Looking to get six pack abs with a great ab workout at home – or simply strengthen and firm your stomach? If so, you need to get an effective abdominal workout program in place.
And you probably don’t always have time to get to the gym. The good news is that for a great ab workout, you don’t need a gym.
Many people think that they need to spend hours on the abdominal mats crunching away if they are going to get a flat stomach, but that’s far from the truth. If you perform a few very effective exercises, you really only need to train your abs for 5 minutes, two times per week to see progress taking place.
Here are two plans below for your ab workout at home:
- Without an exercise ball
- With an exercise ball
Table of Contents
Primary Muscles Worked 💪
Secondary Muscles Worked 💪
- Lower Back
Ab Workout at Home | Simple – Quick – Effective
Here is a super effective ab workout with no exercise ball.
- Lying Leg Raise – 15 reps
- Scissor Kicks (Flutter Kicks) – 10 reps (lying on back with legs straight, move legs up and down in a scissor motion)
- Frog Kicks – 15 reps
- Bicycle Crunches – 15 reps (the twist/diagonal in the motion is to work your obliques)
- Crunches – 20 reps
- Planks – Hold for 30 to 60 seconds
Lying Leg Raise
Scissor Kicks (Flutter Kicks)
- Do all 6 exercises in quick succession with no rest between exercises
- Rest 1 minute between each cycle of 6 exercises
- Pretty fast pace, so you will see some cardio benefit too
- Simple, but very effective
Of course diet is a huge part of your progress. You can spend quality time doing your ab workout at home, but if you’re a train wreck in the kitchen, you won’t see good results.
It must be a twofold plan. But if you can do both, you will see really impressive progress. And you can do both…just takes a little discipline and desire. The general rule is…if you want to see your abs, you need to be at 10% body fat.
Challenge Your Muscles From Various Angles
The very first thing you’ll want to make sure you do when designing your ab workout at home is to challenge your muscles from a variety of different angles. If you only ever perform the standard crunch movement, you’re missing out.
Because the ab muscles are fast to adapt to whatever stress you place on them, so the more variety…the better. (1)
Attack them in both the prone and supine positions as well as with both the upper and lower body moving to perform the crunching action. The prone position works best with an exercise ball.
Add Instability to Your Workouts
Next, the best way to ensure that you get every single ab muscle fiber firing on all pistons is to incorporate instability into the workout routine. This is going to allow you to reach muscle fibers deep within your core, getting a far more complete workout in.
An exercise ball is the best way to do this, as it instantly places you off balance and will require optimal contractions to maintain control.
With each of these, your core muscles will be called into play. For instance, doing a plank on an exercise ball activates your core muscles, and does not allow just a few muscles to act in isolation.
Move Through The Full Range Of Motion
Finally, you also want to make sure that you move through as large a range of motion as possible with a number of exercises that you do. Remember that the larger the range of motion you move through, the harder the abs muscles are going to be contracting, so the better the progress you will see. You will have greater muscular hypertrophy with great range of motion. (2)
Many people perform the standard crunch exercise, which has you moving through the shortest range of motion possible. Lengthen it for greater results.
Simple is Most Powerful for Your Ab Workout at Home
While this is just four exercises total, you’ll work the upper and lower abs, along with the obliques. You will be targeting the abs from a wide variety of different angles with each exercise performed.
Remember, focus strictly on the abdominal muscles contracting to guide the movement pattern, so that other muscles aren’t doing the brunt of the work.
Keep your breathing patterns regular to avoid excessive stress build-up in the body. This will make the workout as comfortable as possible.
You can also target upper abs and lower abs for more specific workouts.
If you can do this two to three times per week, you will be on track to seeing flat-stomach success. Remember to get your diet in order as well as diet and exercise go hand in hand with producing a lean, muscular build.
Variation and Bi-Sets
When doing an ab workout at home, I always try to have a good deal of variation to make sure I am working the complete core. It’s easy to get tunnel focus where you only do sit-ups or crunches.
But keep in mind that you want to do ab exercises that work your upper abs and your lower abs, as well as your complete abs as a whole. So just make sure that you are doing ab work where your upper body is in motion, as well as your lower body.
Upper Abs vs. Lower Abs
Because upper body motion like crunches and sit-ups are working your upper abs (primary emphasis), and lower body motion like scissor kicks and leg lifts are working your lower abs (primary). And to get a balanced ab and core workout, you need to do both.
Twisting Motions for Obliques
Also consider some twisting exercises so that you bring your obliques into action. I find that if I’m only doing 1-axis movements (up and down) without twisting motions, then my obliques and traverse are not getting much action. So rocky sit-ups are a nice variation for this.
Another thing I like to do with these workouts are bi-sets. An example would be doing crunches followed immediately by leg lifts.
It is something I have done a lot of over the years, and it is a killer workout. When you finish the first set, your abs are already burning, and you then jump to the next set.
Keep in mind if you’re trying to create washboard abs, a lot of that work is done in the kitchen and not the gym. You really need to get in the range of 10% body fat for your abs to show.
I am looking more for a lean physique at this point, and not so much rock hard and shiny abs. But if you’re looking for rock hard abs and a shiny six pack, then 10-12% body fat is the key.
Breaking a Plateau
If you’re working abs on a consistent basis and eating a lean diet, but still need a little something to get you over the edge, you might consider a thermogenic fat burner. These can sometimes give you a little bump to get you through a plateau. Check our review of the top thermogenic fat burners to see if one might be a good fit for you.
Return to home workouts.
- Quinn, E. (2021). Meet Your Ab Muscles to Find Out How They Work. Verywell Fit. https://www.verywellfit.com/abdominal-muscles-anatomy-3120072.
- Kandola, A. (2020). Muscular hypertrophy: Definition, causes, and how to achieve it. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/muscle-hypertrophy.