Bodyweight ab workouts are a simple, time-efficient, and effective way to strengthen the core, support the spine, and improve posture.

We tend to set unrealistic expectations when it comes to our midsection. Much of our frustration with not seeing results come from years of misleading information and myths about spot reduction. Unfortunately, spot reduction—for the abs or for any other body part—doesn’t work. This is because when exercising the body draws energy from the entire body and not just from the muscles being targeted

Common Misconceptions About Your Abs

A popular misconception is that you can achieve great abs by focusing all your efforts on exercising your abdominal muscles. While exercising, the muscle will increase endurance or strength.  It won’t burn off the fat in that area. In order to burn fat from your midsection, you need to reduce overall body fat by being in a calorie deficit and exercising regularly.

Misconceptions About Abs

Being in a calorie deficit entails eating fewer calories than you burn. The best way to do that is with a healthy, low-calorie diet and regular exercise. You must incorporate both weight training and cardio into your exercise routines in order to effectively burn fat.

It can also be counterproductive to work your abs every day. You should treat the abs like any other muscle group in your body by giving them time to rest, repair, and restore. We recommend strength training 2-3 times a week, with rest days in between.

Likewise, you don’t have to do 200 reps to build strength in your abs. The real key to strong abs is about quality, not quantity. The reason why it takes you 40 crunches to feel the burn is because of improper form. Instead of focusing on a high rep count, slow down and concentrate on your form and technique.

How to Get Abs Without Weights

While getting a 6 pack is an ambitious goal to have, it is attainable. You don’t need to go to extremes or invest in the latest gym equipment to get a good ab workout. Here are a few tips on how to get abs without weights.

Maintaining a is Essential

Healthy Diet

Ask any nutrition expert, and they’ll tell you that the first step to sculpting some killer abs—with our without weights—is through a clean, healthy diet. Diet is the first step toward reducing stored fat and improving the condition of your abdominal area. To see your ab muscles, you need to decrease your overall body fat.

Eliminate processed and refined foods, such as sugars and processed carbs and eat more whole foods such as vegetables, nuts, fruits, lean protein and healthy fats, such as olive oil, fish oils, and avocados. Your goal is to eat more high quality, nutrient-rich foods and eat fewer empty, processed calories.

Focus on Functional Exercise

Functional Exercise

When it comes to toning your midsection muscles, any form of exercise which uses the abdominal muscles can be effective. Engaging in cardio workouts such as cycling, swimming, and running will help build your 6 pack abs. Cardio is the best way to reduce body fat and get those abdominal muscles to show.

Focus on functional exercises that aim to train your body for specific functions and movements rather than just isolated muscles. Pull-ups and push-ups are great functional exercises to work most, if not all, of the muscles in your body. It is best to choose exercises that will strengthen your chest, back, and abs for optimal definition in your upper body.

Bodyweight Ab Workouts That Actually Work

There is no need to invest in pricey equipment to get killer abs. You can do a wide variety of ab exercises with your body weight alone. An advantage of doing bodyweight ab exercises is the ability to work different muscle groups at the same time, whereas using ab machines only works the abdominal muscles.

Ab Workouts

Here are some bodyweight ab workouts that actually work:

1. Push-ups

Push-ups

Push-ups simultaneously work your abs, arms, and shoulders. Push-ups help build a strong core, and strong core doesn’t just mean toned abs; a strong core promotes good posture and prevents back pain.

  • Start in a high plank position with your shoulders above your wrists, keeping your back straight.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your body to the floor.
  • Push through the palms of your hands to straighten your arms, and bring yourself back up to the starting position.
  • Engage your abs by keeping your core tight.
  • Continue for 1 minute, taking your time, and focusing on quality over quantity.

2. Diamond Push-ups

This might be one of the most challenging bodyweight ab workouts on the list. Diamond push-ups will give your arms a serious burn, while the push-up position challenges your core to a whole new level.

  • Start in a high plank position.
  • Walk your hands together so that your thumbs and forefingers form a triangle.
  • Bend elbows to lower your torso toward the floor to do a complete push-up.
  • Engage your abs by keeping your core tight.
  • Continue for 1 minute, taking your time, and focusing on quality over quantity.
  • If this is too challenging, lower your knees to the floor.

