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Bodyweight Ab Exercises



This may be the only body part where most of the exercises you know do not involve weights. That makes sense, after all, bodyweight ab exercises are the most popular type of exercises for working-out your core. We can also treat your abs a bit different from the rest of your body. It’s OK to work out your abs every day. In fact, a lot of people actually recommend doing core exercises daily.

Beginner and Advanced Ab Exercises

There’s a huge variety of ab workouts that you can perform at home. For beginners, the sit-up is a common exercise to start with. For the intermediates, planks work your entire core. For more advanced workouts, leg raises, v-ups, and rollouts can come into play. Isolating your abs is important. It’s also a bit harder of a mind muscle connection. When doing planks, for example, it’s tough to differentiate whether you are completely hitting the abs, or if the abs are getting tired because planks are difficult in general. Below are a few select tips for popular bodyweight ab exercises:

Don’t Strain Your Neck During Sit-Ups

This is pretty self-explanatory, but it’s easy to start pulling on the neck to help assist a sit-up. Instead, gently hold your finger-tips in the back of your neck and focus on using them only for neck support. You can even try holding your arms straight up in the air while doing a sit-up to help improve the mind-muscle connection.

Plank with Your Abs

One way to avoid dropping your stomach (when the plank resembles more of the droopy bridge), is to keep the leg muscles and butt tight. When you tighten your lower body, it will also set the tone to keep your back from collapsing. This helps you maintain your plank. We’ve highlighted a few bodyweight ab exercises below. If you’re tired of trying to compile your own routine and want to get excited about trying something new every day. Check out Daily Spot. Like all of our programs, the core program updates every single day.

Examples of Bodyweight Ab Exercises:

Take a look at some of the exercises below. We also offer free daily coreworkouts on our app, Daily Spot.

Hanging Straight-Leg Hip Raise

Place arms in shoulder straps. From a still position, keep legs straight, tighten core, and raise legs forward. Hold for a second at the top and then return legs to starting position.


Jack-knife Sit-Up

Lie on ground with arms close to sides. At the same time, raise both upper body and legs from the ground toward each other. When both are angled at 45 degrees, lower back down to starting position.


Lying Hip Raise

Lie on ground with hands behind head. Keep legs straight in front. Raise legs straight up as high as possible while keeping back flat on ground. Return to starting position.



Lie flat on ground and raise feet 6 inches off the ground. At the same time, lift legs and upper body off the ground to 45 degrees. Hold for a moment and lower slowly back to ground, never letting legs go below 6 inches.


Front and Side Plank

Perform a plank position with both of your forearms on the ground. Keeping your core tight, rotate your body to a side plank, supporting yourself on one of your arms (top image). Hold for a second and then put your arms back to the ground and return to the plank position. Hold for a second and then repeat on the other side.



Lie chest down on elbows and forearms, elbows under shoulders. Keep your body in a straight line. Keep core tight and hold for desired amount of time.



Dumbbell Ab Exercises

The same philosophy we’ve been using for other body parts also holds true on abs: the more weight you use, the more strength and size you’re going to get. In this case, it means your abs will bulge more. Dumbbells are one of the first places we look if the ultimate goal is low-rep ab exercises. They’re also a great way to modify traditional ab exercises so that you don’t have to do 2 minutes straight of a workout before exhausting you core. Below we list some of the most popular dumbbell ab exercises, which are mainly modifications of bodyweight exercises.


Barbell Ab Exercises

One of the benefits to using dumbbells during ab exercises is the ability to add weight to make a workout more challenging. The same goes for barbell ab exercises, although it’s not quite as convenient as using a dumbbell. You can add a barbell to a handful of the traditional ab exercises to make them more difficult: sit-ups, crunches, decline sit-ups, etc… However, there’s one barbell ab exercise in particular that is near impossible to perform with dumbbells. We’re talking about the ab roll-out.