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6 abs exercises to do at home

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COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Now more than ever it’s important to prioritise your wellbeing, both physical and mental. These articles are to help you stay active and look after your wellbeing during this unprecedented time.

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1. Sit ups

What it’s good for: Abdominal and core strength

How to do it: Lie flat on your back with your knees bent at approximately 90 degrees and feet flat on the floor. Slowly curl your torso, raising your head and shoulders. As you lift your upper body bring your arms forward towards your ankles. Throughout this exercise, keep your abdominal muscles tight.

How to progress: Grab a weight or a household item, such as a bag of sugar. Complete the exercise whilst holding it against your chest.

How to regress: Reduce the range of movement by raising your upper body only half the way up.

2. Crunches

What it’s good for: Upper abdominal and core strengthening

How to do it: Whilst lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor, place your hands across your chest or fingers on your temples and engage your core. As you exhale, lift your upper body ensuring that you keep your head and neck relaxed. Inhale and return to your starting position.

How to progress: Grab a weight or a household item, such as a bag of sugar. Complete the exercise whilst holding it against your chest.

How to regress: Instead of curling your core you can lie down on your back and bring your knees to your chest.

3. Leg raises

What it’s good for: Lower adominal and core strengthening, abdominal and hip flexibility

How to do it: Lie on your back with your legs together and straight and your head relaxed. Whilst pushing your lower back into the floor and engaging your core, lift your legs up towards the ceiling until your hips start to raise. Slowly control the movement back down and repeat.

How to progress: Try to slow your movement down and add a 2 second pause when your legs are at the bottom of your movement to engage your core further.

How to regress: tuck your hands underneath your glutes (bottom) for more balance and reduce the range of movement as you get closer to the floor.

4. Russian twists

What it’s good for: Obliques and core strengthening, balance, stability

How to do it: From a seated position engage your core and lean back slightly. Lift your feet off the floor and hold a balanced position. Rotate your torso from side to side whilst keeping your legs stable.

How to progress: Grab a weight or a household item, such as a bag of sugar. Complete the exercise whilst holding it in your hands.

How to regress: Place your feet on the floor instead of hovering and continue the exercise as usual. This should relieve some strain on your core.

5. Glute Bridge

What it’s good for: Glutes and core strengthening, glute activation, prevent lower back pain

How to do it: Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor at hips width apart. Engage your core and glutes and then lift your hips so that they are in line with your shoulders and knees and hold.

How to progress: Grab a weight or a household item, such as a bag of sugar. Complete the exercise whilst balancing it on your stomach.

How to regress: Rotate your body and start on your hands and knees. Extend that leg out and upwards raising one foot to the ceiling at a time.

6. Plank

What it’s good for: Strengthen entire core and back, stability

How to do it: Lie on your front with your elbows tucked in by the side of your ribs and with your toes tucked under. Lift your body up so that you're resting on your forearms and feet with your body parallel to the floor. Engage the core, glutes and quads and hold the position.

How to progress: Use your shoulders and ankles to rock your body forwards and backwards whilst maintaining that parallel core to the ground to create an active plank.

How to regress: Keep the same shape but place your knees on the floor to release a bit of tension.


Leo Parnell-Notice

Leo Parnell-Notice Health and Fitness Instructor, Warwick Sport

Leo has a background in athletics and personal training and enjoys the sense of achievement from learning something new. He loves all sports, especially trying new ones.


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