3. Sit-ups

Sit-ups

Sit-ups work on the rectus abdominis muscle and external obliques. The trick to effective sit-ups is never to lift your feet off the ground, that way your core can do all the work!

  • Start by lying down, with your back on the floor or exercise mat.
  • Bring your knees to a 90-degree angle, keep your feet flat on the mat.
  • Cross your hands on your chest so that your palms are lightly placed on the opposite shoulders.
  • Engage your abs by keeping your core tight.
  • Make sure to keep your feet flat on the ground, lift your head up and then your shoulders.
  • Pause for a second and slowly return to the starting position.
  • Continue for 1 minute, taking your time, and focusing on quality over quantity.

4. Planks

Planks

Plank helps to strengthen the core, improve posture, and reduce back pain. It works almost every muscle in your body and uses all your body weight.

  • Kneel down on your exercise mat.
  • Place palms in front of you; your palms must be flat on the mat.
  • Bend down and place your forearms on the mat.
  • Extend your legs behind you, keeping them straight, and your toes flexed.
  • Hold this pose for 1 minute, and feel your shoulders, core, and quads burn.
  • Repeat at least one more time.

5. Bicycle Crunches

Bicycle crunches create enormous work in the midsection by moving the upper body and lower body simultaneously. The key to bicycle crunches is never to lift your back off the floor.

  • Lay on the floor with your legs stretched out, feet lifted, and hands behind your head.
  • Bring your right elbow to your left knee, keeping your right leg straight.
  • Keep chest up and back straight as you lean back to engage abs.
  • Switch sides.
  • Continue for 1 minute, taking your time, and focusing on quality over quantity.

6. V-lift

This exercise target the abdominal muscles, tone down the obliques, strengthen your back muscles and challenge the entire core.

  • Lie face-up on the floor with your legs and arms straight.
  • Hold your arms straight above the top of your head.
  • In one movement, simultaneously lift your torso and legs as if you’re trying to touch your toes.
  • Hold for 10 seconds
  • Slowly lower your body back to the starting position.
  • Continue for 1 minute, taking your time, and focusing on quality over quantity.

7.  Reverse Crunch

“The reverse crunch is a great way to freshen up your abs routine,” says Men’s Health Fitness Advisor David Jack. “It’s fun, it’s effective, and it’ll work your six-pack.”

  • Lie with your back on your exercise mat.
  • Hold arms behind your head, keeping your legs together and stretched out in front of you.
  • Bend your knees to bring your legs up to your chest.
  • Bring your knees towards your abdomen as much as possible.
  • Keep the upper body straight against the ground.
  • Bring the knee back down to the floor, stretching out your legs back out in front of you.
  • Continue for 1 minute, taking your time, and focusing on quality over quantity.

8. Flutter Kicks

Flutter Kicks work the mid and lower abs, glutes, hip flexors, quads, and adductors. The bodyweight ab workouts that use multiple muscle groups are the most beneficial!

  • Lie with your back your exercise mat with your legs extended and your arms alongside your hips, palms down.
  • Lift your legs 6 inches off the floor.
  • Keep your lower back pressed into the mat.
  • Keep your legs straight as you rhythmically raise one leg higher, then switch. Move in a fluttering, up and down motion.
  • Continue for 1 minute, taking your time, and focusing on quality over quantity.

9. Russian Twists

The Russian Twist is a full 360 degrees ab workout! Along with the TVA and rectus abdominis, the Russian twist incorporates the obliques and lower back as well.

  • Sit on your exercise mat; your legs should be bent at the knees.
  • Your back and things should be angled to create a V-shape.
  • Your arms should be fully extended in front of you perpendicular to your torso and with the hands clasped.
  • Twist your torso to the right side until your arms are parallel with the floor while breathing out.
  • Hold the contraction for a second and move back to the starting position while breathing out.
  • Now move to the opposite side.
  • Continue for 1 minute, taking your time, and focusing on quality over quantity.

10. Pull-ups

Pull-ups

The Pull-up is one of the best bodyweight ab workouts because it targets multiple muscle groups at once—back, biceps, abs, and forearms. Pull-ups will significantly improve your core and upper body strength.

