If you’re looking to get fit and you want something easy, with no equipment or gym membership needed, these abdominal exercises for men, women, beginners or body builders, will do the trick.
But I have to be honest with you, like most people, I resemble Paul Simon when he asked: “Why am I soft in the middle?”. Not everyone will end up with abs like a Greek God but everyone, it’s not a fast fix, but these exercises will help you build a stronger core.
So whether you’ve got those abs that could melt butter or my introverted abs that don’t ever want to come out, here are 5 simple abdominal exercises to get you going and build up the muscle in your midsection.
Simple Abdominal Exercises for Men and Women
If there is such a thing as a perfect exercise it may just be the plank. There is no simpler abdominal exercise than a plank All you need are a few key muscles and a floor. (Exercise mats are good but optional.)
Lay face down on the floor keeping your feet about hip distance apart. Your elbows should be under your shoulders at a 90 degree angle with your forearms straight out supporting your upper body weight. Your legs are straight back, with your lower body weight resting on the balls of your feet.
In this position, your abs naturally engage to support your body. Start out trying to hold this it for 30 seconds at a time. Once that’s easy for you, increase to 45 then 60 seconds and so on until you can lock down a 5 minute plank!
2. Heel Touches
Time to stop staring at the carpet and look at the ceiling. Lie on your back with knees bent, keeping your feet on the ground one to two feet away from your butt, spread slightly farther than hip width.
Raise your head a little bringing your shoulders off the floor then bring your left hand to the left heel, come back, then bring your right hand to the right heel. That’s one rep. Try for at least 30 reps to start, then do at least three sets.
3. Scissor Kicks
Take a second to catch your breath and enjoy the burn you’ve earned in your midsection.
Now, with your arms at your side, raise your left leg up as much as you feel comfortable, with the goal to get the bottom of your foot facing the ceiling, while lifting your right foot an inch or two off the ground. Now exhale as you alternate bringing that right foot up while the left foot lowers to sit a few inches off the ground, moving in a scissor-like motion. Inhale. Then exhale as you start to repeat. You’ll really feel the muscles fatigue with this one.
If a full leg extension isn’t your speed or you feel yourself struggling to a full set, instead of raising the leg, bend the knee, tucking one then the other into your chest while extending the other straight out an inch or two above the ground similar to pedaling a bicyle. These are simple abdominal exercises. No one ever said it would be easy.
Still comfortable on the floor simmering in a pool of hard-earned sweat?
Good, lets keep the blood moving as you bring your legs up, knees bent so the knees sit straight above the waist and your feet face forward toward the wall, legs at a ninety degree angle. Now exhale as you move both knees to the right and hold for 3 seconds. Inhale as you bring them back to center, then exhale as you move both to the left and hold again.
Don’t rest your legs on the floor, you want the abs to stay engaged and put in all the effort. How close you get to the floor is going to depend on your strength as well as flexibility but as long as you’re shifting those knees over and feeling your obliques (love handle muscles) activate, you’re benefiting from the work.
5. Spider touches
Let’s build on all those muscles we’ve already woken up and kicked around.
You’re almost done so flip over and get in a push-up position. Remember to watch form. You aren’t Nicki Minaj so don’t throw that butt out too far. Arms should be straight down, under your shoulders. Take it slow at first because you are about to test your balance.
Bring your left hand up off of the floor as you bring your right knee up, the goal is to touch your right foot with your left hand. Just one solid tap, then bring foot and hand back to starting position. You’re back in push-up position so switch it up by introducing right hand to left foot. Again, focus on form and keep breathing. To get the most out of these, don’t rush through, make steady movements.
If you have trouble getting feet and hands together then start off picking one hand and the opposite foot off of the ground for as long as you can letting the other two balance you.The core is still engaged and it will still hurt so good.
Try and do 3 sets, with 30 reps (15 taps on each side).
These are just simple abdominal exercises. If working out has never been your idea of a good time then these are a great place to start challenging yourself. All it takes is rolling out of bed first thing in the morning getting down on the floor and taking care of yourself.
Don’t worry if you can’t get through it, these abdominal exercises for men and women get easier over time. Keep breathing, drinks lots of water and maintain good form and you’ll be fine.