconds.
14 of 14

The Running Man Bicycle

Running-Man-Bicycle

Do you do all your bicycles laying down? Get vertical with this bootcamp ab workout move from master trainer Rachel Robinson and you'll feel the difference.

Targets: entire core

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