  • Use any fixed bar, which can hold your bodyweight.
  • Hang on the bar with both the arms while knees are bent.
  • Pull your knees toward your abdomen, keeping your core tight.
  • Hold for a 2-3 seconds before returning to original position.
  • Repeat exercise 10 times.

Six Pack Workout at Home Without Equipment

Workout at Home

Don’t have time to visit a gym this week? Here is an ab circuit you can do from the comfort of your own home, no equipment needed!

1. Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks need no special gear and are a full body workout which can be done anytime, anywhere. They are a full body workout that helps in losing weight and toning your body.

  • You need to stand straight with your feet together and arms by your sides.
  • Quickly raise your arms overhead while simultaneously jumping on your feet on either side.
  • Make an inverted V shape with your legs with every jump.
  • To avoid any injuries, make sure you land gently.

2. Burpees

Burpees are one of the most effective and challenging exercises out there, turning your body into the best piece of workout equipment ever. They torch calories by working your core, chest, and legs.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and arms at your sides.
  • Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat.
  • Place your hands on the floor directly in front of you, shifting your weight onto them.
  • Jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position.
  • Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels.
  • Don’t let your back sag or your butt stick up in the air, as both can keep you from effectively working your core.
  • Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.
  • Reach your arms overhead and explosively jump up into the air.
  • Land and immediately lower back into a squat for your next rep.
  • Perform as many as you can in 1 minute, without compromising your form.

3. Single Leg Sit-up

The single leg sit-up is an upgrade from your regular sit up. This exercise allows you to focus more on your ab muscles because it takes your hip flexors out of the movement.

  • Lie on your back with one leg straight and one leg bent.
  • Reach your arms up toward the ceiling.
  • Now perform a sit-up, trying to get your chest as close as possible to the bent knee.
  • Do three sets of 10 reps on each leg.

5. Oblique Crunches

Oblique Crunches target your core and your back giving you double the strength and workout! It’s important to build these muscles, as they help you bend side to side, rotate right and left and stabilize and protect your spine.

  • Begin by lying on your side, forearm down, knees slightly bent.
  • Roll slightly back onto your glute, like your sitting on the back pocket of your blue jeans and lift legs a few inches off the mat.
  • Bring top hand behind the head so the elbow is also bent.
  • Lift legs up bringing your knees to your elbow while at the same time crunching your elbow toward your knee. Squeeze your waistline with each lift.
  • Do three sets of 10 reps on each side.

4. Plank With Reach

The reach adds a little spice to the regular plank and adds an extra challenge to your abdomen muscles. Alternating your weight from side to side will also give your arms a great workout. Keep your balance and tighten that core!

  • Assume a plank position on the ground with your forearms and hands flat, your elbows under your shoulders and legs straight, toes tucked under.
  • Squeeze your abs so that your torso is as stiff as a wooden plank.
  • Place your feet approximately 6 inches apart.
  • Reach your right arm forward, trying to straighten out your elbow.
  • Pause for a beat when your elbow is straight and arm is in the air, then bring it back down to the plank position.
  • Raise the other arm.
  • Keep switching between arms, pausing once your elbow is straight each time.
  • Work up to 10 reaches with each arm.

The Importance of Working Your Core Muscles

Core Muscles

A good core workout is essential to any fitness program, regimen, or routine. Aside from looking better and feeling better, there are additional benefits to working on your core muscles. Here is why it pays to keep your core in shape:

  1. Core exercises improve your balance and stability. Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips, and abdomen to work together. This leads to better balance and stability.
  2. Core exercises, as you now know, don’t require specialized equipment or a gym membership. The most effective core strengthening exercise is the one requiring only your bodyweight.
  3. Strong core muscles make it easier to engage in physical activity. The more you use your core, the stronger it will get, and the easier it will be for you to exercise and perform physical activity. Weak core muscles can also leave you with poor posture, back pain, and muscle injuries.
  4. A strong core reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease. Too much fat tissue puts extra stress on the heart as it works to pump a larger amount of blood to our tissues and organs. Even a 5% weight loss can help prevent cardiovascular disease.