Women’s Health says: Let’s cut to the core: a strong torso upgrades all your training. Stream the 5 best workouts from the fitness stars of the internet.
Consider visible killer abs as the be all and end all of physical fitness? Find yourself searching for a great abs workout at home? Pause scrolling Instagram for washboard workout inspiration for a second: Abs are actually quite superficial in the grand scheme of things; it’s much more important to have a strong core, as this improves any exercise you do – not just an abs workout at home.
Spoiler: you don’t get these doing endless crunches or tons of sit-ups.
“There are lots of different muscles within that area, and the abs – which everyone talks about – are what you might call ‘mirror muscles’, as they’re the ones that you can see in the mirror,” says Women’s Health Strength Coach and Nike’s Global Master Trainer Joslyn Thompson Rule.
“It can feel great having the visible definition, but functionally there are deeper muscles you need to be working if you want to perform better – whether that’s in sport or in everyday life.”
If you’re a bit of a beginner when it comes to core strength and sculpting a steely torso, Joslyn has a couple of key tips to set you off. Prepping your body for exercise is just as important as doing an abs workout at home.
“Start off with some diaphragmatic breathing. Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place one hand on your belly and one on your chest. Breathe in and really try and fill up your belly and your back with air.
“You’re looking for the hand on your tummy to rise, not the hand on your chest, otherwise this is shallow breathing. You really want to fill up the lungs. A lot of people find that when they take that really deep breath their hands will shudder with their abdominals because their lungs aren’t used to expanding so much.”
Joslyn recommends one of Stuart McGill’s “big three” – the bird dog, side plank or curl up. “They’re the kind of exercises that look really easy but if you do them slowly and controlled, after 5 or 6 reps you’ll really feel it. Soon, you’ll see it.
“I think people might think that, when it comes to your core, it’s the big exercises that wipe you out, but actually it’s the smaller, tiny ones that, when done properly, really challenge you.”
Now you’ve had the safety prep keep scrolling for the best abs workout at home from the fitness stars, ordered by duration. Whether you’ve got three minutes or 15, there’s an at home abs workout to increase your inner strength.
For most, all you’ll need is a mat and yourself. How slow can you go?