If you want to work your abs, the good news is that there are a variety of exercises that can help you achieve this goal. Even if you don’t focus directly on them, the position of your abs means they’ll work hard with compound exercises that impact both the upper and lower body. Your core is also the key to any movement that requires you to keep your body steady, such as static moves like the plank, or tricky balance moves like the one-leg Romanian deadlift.
Whether your goal is six pack abs or just more definition around your abs, compound exercises like squats, overhead presses, and deadlifts will help you achieve your goals while building strength throughout your body. That said, there’s room for more focused abs, too, especially if you plan to achieve cover-model six-pack abs.
The four-pull circuit below offers isolation and compound exercises, with three options targeting different areas of your abs to ensure you hit them from every angle. The first workout focuses on your upper abs, the second works your lower abs, and the last works the oft-overlooked obliques — or obliques — and your deeper core muscles.
While each cycle is a quick, self-contained ab workout, you can also follow it at the end of your main workout to make sure your abs get the attention they deserve.
The really good news is that you don’t need to go to the gym to perform these workouts, so you can continue to pursue your six-pack dreams during the COVID-19 lockdown. This is an area of the body where you can really feel the core burn at home with minimal equipment.
We say minimal equipment rather than no equipment, as the following workouts will require you to use the pull-up bar to perform movements like hanging leg raises. Bars are affordable and generally easy to find, although demand sometimes outstrips supply during lockdown, so check out our picks for options that are still available. Dumbbell crunches require a dumbbell, but if you don’t have one, any weight you can lift on your chest will do—it doesn’t have to be too heavy.